NHS Mental Health Charity invests £220,000 into voluntary sector in Sussex


A Sporting Memories Club in Crowborough is one of the recipients of funding to support community mental health across Sussex.

Heads On, official NHS charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has awarded £220,000 in grants to voluntary sector organisations to deliver suicide prevention programmes and community mental health support as part of the transformation of adult community mental health services in Sussex.

Funded by the Sussex Health & Care Partnership, the Mental Health Community Grants are part of a programme across the county to improve the lives and life expectancy of people with serious mental illness and the way they are supported in their local communities. T his work is part of a 5-year national programme and brings together health and social care, local authorities, emergency services, voluntary sector organisations and people with lived experience of mental ill health across Sussex to make change happen.

Rachael Duke, Head of Charity for Heads On, said

We know getting mental health care and support isn’t always easy. Processes can be long and complicated and demand on services can mean people sometimes having to wait too long without the help or support they need. We want to change this.

The voluntary sector in Sussex has a rich history of reaching diverse communities across the county that can face real barriers to accessing mental health care, supporting people in places and ways that feel right for them. By working in partnership, the NHS and voluntary sector together can improve the care available for people, supporting them to manage their conditions and move towards recovery on their own terms.

We are delighted to announce the first tranche of Mental Health Community Grants, awarding £220,000 in ‘Innovate’ and ‘Build’ grants that test new work and scale up projects in the voluntary sector with a proven track record. From peer support to arts-based recovery, mental health support for male travelling communities to suicide prevention training, and specialist therapy for refugees, our funding is targeted at communities in Sussex who need us most, whose mental health is at highest risk of deterioration, and where we can make a real difference by bringing together NHS and voluntary sector support.

Rachael Duke, Heads On

£220,000 has been awarded across projects in Sussex, with a further £380,000 to be allocated throughout 2023. The full list of funded projects includes:

Community Mental Health Support Grants

Refugee Radio: £25,000 towards support services for refugees in Hastings, including support groups and long-term specialised psychological therapies.

ONCA: £20,000 towards Dresscue, a community sewing space that will provide creative and social opportunities for people accessing support through Southdown & Sussex Partnership’s The Lighthouse, a specialist service for people experiencing personality disorders, emotional intensity and attachment disorders.

West Sussex Mind: £25,000 towards peer-led community support for people with severe mental illness in the most deprived wards of Littlehampton, supporting people before crisis and building resilience to increase and maintain recovery.

Sussex Cricket Foundation: £10,000 towards the establishment of a Sporting Memories Club in Crowborough, supporting older men whose mental health is at risk due to loneliness and isolation to build social networks through sport. Anyone who would like to attend the sessions, who knows someone that would like to or who would like more information should contact Emma Brooke on 01273 827104 / 07718 492529 emma.brooke@sussexcricket.co.uk.

Friends, Families, Travellers: £15,000 to develop and pilot a mental health support programme for male Gypsy Romany Traveller (GTR) community members who can often face barriers to accessing health care.

Brighton Women’s Centre: £25,000 towards delivering a programme of trauma-informed mental health provision for women in Brighton & Hove with complex histories who face barriers to engaging with services.

Suicide Prevention Awards

Grassroots: £45,000 towards developing and delivering a new suicide prevention training approach for non-clinical staff working with vulnerable people within the voluntary sector across Sussex.

Citizens Advice: £35,000 towards the specialist financial and debt advice service working with people being discharged from Langley Green mental health hospital and people under the care of the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team in Crawley, working to tackle one of the root causes of poor mental health.

MindOut: £20,000 to expand their preventative and crisis support for gay, bisexual and trans men aged 40+, who are experiencing suicidal distress, to Worthing and Crawley.


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