New mental health fund for young people in Luton and Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation is launching a new fund in support of mental health initiatives for children and young people through The Good Exchange

The Foundation's new Bedfordshire mental health fund for young people officially launched on Thursday, February 6, and will run for one year, aiming to distribute between £1,000 and £5,000 to charitable organisations.

Stock image

Stock image

According to analysis by the University of Bedfordshire (commissioned by the Foundation), there are an estimated 660 boys and 360 girls aged 5-10 years and 815 boys and 550 girls between the ages of 11-15 with a mental health problem in Bedford Borough.

In addition, it has been estimated that one in 10 young people in Luton are likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition (LBC 2015).

Dipak Mistry, grants manager for Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, said: “We’re fully committed to supporting mental health solutions in our local area.

"Through our new Mental Health Fund for Young People, we hope to be able to support a range of different initiatives, but we really need other grant-giving organisations and individuals throughout the county to join with us to support this hugely worthwhile cause.

"All local groups who’d benefit from financial support – covering the costs of providing treatments and therapy sessions to general day-to-day overheads and equipment costs should apply via The Good Exchange.

"We’ve been very impressed by the platform’s single online application form, which significantly streamlines the grant-application process for all concerned.”

The Good Exchange, a charity-owned cloud platform, will also aim to grow the fund through collaboration with funders, local businesses and individuals who want to work together and give money to support the cause.

Organisations from Luton, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire involved in delivering mental health education, promotion and development, including therapy and counselling sessions, are encouraged to submit their applications for funding via the Foundation’s Funder Page on The Good Exchange platform.

Ed Gairdner, COO of The Good Exchange added: “We’re looking forward to working with the Foundation to build a collaborative network of funders to address the complex needs of children and young people with mental health challenges across Bedfordshire through the new Fund for young people.

“With mental health conditions particularly challenging for those in their formative years, we look forward to seeing the impact the Fund will have on local initiatives involved in tackling these complex problems at a local grassroots level.”

Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation (BLCF) is a local grantmaker, that aims to be a catalyst for positive social change in the county by connecting people, ideas, resources and needs to make a lasting difference.

> The launch of the new mental health fund for young people comes as new crisis cafes are opening in Luton and Bedford to provide support and a safe place for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. To read more about the crisis cafes, click here.