supporting, developing and representing community groups,
voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund
This Fund was announced by the Scottish Government on 15 October 2021. Just over £1 million is available in this financial year, and the same again from April 2022. It is being managed in Fife by Fife Voluntary Action, with support from local statutory partners.
This page contains all of the latest information about the local funding position, how to apply and how to access support. Further down you will see a list of questions and answers to help organisations understand the Fund and how to apply. Significant support is available from FVA to help organisations to apply to the Fund and to manage any grant award.
This page sets out the key criteria for eligible organisations and projects.
The application process will go live on Monday 15 November 2021, and grant awards will begin in early December.
There will be two deadlines: Wednesday 01 December - for those with project ideas already in mind and able to quickly submit an application, and Wednesday 19 January 2022 for those that need a little bit more time. Please remember, we are available to provide support with your project idea and application.
We have developed a brief Guidance Document to help organisations to develop project proposals and check to see if it meets the criteria of the Fund.
This list is designed to help organisations to determine whether or not their project/funding proposal will be eligible for a grant:
• your organisation must be a constituted third sector organisation or Community Council (unconstituted groups can contact FVA for free support to consider how best to become constituted and apply for the grant);
• the bank account must be in the organisation's name.
• there are no size restrictions for organisations - most of the funding will be prioritised for smaller organisations (turning over less than £1m), but organisations of any size can apply;
• minimum grant amount is £1,000;
• we anticipate most grants to be around £10,000, so please use this figure as the 'normal maximum';
• in exceptional circumstances we may award grants of up to £50,000 (please contact us in advance to see if your idea would qualify for exceptional consideration);
• partnership bids are welcome, but they must be led by, and most of the activity undertaken by, a third sector organisation. We'd expect the larger bids to involve an element of partnership working/collaboration;
• the grant is for grassroots projects - things that benefit at-risk/priority groups in local communities in Fife;
• we will consider projects for communities of interest that are spread across Fife;
• activity must specifically target at-risk/priority groups and tell us which one(s) (see the beneficiary list below);
• we cannot fund budget gaps - this must fund additional activity or enhance existing activity;
• grant awards are for revenue activity, but in Year 1 only, we will consider applications for up to £10k for capital costs.
The Fund is for working with adults, but where the focus is the adult, work that also involves the family is likely to be eligible. We will only be able to fund activity which focuses on benefiting people in the following list (you only need to focus on one group, but you can work with multiple groups):
• women (particularly young women, and women and young women affected by male sexual violence);
• people with a long term health condition or disability;
• people who are or have been on the highest risk (previously shielding) list;
• people from a Minority Ethnic background;
• refugees and those with no recourse to public funds;
• people facing socio-economic disadvantage;
• people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage;
• people with diagnosed mental illness;
• people affected by psychological trauma (including adverse childhood experiences);
• people who have experienced bereavement or loss;
• people disadvantaged by geographical location (particularly remote and rural areas);
• older people;
• people affected by homelessness;
• LGBTQIAA+ communities.
Please note that the above list is not in any order of priority or importance.
All funded activity must contribute to one of the following 4 local fund outcomes: 1. People in Fife will be better able to connect and/or re-connect.
Examples of activity might relate to transport in rural areas (e.g. the concept of 20 Minute Neighbourhoods), befriending calls/visits, dementia cafés, lunch clubs, etc. 2. People in Fife will have improved mental health and wellbeing due to increased access to physical activity, diet and nutrition, life-long learning or some other activity that brings people together and reduces social isolation.
Examples might include "Green Health" initiatives, environmental and growing projects, cooking clubs, safe outdoor spaces, walking groups, exercise classes, IT classes etc. 3. People in Fife will have better access to services which help to tackle poverty and achieve income maximisation.
Examples might include homelessness projects, food banks, signposting, fuel poverty, etc. 4. Fife will have a stronger local infrastructure which can respond effectively to the mental health and wellbeing support needs of at-risk groups.
Examples might include volunteering (including for hard to reach people), more regular community events, projects promoting suicide prevention and those that give the ability for at-risk groups to have their voices heard.
Items that CAN and CANNOT be funded
What CAN be funded:
• One-off events
• Hall hire for community spaces
• Small capital spend up to £10,000 for land or building projects
• Staff costs
• Training costs
• Overheads - utilities costs
• Volunteer expenses
• Helping people to stay safe (PPE for small gatherings, activity, etc)
• Childcare and other caring costs
What CANNOT be funded:
• Clinical services and CBT
• Contingency costs, loans, endowments, or interest
• Electricity generation and feed-in tariff payment
• Political or religious campaigning
• Profit-making/fundraising activities
• VAT you can reclaim
• Statutory activities
• Overseas travel
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When can organisations start applying to the Fund?
