Manchester Wellbeing Fund

Welcome to your Manchester Wellbeing Fund.

As part of a vision for Manchester services, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust wants to build community support to promote 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 groups and service users who have great ideas about how to support their communities. 

This main objectives of the Fund are: MWF

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

Whatever your project is, we need you to make this happen.

Who can access the Manchester Wellbeing Fund?

Grants of between £250 and £5,000 are available. 

The Fund is for groups and service users who are passionate about 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 encourage 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. 

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. 

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. 

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 abovecore 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 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. 

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 the Trust 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, help 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 city-wide 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 city-wide groups to help you. 

We will keep you informed of the progress of your application.  You should expect it to take around two months for your application to be processed. 

What happens if I am offered a grant?

If you are offered a grant, we will need to set up the finance arrangements so that we can pay funds to you.  We will support you through this process.  You will need to have a bank account to receive the funds or ask a group to receive the funds on your behalf. 

Depending on the size of the grant and the length of your project, we will issue funds either as a single payment or in several stages. 

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 (end of the financial year that funding is awarded)?  Do we need to specify a timeframe?
We don’t want to constrict projects with issues around the financial year and will fund proposals based on an agreed delivery date.  We would expect you to set out the timescale for your project in the full Proposal form.

Q. What is the submission date?
The fund is a rolling programme.  Locality groups meet monthly to review that month’s Expressions of Interest.  Expressions of Interest must be received seven working days before these meetings, otherwise they will be carried over to the next month.

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. What happens if our group does not have a bank account?

We would encourage your group to get a bank account, or find another group that would do the banking for you.

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 / organisation?
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, 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 agree in principle to the proposal but consider the amount of funding requested to be too high, will the proposal be rejected? 
No, we would ask the group to revise the costing.

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. 

Manchester Wellbeing Fund form

UPDATE:  31 August 2018  Due to high demand, we are currently unable to accept new Expressions of Interest for the following areas: 

  • Citywide projects (closed 10 May 2018);
  • Moss Side, Hulme and Rusholme (closed 27 June 2018);
  • Ardwick and Longsight (closed 29 August 2018);
  • Chorlton, Fallowfield and Whalley Range (closed 29 August 2018).

Any Expressions of Interest and Proposals received before these closure dates will be processed as normal. 

The Fund is still open for Expressions of Interest for projects in all other neighbourhoods.

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.  Simply tell us what you want to do, why you want to do it, how you know there is a need, who the project is for, what difference you think it will make and a rough estimate of what it will cost. 

Please make sure you save a copy of your text for the Expression of Interest form, before you submit, so you can refer it later.  We cannot resend this to you and you will not receive the text in a confirmation email.

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