Welcome to the webpage of the Manchester Wellbeing Fund!
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 Manchester Wellbeing Fund, for community groups and GMMH service users who have great ideas about how to support their communities. Initially, the Fund was intended to operate for three years (until October 2020). However, a reduction in grant spending due to Covid-19 and some additional funding mean that the Fund has sufficient resources to offer grants until October 2021.
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?
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.
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 out about funding options.
For details of other funding opportunities and for support with developing your group, refer to the websites of Manchester Community Central, buzz Health and Wellbeing Service and Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations.
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, including housing providers.
- 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. Our primary focus is the adult population in line with our contractual responsibilities. However, we do encourage proposals for projects that support families, and therefore under 18 year olds will be beneficiaries of the Fund.
- any project or activity that is illegal (against the law) or that poses a health and safety risk.
What is the application process?
What is the application process?
Grants of between £250 and £3,000 are available.
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. If you are invited to submit a full Proposal, we will allocate a representative from the relevant locality group to help you.
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.
What happens if I am offered a grant?
What happens if I am offered a grant?
If you are offered a grant, we will contact you by email to let you know and to ask for payment details. We will then arrange to meet with you to sign your funding agreement and understand any support needs you may have.
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. We cannot pay your grant into a personal bank account. The grant will normally be issued as a single payment by bank transfer.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the submission date?
The fund is a rolling programme and locality groups meet monthly. You should aim to send your application to us by the middle of the month for consideration at that month's locality meeting. Meetings to review citywide applications are held every two months.
Q. If our application is successful, do we have to spend the grant within the current financial 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 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 was your experience of delivering the project?
- what difference has the project made?
- how many people took part?
- how many volunteer hours were delivered by the project?
You should also keep records of all spending (invoices and receipts).
Q. Are there any restrictions on the number of proposals that can be made from a group?
Normally, we cannot accept more than two applications in a rolling 12-month period. We have occasional fast-track grant programmes to respond to particular situations. You can send one application for each fast-track round – these are in addition to the two applications which can be submitted in a 12-month period.
Q. If the decision-making panel agrees in principle to an application but considers the amount of funding requested to be too high, will the application be rejected?
No, we would ask the group to revise the costing or offer a lower grant amount.
Apply for funding
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.
Please note: 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 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.
You have two options for submitting your Expression of Interest:
- complete the form fully; OR
- 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) as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an autoreply to confirm that your email has arrived and we will send you a more detailed acknowledgment email within a few days.
To support the decision-making process, service users, carers and community representatives sit alongside staff from GMMH to review and progress funding applications. 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.
The three decision-making groups (for north, central and south Manchester) meet monthly and are at their best when service users, carers and community representatives are fully involved – and it's a great opportunity to influence how funding is used in local areas.
The meetings normally last 1½-2 hours. Papers are sent out in advance by email and copies are available at the meetings. In line with GMMH policy, we can pay service users and carers for their commitment and also cover out-of-pocket travel costs for volunteers. Due to current contact restrictions, meetings are held using Microsoft Teams.
North – 1.30 pm on the last Tuesday of every month
Central – 10.30 am on the last Wednesday of every month
South – 1.30 pm on the last Wednesday of every month