Manchester Wellbeing Fund - Fast-track grants

Keeping in touch – fast-track grants


The fast-track grants process has now closed.  You can still apply for funding through our normal application process.  See below for more details. 

For further information about support during the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the websites of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation TrustManchester Community Central and Manchester Community Hub


*We are aware of an issue with our online Expression of Interest form and are working to resolve this.*

If you have already submitted an online form, you should have received an email from to acknowledge your application.  If you have not received this email, please get in touch with us to check the status of your application. For new Expressions of Interest, please use the MS Word form attached below. 


In January 2017, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) embarked on an ambitious programme of clinical service transformation to improve the mental health outcomes for people receiving our services and to support the wider mental wellbeing of Manchester citizens. 

Part of this vision for Manchester services involves building community support to promote mental wellbeing (feeling good and functioning well) and support people living with mental health conditions in the community.  A budget of £1.5m has been allocated for the three-year Manchester Wellbeing Fund, for community groups and GMMH service users who have great ideas about how to support their communities.

The main objectives of the Fund are:

  • to develop community support around people's mental health needs;
  • to promote mental health and wellbeing;
  • to challenge the stigma around mental illness.

Who can access the Manchester Wellbeing Fund?

Grants of between £250 and £3,000 are available.

The Fund is for groups and service users who are passionate about mental wellbeing in their communities.  It is designed to support individual projects rather than provide core funding for organisations.  We can help new groups to become established, or support existing ones.  We welcome proposals that might involve a particular community of interest as well as those for just one neighbourhood.  We also want to hear from service users who have lived experience of mental health issues and want to support others.

Due to the limited amount of funding available per neighbourhood, we want to maximise its potential to increase social capital and promote innovation.  Therefore, we need you to demonstrate in your Expression of Interest that the project has been developed with the community that it will serve.  We also need you to tell us how you will aim to involve and/or make your project accessible to people who are using GMMH services.

This is not currently a Greater Manchester fund so it can only support projects which are based within the Manchester City Council local authority area.  If your project is in Bolton, Salford or Trafford, visit the websites of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group or NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group to find about funding opportunities.

Follow Manchester Wellbeing Fund on Twitter @McrWF

mwf info

What can and can't be funded through the Manchester Wellbeing Fund?

We can fund:

  • new projects or existing projects that do not have significant funding.
  • running costs for the project, such as catering, venue hire, electricity, heating and travel.
  • a sessional worker to facilitate your project – a sessional worker would be someone who works for a limited but specified number of hours and is self-employed
  • materials and equipment needed to deliver the project.

We cannot fund:

  • staff for your project or organisation, except for sessional workers as described above.
  • core running costs (apart from those directly connected to delivery of your project).
  • projects which are delivered by public sector or large charitable organisations.
  • proposals from individuals (except GMMH service users).
  • proposals from private companies.
  • projects outside the Manchester City Council boundary.
  • anything that does not support wellbeing.
  • activities which are specifically for under 18s.  However, we do encourage proposals for projects that support families, and therefore under 18 year olds will be beneficiaries of the Fund.  Our primary focus is the adult population in line with our contractual responsibilities.
  • any project or activity that is illegal (against the law) or that poses a health and safety risk.

What's new for 2019-20?

We have made a number of changes for 2019-20, to make the process easier and to reinforce the mental health and wellbeing focus of the Fund. The changes are. 

  • for grants of up to £500, applicants will only have to submit an Expression of Interest.  The locality group will make a decision on the information in this form and we will not ask you to complete a full Proposal form. 
  • applicants now have the option of submitting an Expression of Interest (EoI) as a video. Refer to the 'Apply for funding' section below for more information. 
  • GMMH (Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust) provides a wide range of services in the treatment and recovery of mental health conditions and substance misuse and the Manchester Wellbeing Fund wants to promote community-based support.  We need you to tell us how your project will be accessible to people who are using GMMH services so a question has been added to the EoI and Proposal forms.  This means that you need to think about how you promote your project, how you welcome new participants and how you deliver activities in a way that is open and inclusive. 
  • the upper funding limit is now £3,000.  This will allow us to fund a larger number of projects and to keep the Fund open in all neighbourhoods for longer. 
  • a maximum of 10% of the total grant budget will be awarded to citywide projects and there will be fewer meetings to review citywide applications. The Fund is intended to support local projects so, unless your project is equally accessible to people from the whole of Manchester or is for a community of interest, you should be realistic about which neighbourhoods you will reach. 
  • we have simplified the process for paying out grants.  When a funding offer is made, we will ask you to sign a funding agreement and issue your grant in a single payment. 


