Seven Sheffield-based voluntary sector organisations have been awarded a share of £300k funding to work with people with serious mental illness in 4 areas of Sheffield. They will be supported and managed by Sheffield Mind and directly connected to a wider specialist mental health partnership delivered by Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and Primary Care Sheffield.

The organisations who have been awarded the funding are SOAR & Firvale Community Hub, Woodhouse & District Community Forum, Age UK, Citizens Advice, Manor and Castle Development Trust and Zest. They will provide a range of holistic activities including debt and financial support, family support, training and employment, physical hobbies and activities.

The types of support offered were chosen on the basis of feedback from people with mental health needs who live in each of the 4 areas about what support they would like.

People will be connected to the new activities by Sheffield Mind’s team of Community Connectors. Community Connectors can support people with introductions to the activities. The successful organisations have all included plans for how they’ll manage activities in line with national guidance relating to COVID19. As vulnerable people are likely to have been disproportionately impacted by COVID19 the new provision will help address inequities that may have emerged during the pandemic.

Margaret Lewis, Chief Executive at Sheffield Mind said:

“Sheffield Mind are delighted to be leading this new programme of voluntary sector support for people with mental health needs in Sheffield. From our work with people with mental health issues we know that a person’s mental health is influenced by a variety of health, social and lifestyle factors beyond the treatment they received. In delivering these locally-based activities jointly with specialist mental health support I am confident we will see a greater positive impact in people’s lives”

 Steven Haigh, Director at Primary Care Sheffield said

“This development in our new mental health service broadens the range of support options people with serious mental illness can access. By providing activities locally, we are making it easier for people to connect with support they need – whether that’s an appointment with a mental health professional, employment and training advice or physical wellbeing activities, there is one service that can provide it all.

The voluntary sector have a vital role in supporting local communities and this investment will strengthen connections between the voluntary sector, primary care and the people and communities we serve.”