Small Grants Fund 2018-19

Mental Health Project Small Grants

Funded Projects 2018-19 in ascending order of money awarded

Day for Life Funds were made available in a range of eleven small grants totalling £50,000.

The Fund was established to support the development of good practice resources across the Catholic community for the pastoral care, at local level, of those with mental distress, their families and carers.

Applicants were expected to demonstrate how their project would benefit people with mental health distress, their families and carers in our Catholic parishes, deaneries, schools, hospitals, universities, prisons, organisations and communities.

The Fund was created from the Day For Life collections given by parishioners in 2017.

A report about the projects and their outcomes can be downloaded here.


A response to the Andrews Report. Dementia Training across the Diocese.

Project leader: Deacon Jim Caddick.
Neath, Wales (Menevia Diocese)

Training for the Catholic community across the diocese about mental health issues and dementia. Providing 4 – 5 sessions across the diocese to train at least 100 people. Delivery of training on the practical and spiritual implications of supporting those with mental health issues, particularly those suffering from dementia. Training would be made available to all members of the Catholic community in the Diocese who might be directly involved in supporting those with mental health problems.


Head Space.

Project leader: Lesley Allen.
Parish PPC Holy Cross Parish Catford, London (Archdiocese of Southwark)

Funds for the initial training and formation of volunteers in preparation for setting up a safe, inclusive café style environment monthly which is aiming to provide a safe, welcoming space for people with mental health challenges, their families and friends, to socialise and gain support from each other, volunteers, spiritual supporters, and to have access to activities and information which will increase their mental wellbeing and resilience. To provide information, refreshments at a low cost to service users and carers and 1-1 support.
To link with other Parish and local organisations for support when needed.
To have an annual retreat away day.


Breathing Space – Walsingham.

Project leader: James McNicholas.
Caritas Anchor House Canning Town (Brentwood Diocese)

Providing a Breathing Space programme at Dowry House for eight of our homeless residents with mental health/complex needs issues and two staff. These are residents with complex needs, particular mental health, who have been identified as residents who would benefit from the proposal.
The project will be delivered as part of our Aspirations Programme for up to 250 homeless individuals a year who are often excluded and overlooked – the homeless, the workless, those suffering from mental health issues, domestic violence and substance misusers. The project will be facilitated and monitored by staff from Caritas Anchor House with experience of engaging with this client group and working with mental health, complex need and social exclusion. The project will be led by our Mental Health Lead at Caritas Anchor House who is a trained psychologist. Group work and structured activities will form the core components of the programme.


Spirituality & Dementia Project

Project leaders: Joanne White and Sr Susan.
(Archdiocese of Cardiff)

The Spirituality & Dementia Project is for Cardiff Archdiocese, working to become a Dementia Friendly Community; for the benefit of all our parishes, parishioners and communities. It is for the deaneries, and consequently individual parishes, to experience the DF Awareness session and to gain an appreciation of the Spiritual needs of those living with dementia. This will include the provision of resources.
Providing Dementia Friends awareness sessions across the diocese:
Initially at deanery level (6 deaneries therefore 6 sessions)
Wider delivery across each deanery through engaging further Dementia Friends Champions
Provide a Spiritual Reminiscence Pack for every parish of the archdiocese.
Encourage each church to have a ‘Dementia Friendly Box’ for use by members of the congregation living with dementia.


Out There. Prisoners and Mental Health. Vincentian Organisation

Project leader: Fiona Clear, Service Director.
Old Trafford (Salford Diocese)

Training for volunteers and families of prisoners.
This project addresses the potential to provide additional emotional support, befriending and practical help to families of prisoners in Parish Communities. The project will run as a pilot delivering three introductory Hidden Sentence training sessions over a 12 month period. The training will be delivered in groups for 10-20 delegates each time. They will be recruited from Parish Communities in the Salford Diocese. The Hidden Sentence is a one day training course designed by Action for Prisoners and Offenders Families, which gives an overview of the offender journey and the impact of having a family member in prison.
Course content includes an exercise ‘What’s it like for families?’ and quiz ‘What do you know about imprisonment’; myths and the impact on the family of the offender’s journey through the Criminal Justice System, information on the offender journey and visiting prison, and DVD’s and discussion exploring families’ stories and the challenges of the transition from prison back to family and community.
Another element of the project is to recruit Volunteer Befrienders for families of prisoners from those who attend the training.
The project will be delivered by a Coordinator who will be employed for 15 hours per month. The Coordinator will be supported by the ‘Out There’ staff team and managed by the Service Director and will raise awareness of the project through talks at Masses and publicity materials, developing links with Parish Communities and inviting interested Parishioners to attend training. The Coordinator will deliver the training courses, evaluate the impact and report on results.


Walking with our young people.

Project leader: Fr Christopher Whitehead
Director Adult Education and Evangelisation. (Clifton Diocese)

To facilitate and organise five one-day formation and training sessions for secondary chaplaincy teams, university chaplains and parish youth workers in our diocese to promote good mental health in our young people and to raise awareness of issues surrounding young people and mental health. We want to use Mental Health First Aid as a resource to increase awareness of and skills to deal with the growing number young people with poor mental health issues.
The Mental Health Foundation (2017) reported that 10% of children and young people have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. Young Minds ( 2017) note that this equates to 3 children in every classroom. There are 35,000 children and young people in a total of 72 schools in our diocese. We have four university chaplaincies and many parishes that host and support youth work.
We also want to ensure that the adults that engage with our young people either in schools, universities or in a parish setting are also aware of their own mental health wellbeing.


Mental Wealth: A pilot scheme, using Books Beyond Words in parishes to remove barriers, reduce isolation and improve mental wealth.

