Despite the difficulties coronavirus has caused this year, there are over 335 projects in communities across Northern Ireland that have benefited from over £975,000 investment by the Public Health Agency (PHA).  

Almost two-thirds of this funding has been distributed via DHC’s Clear Project in Belfast, Southern, Western and Southern-Eastern Trust areas.

This investment has been the result of a short-term funding programme to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of communities, with thousands of participants of all ages and backgrounds benefitting.

The short-term funding programme has awarded grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 and have enabled community and voluntary sector groups to implement small-scale programmes within communities.

The investment has provided direct support in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities and demonstrated how they could contribute to building capacity, emotional resilience and mental and emotional wellbeing.  

Fiona Teague, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing lead at PHA, said: “Given the challenging environment that we have been experiencing with the impact of COVID-19, we wanted to respond quickly to help ensure wellbeing in our communities. The Public Health Agency was keen to fund programmes the communities that had a particular focus on those using one or more of the ‘Take 5’ Steps to Wellbeing’.  These are five simple steps that we can build into our daily lives to maintain and improve wellbeing – Connect, Be active, Keep learning, Give and Take Notice. 

“The breadth, creativity and ingenuity of the projects are truly inspiring, and the groups’ commitment to creating then executing their ideas in these challenging times makes this even more impressive.”

Brenda Morris, Project Manager at DHC’s Clear Project said,

“We are delighted that over 22,000 children and adults will potentially benefit directly from projects supported via the Clear Project.”

“The wide range of projects that we funded have looked at building self-esteem, resilience and confidence, as well as mental and physical wellbeing. We all understand that it is more important than ever to look after our mental health so it has been inspiring to so many groups using this funding to take positive steps for their communities.

Read more about small grant funding