What is the application process?

Not everyone is familiar with applying for funding so we have created a two-stage process (Expression of Interest followed by full Proposal) that allows us to support you along the way.  For grants of up to £500, you only need to complete the first stage (Expression of Interest). 

The chart below sets out how applications are processed.


To support the decision-making process, service users, carers and community representatives sit alongside staff from GMMH to review and progress proposals.  The extensive knowledge of these different representatives, from the lived experience of service users and carers, to the local knowledge of residents, to the working knowledge of staff, helps develop exciting and innovative projects. 

To make the most of this knowledge and expertise, there are three locality groups (for North, Central and South Manchester) which meet monthly, together with a citywide and community of interest group drawn from the membership of the locality groups.  If you are invited to submit a full Proposal, we will allocate a representative from the locality or citywide groups to help you.  

What happens if I am offered a grant?

If you are offered a grant, we will contact you by email to let you know.  We will then arrange to meet with you to sign your funding agreement and finance forms. 

Depending on your circumstances, there are different arrangements for issuing your grant: 

  • if you are a community group, you will need to have a bank account to receive the funds or ask a group to receive the funds on your behalf.
  • if you are a GMMH service user, we can pay funds to your bank account or issue funding through a combination of cash advances and direct payment of bills. 

The full process from Expression of Interest to paying funds can take up to four months – please take this into account when planning the start date for your project. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If our group is successful do we have to spend all the money before March of the following year?  Do we need to specify a timeframe?
We will fund projects based on delivery dates which work for you, although projects should not have a duration of more than 12 months.  We will expect you to set out the timescale for your project in the full Proposal form and this will be included in your funding agreement.

Q. What is the submission date?
The fund is a rolling programme.  Locality groups meet monthly to review that month's Expressions of Interest.  Meetings to review citywide applications will be held less frequently, depending on the volume of applications received. 

Q. What monitoring information will be required?
We will not require detailed monitoring or evaluation information from you.  However, we will ask you to tell us:

  • how many volunteer hours were delivered by the project?
  • how many people took part?
  • how was your experience of delivering the project?
  • what difference has the project made?

You should also keep records of all spending (invoices and receipts)

Q. Do we need to add VAT?
VAT is not normally an issue because health services are exempt from VAT.

Q. Are there any restrictions on the number of proposals that can be made from a group?
We have not set an upper limit, but realistically we would not want more than two each year from a particular group. 

Q. Can groups apply for trips, outings, and holidays for example respite activities for carers or cared for, or activities to build skills and confidence, independence, for disadvantaged or vulnerable groups?
We wouldn't discount this, but groups would have to decide what is affordable.

Q. If a group requests a large amount of money and the decision-making panel agrees in principle to the proposal but considers the amount of funding requested to be too high, will the proposal be rejected? 
No, we would ask the group to revise the costing or offer a lower grant amount.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the Fund or need assistance with applying, please email us at or telephone 0161 271 0477.

Expressions of Interest Form

Download the Expression of Interest form here.  

The Expression of Interest is an opportunity for you to provide brief details of your project.  You do not need to have a fully planned project at this stage.  You have two options for submitting your Expression of Interest:

  • complete the form fully. 
  • use the form to provide your contact details and tell us everything else through a short video which you can email to us along with your form.  Your video should be no more than two minutes long and you don't need to worry about the production quality – a video made using your phone is fine.  We're interested in your project, not your film-making skills!

Please make sure you save a copy of your form so you can refer it later.  Then email your completed form (and video) to