Nine local organisations will provide extra help to improve people’s health after NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) awarded £500,000 in grants.
The innovative scheme sees local groups working at grassroots to tackle issues like mental health and social isolation, as well as obesity and ageing well.
The successful groups include the charity Family Gateway. Director Pauline Wonders said: “Working with families in poverty or disadvantage, we see a lot of people struggling with mental health problems – and this funding means we can offer a different kind of support.
“People often don’t know where to get help for their family, but by employing local people who have faced similar problems, we can go beyond standard approaches and provide informal support that’s completely tailored to their needs.”
Dr Richard Scott, a local GP and the CCG’s Clinical Chair, said: “Good health is about much more than doctors, nurses and hospitals, and these schemes can make a real difference by offering much-needed support and preventing ill health.
“The fantastic response to this scheme is a real credit to our local organisations. It’s a shame that we can’t fund every project, but our thanks and good wishes go to everyone who put ideas forward.”
The scheme is providing larger grants to projects led by DePaul UK, Meadow Well Connected and Age UK/YMCA, while Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust will create a ‘community shed’ (aimed at men, but also open to women) to tackle loneliness and improve mental health through creative and practical activities.
Local charity Meadow Well Connected will help people improve their own health, focusing on areas like smoking, healthy eating, physical activity and mental wellbeing.
“It’s often the small changes that make a difference,” said Chief Officer Mandi Cresswell. “When people face complex problems in their lives, it can be difficult to prioritise your own health.
“We can bring people together in an informal space, to support each other, take control and get the help they need without worrying what anyone might think.”
DePaul UK will offer extra mental health support for young homeless people who live in the charity’s supported accommodation houses or access its services locally.
Age UK and YMCA will help young and older people change their lifestyles, focusing on healthy eating, alcohol, smoking and exercise.
Smaller grants will help Wallsend Memorial Hall and People’s Centre provide dance activities for people affected by dementia, while Acorns will offer vital extra support for families affected by domestic violence.
Walking With will provide activities to combat obesity, and North Tyneside Arts Studio will promote wellbeing and mental health.
North Tyneside CCG is delighted to be working with all these community organisations to make a difference for local people and will look forward to sharing further details in the coming months.