Local young people’s mental health and wellbeing are at the centre of a series of grants being awarded as part of Liverpool ONE Foundation’s annual funding programme which is now on its 14th year.
From new digital platforms to support those with autism through to helping young people to secure job opportunities and even equine therapy, the funding will go towards a series of projects being run by 11 community organisations across the Liverpool City Region.
Administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), the Liverpool ONE Foundation invests in community projects that improve mental health and wellbeing among the city region’s young people.
Since its launch in 2009, it has distributed more than £2.5m to community projects, with youth mental health being its primary focus for the last five years.
The latest round of grants continue the support to grassroot charity organisations across Liverpool City Region who are leading the way to help improve future generations’ mental health.
Among those being awarded funding is Autism Adventures, which supports families living with autism. The organisation has been given £27,000 by the Foundation to help launch a new digital platform, Digital Mind, to engage with a wider audience.
Founder Julie Simpson, whose 18-year-old son was diagnosed with the condition at just three years old, said: “Before the pandemic, we were helping around 70 families, but we found that lots of children stopped coming to us after lockdown.
“This was for a variety of reasons, but many were related to young people feeling anxious about leaving the house and being around others.
“We want to develop a digital platform that features lots of resources such as tips on coping mechanisms, videos offering advice and stories from other people living with autism. We want to reach more people over a wider area and this funding will help us on our way to do that.
“We also noticed that some mental health messaging such as ‘It’s ok not to be ok’, for example, doesn’t resonate with some of our group so we’re keen to push the idea of ‘it’s good to communicate’ – again, this new platform will help us to do this.”
Also receiving funding is Wirral-based Tailored Yarn, which offers bereavement support young children and young people through story-telling. The organisation’s £10,000 grant from the Liverpool ONE Foundation will help them to provide support to more local families.
Gillian Seale, CEO of Tailored Yarn, said: “We work closely with bereaved families to help preserve their memories of loved ones. This additional funding from the Liverpool ONE Foundation will be vital in helping us to expand our reach and give us the opportunity to work with hospices across the area.”
Other organisations selected to receive funding from the Liverpool ONE Foundation this year include: Conquer Life CIC; Creative Spaces Co.; Daisy Inclusive UK; Deafness Resource Centre; Revved Up Limited; Shy Lowen – Horse and Pony Sanctuary; Towerhill ABC (Amateur Boxing Club); Utopia Project CIC; and Walton Youth & Community Project.
Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “Talking about, and helping with, mental health is more important than ever before. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of looking after mental health and wellbeing with an emphasis on young people. We’re proud that the Liverpool ONE Foundation prioritises this each year with our grants supporting local good causes.
“This year, we received a record number of applications and awarded funding to a greater mix of organisations, which shows just how many ways there are to support young people’s mental health and make a difference to their lives and our community.”