Unique innovation fund supports community programmes

21 Feb 17

A unique funding programme developed by a local NHS mental health trust is supporting six voluntary / community programmes in the York and Selby area to deliver projects to local people who are living with, or at risk of mental ill health and learning disabilities.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) developed the TEWV Innovation Fund, in partnership with Your Consortium, to support local projects to deliver programmes and activities which can help people to overcome barriers to achieving good mental health and emotional well-being. The Innovation Fund is managed on behalf of TEWV by Your Consortium, who provide expertise in contract and grant management and support for the VCS in Yorkshire.

Commenting on the fund Ruth Hill, TEWV director of operations for York and Selby said: “By working with organisations to deliver innovative and engaging programmes for people who are at risk of needing mental health support, we can engage with people through meaningful activities before problems arise and tackle issues early. The positive engagement will hopefully reduce the likelihood of future support from mental health resources being required in future.

“The projects can also help support people currently receiving mental health support across the local area, by providing an additional community based support mechanism for them. For example the Friends of St Nicholas Fields will be encouraging service users across York to get involved in the creation and development of the green spaces they use and York Mind will be providing a wide range of extra activities to some of our existing service users.”

The six programmes chosen to benefit will each receive a share of £55,000 to deliver their projects over the next 12 months. The Trust will monitor and evaluate each of the programmes to determine the overall success of the fund.


  • Purple Patch Arts will be introducing mental health and wellbeing action plans with people who have learning difficulties and embedding them into community activities.


  • Saint Michaels Hospice will supply confidential one-to-one support sessions in schools for children and young people in Selby.


  • Friends of St. Nicholas Fields will develop green spaces around specified mental health residential units across York, where individuals are in the early stages of recovery.


  • York Mind will take referrals from TEWV's single access and brief intervention service and provide activities such as group therapy, facilitated peer support, guided learning courses, mindfulness and 1-to-1 life coaching.
  • Community Furniture Store, Selby will support people with mental or physical health issues, including their carers, to volunteer and restore furniture, as well as running six-week work experience and job search programmes for people whose self-esteem and confidence has been affected by long term unemployment.


  • The York Stars are writing a new interactive play to inform children about the need for good emotional and mental wellbeing, which will be delivered to older children in 15 primary schools in York, along with mental wellbeing workshops.


It’s hoped that the projects will not only reduce pressures on mental health resources in York and Selby, but also help lead to an improved integrated approach to mental health across the area, looking at a whole community approach which incorporates not only health and wellbeing, but also social needs such as education, employment and housing.