Contact person: Stephen Hall CEO. Project leader: Cristina Gangemi
(Archdioceses of Southwark and Westminster)

Pilot project in two parishes in Southwark and Westminster.
Create environments where individuals with Intellectual Disability (ID) feel safe to share their story and faith, avoiding isolation and poor mental health.
Set up pilot book clubs in 2 parishes where people with ID are supported to build meaningful groups and relationships.
Provide a meeting point for people of all abilities which benefits the mental wealth of all involved. By providing a space for people to enjoy the books together, people will enjoy each other’s stories and enter into each other’s lives.
Build on the work of the Kairos Forum and of Beyond Words’ successful book clubs, to lift people with ID out of isolating situations, preventing social withdrawal. People with ID will feel more deeply involved in their church community. People in parishes will feel more confident when communicating and interacting with people of all abilities, ensuring full and authentic participation. Mental wellbeing and dignity of each participant will be increased.
The project aims to Establish 2 new Parish / Church groups within the Westminster and Southwark Dioceses. We will also be recruiting new or estranged ID church community members. We will recruit and train volunteers to be involved in guiding and facilitating the provision. The project will provide 3 copies of Beyond Words’ Church Book Set, which is a 12-book resource pack developed with the help of the church.


Supporting students with Mental Health concerns: Counselling and Staff Training.

Project leader: Paul Enright, Head teacher. St Mark’s School.
Hounslow (Archdiocese of Westminster)

In partnership with the Catholic Children's Society provision of a Counsellor/Therapist who will commit to half a day a week at the School for a year. They will provide professional support and expertise to improve the well being of students struggling with mental health issues. They will also provide training for staff to increase understanding, improve identification procedures and implement more effective strategies. This will ensure that the project has a longer term legacy when the Counselling finishes.
As a result of this project students with mental health challenge will feel better supported and will develop strategies to manage and improve their mental health difficulties. Staff training will increase awareness, help with identification of vulnerable students and help with implementing effective support strategies.


Wellbeing Weeks.

Project leader: Olive Ahmed, Youth Manager, Baytree Centre.
Brixton (Archdiocese of Southwark)

The project will be to employ a sessional wellbeing officer who will work in the Baytree Centre. All families we work with are suffering not just from poverty and its consequences: poor health, poor mental health, overcrowded accommodation but also from social isolation which is characteristic of inner city areas. Organise a wellbeing week for users (girls and women) to increase awareness of self-care and wellbeing issues. The week will be organised by users with the help of the officer and open to all members of the community (our users 800+, volunteers 200+, local charities we work with 10+ and local churches). Create online resources for users and volunteers on the importance of self-care and wellbeing. This bank of resources will be used in subsequent years for the training of our staff and volunteers and can be accessed by users.


Positive Pathways to Wellbeing.

Project leader: Kester Young Depaul Charity
(Middlesbrough Diocese)

To establish ‘Positive Pathways to Wellbeing’ which seeks to support individuals on their journey from accommodation crisis to independence and to break the cycle of homelessness.
To employ a worker 10 hours a week:
To build a new weekly timetable of wellbeing and mental health support, not only for those experiencing homelessness but also for people with problematic drug and alcohol use, family members of those living chaotic lifestyles, asylum seekers and other struggling migrants and parishioners.
The aim is to:
• increase resilience and energise community responses to the issues surrounding homelessness • promote greater awareness amongst the general Catholic community within the Diocese of Middlesbrough • promote greater awareness amongst the general Catholic community helping them to realise that the skills and experience they hold can be of great help to the more vulnerable within their community
• empower them to improve the lives of people struggling with mental health issues
• help people overcome the barriers to seeking professional help and engage them in specialist and statutory support wherever appropriate
• reduce loneliness and isolation
• raise the profile of mental health issues in Middlesbrough Diocese
We will do this by:
• recruiting and training volunteers to interact with all users
• provide twice weekly drop in sessions with refreshment and chat as an entry point to therapeutic relationships and engagement with mental health support
• provide a ‘listening ear’
• provide a weekly timetable of wellbeing activity
• signposting clients to appropriate statutory and voluntary specialist mental health support organisations
• recruiting appropriately skilled, enthusiastic and effective staff
• holding events for clients to showcase their development, gain confidence and demonstrate the benefits of the project to others
• creating volunteer opportunities for clients
• reaching out to potential clients, volunteers, and stakeholders through interaction with the wider networks of Middlesbrough Diocese
• form partnerships with local voluntary and statutory agencies


In-House Albanian Modern Slavery Mental Health Support Worker.

Project leader: Diane Killian. Medaille Trust.
(Salford Diocese)

The Medaille Trust has operated for over 10 years to bring change into the lives of those affected by modern slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. The Trust has nine safe houses in operation across the UK that provide 24 hours accommodation, and care and support through our trained staff teams to over 100 victims at any one time.
The project is for a dedicated Albanian speaking counsellor/mental health support worker to be assigned to one or more of the Trust’s safe houses. The worker would provide bespoke mental health services to the Trust’s beneficiaries, who are victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. These victims enter our services often suffering with various forms of PTSD, depressive and anxiety disorders.
National figures suggest that the highest proportions of victims of human trafficking are Albanian females. The Medaille Trust continues to see high numbers of Albanian nationals referred into its services. In July 2017 for example, there were 216 referrals. Of that number, 52 were Albanian.
We expect this project to make a big difference by removing the need for translation and improving the standard of the counselling therapy given.
The project aims are:
To provide bespoke tailored care for victims at the earliest possible stage;
To save time waiting on external referrals;
To stem the negative effects of undiagnosed and untreated PTSD and other mental disorders suffered by victims of modern slavery;
To remove the problem of combining translation with counselling from two separate sources