Eight fantastic mental wellbeing projects in the north west will receive £343,000 from the British Science Association's Ideas Fund, we are proud to announce today.

The Ideas Fund is designed to connect community projects with research professionals so they can work together to bring their ideas to life and both build new skills and relationships.

Developing Healthy Communities and the North West Community Network teamed up to act as development coordinators for the Ideas Fund, supporting local organisations and projects to find research partners and put in successful applications.

DHC Chief Executive Erin McFeely says: "We've always known that people in the north west have no shortage of good ideas and this funding will not only bring eight of them to life, but also help build the evidence base for innovative, exciting new ways to support mental wellbeing in our communities."

The Ideas Fund is supporting a total of 42 projects across four targeted areas: The north west in Northern Ireland, the highlands & islands in Scotland, Oldham and Hull in England. The fund is delivered by the British Science Association (BSA) and funded by Wellcome. The full list of organisations to receive funding in the north west of Northern Ireland is:

For Youth Action Northern Ireland – a youth charity that inspires young people to find their true potential and excel in areas such as performing arts, youth work, education, business, technology and international affairs – the funding will help develop their Lifemaps programme. They will use youth peer researchers to understand more about mental wellbeing.

Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, says: I am delighted with the response we have had to The Ideas Fund, and the fantastic projects we have been able to support in this first stage of funding.

“Reaching individuals and groups who have been overlooked by health research in the past is a key aim of the Fund – particularly in rural or minority ethnic communities and amongst young people – so I am incredibly excited to see the next stage of these projects and what they are able to achieve.’’