Wednesday, December 7, 2022
£10 million grant programme opens  in Wales to improve young people’s mental health in wake of Pandemic

£10 million grant programme opens in Wales to improve young people’s mental health in wake of Pandemic

THE National Lottery Community Fund opens the £10 million Mind Our Future grant programme for applications. The programme has been designed by young people to empower young people across Wales to improve their mental health and resilience.

Since early in 2020, a team of young people have been working with The National Lottery Community Fund. They have been working to identify how National Lottery funding can make the most positive impact for young people in Wales. The development team included ProMo-Cymru and Ministry of Life who worked with The National Lottery Community Fund and the young people. They did some research during the design phase, which uncovered a snapshot of the key priorities for those young people questioned as:

· Access to quality support for their mental health and wellbeing

· A public voice and role in decision-making

· Their future – particularly employment opportunities and access to housing

· The Arts – concerns around the impact of COVID 19 on theatre, music, and film

Encouragingly, over half of these young people were at least somewhat positive about their future, despite the impact of the pandemic. 13% were negative and 35% not sure what to think, but the remaining 52% said they felt hopeful.

Pie chart showing responses when asked ‘How positive do you feel about your future beyond Covid-19?’

Some of the interviewees felt that the Media and communities unfairly targeted young people during the pandemic – as one young person put it:

“The press interviewed the loudest, most ‘party animal people’ and put them on the news.”

Many of the young people interviewed felt that they could not influence decisions which would impact on them, feeling their voices were not being sought or listened to. The new Mind Our Future programme launching today has been co-designed with a team of young people working closely with The Fund.

The Mind Our Future programme will give grants to partnerships between community groups, services supporting young people and the young people themselves. Applicants will be asked to show that they are working closely with and empowering young people to decide how best to improve their resilience and wellbeing. The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, is now working with the young people to find and fund projects that will create a healthier and more resilient future for Wales.

Eva Roke, 23, is an engineer and a member of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Young People in the Lead Wales Advisory Panel, she said:

“I’m proud to have helped create this grant programme. It’s so important because young people, my peers, are the future. We will be the engineers, the scientists, and the artists to combat climate change, stop hunger and boost morale. Consulting young people and supporting them in the most important times of their lives just makes sense. This National Lottery funding will make such a difference for young people now and generations to come.”

Ruth Bates, Interim Director, The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales, said:

“Working with the young people to design and launch the Mind our Future grant programme has been a privilege. Their creativity and energy have given us an insight into how important it is to both listen to young people’s voices. We expect the grants to give young people across Wales the support they need to take the lead in improving their own resilience and wellbeing and creating a better future for generations to come. It’s of course thanks to National Lottery players that we can provide this funding at such a critical time for young people.

National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.

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