NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board distribute £300k to 33 community groups

NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board (ICB) has set up a community investment fund, aimed at children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and has distributed £300,000 to 33 community projects through their Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme via Cornwall Community Foundation (CCF). 

The NHS funding pot will provide support to 33 local voluntary, community, and social enterprises, which are now running specific projects targeting c.3,200 vulnerable young people of children and young adults experiencing poor mental health. 

The intended beneficiaries of the scheme were developed with the support of; our three Place based Integrated Care Area (ICA’s) MD’s and both our ICB Non-Executive Members and executives.  

It was established for the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly residents aged 0-25, specifically vulnerable groups experiencing poor mental health, including children who are experiencing adversity or in care, having difficulty accessing their education, have carer responsibilities, are at risk of offending, are subject to bullying and discrimination or are living with complex disabilities. 

CCF, as the contracted partner for the scheme, undertook an initial review of the applications to ensure they qualified against the criteria and gave a shortlist of applicants to the ICB Non-Executive Member decision-making panel. A total of £297,069.35 in grant funding has now been distributed. 

The 33 successful groups included Carefree Fostering, Penhaligon’s Friends, St Petrocs, Wild Young Parents, RJ Working which will also cover the Isles of Scilly, and many other projects. These community projects and charities will provide much needed help all across Cornwall from Launceston to Hayle, and also the Isles of Scilly. 

One of the 33 groups to benefit is Penhaligon’s Friends, a Redruth based charity enabling bereaved children and families to explore and process their grief reactions in a safe and supportive environment. Penhaligon’s Friends believe that through sharing and listening to others, these children and families will feel less isolated and anxious and better able to manage their feelings and improve communication within their family and close relatives. Penhaligon’s Friends received a grant of over £8,000 to continue to support the incredible work they are doing with their team of over 80 volunteers. 

Another beneficiary group of this funding was St Petrocs, a charity with an ambition to end homelessness in Cornwall, who received a grant of £10,000 to fund wellbeing sessions for residents in their supported accommodation. These sessions will make lasting positive changes to the lives of attendees, improving their confidence and self-esteem. Attendees will partake in a range of activities aimed at improving their wellbeing, be provided with tools to manage their mental health, and signposted to other appropriate services, including a counselling service. Connecting with others who have similar experiences with homelessness will alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are linked to mental illness.  

Mr John Govett, Chair of NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ICB, said that the funding was awarded as a one-off initiative this year but that he hoped there may be a way of continuing the scheme in future years if the health outcome benefits are demonstrated.  

He said “The ICB is a new organisation and we really want to make a difference in how we integrate NHS care in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with other non-NHS services. This scheme extends the NHS into communities with support services that will help to address health inequalities and give children and young adults support in improving their resilience, self-care and emotional well-being and to offload some of their stress. We are grateful to CCF for their support and to the VCSE (voluntary sector) for their guidance.” 

He went on to say “I am now encouraging ICB Board Non-executive members to offer their personal support and expertise to some of the successful VCSEs in the hope we may see something really special grow from this new partnership and allow us to continue any Chair’s Grant Scheme in future years and enhance our knowledge of local place based working in our ICB Boardroom.” 

The ICB Board believes that harnessing the support of the VCSEs is vital for ensuring our NHS clinical services are part of a whole pathway of care with place-based support that is relevant and accessible. The ICB will monitor and look to measure the impact from the schemes fund is achieving better outcomes for young people, whose health needs are very much a strategic priority for the ICB Board. 

The ICB decided to award the funding to CCF to run a grant funding scheme for improving the support available to young people with mental health needs. 

Tamas Haydu, Chief Executive of Cornwall Community Foundation, said: “We are so grateful to the NHS Cornwall & Isles of Scilly ICB for allocating us this significant amount to help young people and children in our area with their mental health and wellbeing. We are proud to have been able to support these 33 remarkable organisations and help to improve the lives of young people across the Duchy.” 

The ICB fund was established and promoted widely by CCF and attracted 91 applications for more than double the available £300,000.  

The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have severely affected children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. The awarded community groups will help to reduce pressures on local NHS services.  

Find out more about the impact our grants are making to the local communities by reading our case studies.