The online application system will go live on Monday 15 November. We will send out an e-mail bulletin to alert everybody, so please make sure you are signed up to receive them. This page will always contain the latest information, so check back here every now and again.
Who can apply to the Fund?
It is for third sector organisations who can evidence a contribution to mental health and wellbeing. Most of the funding will be prioritised for grassroots organisations turning over less than £1m. If your group does not yet have a constitution then please get in touch with us to discuss where you are in your formation journey, and we can advise on your readiness to apply as well as the support we can provide.
Is this funding only for mental health organisations?
Absolutely not - it is designed to be accessed by organisations that don't specialise in mental health but make a clear contribution to mental health and wellbeing in the adult population (16+).
Can we get help to apply?
Yes - we can help organisations with their project idea and to apply. Support is also available to manage the grant and submit the required monitoring information. Support staff cannot give definitive feedback on how successful an application might be and they are not involved in the assessment process, but they have extensive experience of supporting grant applications and know more about this Fund than anybody else.
Is this Fund available in other parts of Scotland?
Yes - each local authority area has been given an allocation of money to achieve the same outcomes. However, it is important to note that local partnerships are able to tailor certain aspects of the Fund and to determine local priorities, criteria and so on - please double check the details of each Fund and the guidance before submitting an application.
Where can I get the form to complete?
There isn't a form - grant applications will be done on this website. You do not have to complete it in one sitting or on the same device, you can get other people to fill out parts of it for you, if you want to.
Can I get a copy of the application that I submit?
Yes - every time you submit something on our grant application system you will receive a receipt and full copy of what you submitted by e-mail, automatically.
How much can we apply for?
The minimum is £1,000, the maximum is £50,000. However, most of the projects we fund will be around £10,000 - this is what has been requested by the Minister. Applications that are closer to £20,000 or above will need to request an exception to seek that amount. Basically, give us a brief explanation of why you are seeking a higher amount and why you think you can spend a higher amount in a fairly short timescale.
Can new organisations without a bank account apply?
No. They can partner with another third sector organisation who will be the grant recipient and held accountable for the grant. Contact us if this is a concern for you.
Must the money be spent by the end of March 2022?
No, but this is money for activity in this financial year, so the activity must be started and progress significantly in this year. So, we will allow some monies (not most of it) to be carried over into next financial year. If you cannot do most of the work in the current year, you should consider waiting to apply for Year 2 funding.
When will Year 2 funding become available?
We don't know yet. As soon as FVA gets the formal grant offer from the Scottish Government and we can review the terms and conditions that must comply with, we will announce the details and make it available as quickly as we can.
If an organisation is funded in Year 1, do they need to apply again for Year 2?
Yes, however, the process will be much simpler and quicker to continue to fund existing activity from Year 1. If the activity is going well and monitoring and reporting conditions are being met, Year 2 funding will be easier to secure if you got Year 1 funding.
Can we apply for funding for 2 years?
No, you can only for Year 1. The application form allows you indicate if you are likely to seek funding in Year 2, but this not binding on either party.
Can we apply for capital costs?
Only in Year 1, and only up to £10k.
Our SCIO status isn't confirmed yet, can we still apply?
Please contact us - we want to allocate all of this money and fund good activity in Fife, so we will do what we can to support you to apply. By working with us, we can assess risk and still support applications from organisations who are working towards registration but haven't yet achieved it.
Are partnership bids allowed/preferred?
We always like to see organisations collaborating and working together, but it is not required. We will consider partnership bids submitted by the lead partner, as long as all other criteria are met (for example, the lead partner is a third sector organisations and so on).
Can colleagues work on the application form with me?
Yes, the online application system allows you to save your answers as you go, close out and resume where you left off. You don't need to complete it in order either. You can share your unique website link with anybody you choose.
Can an organisation submit more than one application?
Yes, within reason. You can submit more than one if the projects are different. If, for example, it's the same project but in different areas, it's one project for a larger amount. You can apply in Year 1 and Year 2, for the same or different projects. You can apply in Year 1 for one project, seek continued funding in Year 2 and submit another application for a different project in Year 2. We are focussed on the quality of the activity and the impact on the at-risk groups.
We're here to help organisations to make the most of the grants programmes that we manage - we want to help you to access the funds, manage them and report on the difference it has made. If you've got a grant from us, there are terms and conditions about keeping in touch with us and seeking our help if you're not too sure about anything.
If you're in the process of applying (or thinking about applying) then we're here to help answer questions and can help you with the completion of your funding application. Call us on 0800 389 6046 during business hours or e-mail the appropriate team directly using [email protected]