The Foundation's first ever Community Investment Fund grants programme Improving Youth Mental Health ran from 2018 - 2020. We funded six charity partners to deliver a combination of mentoring, counselling and workshops in schools. Over two years they reached more than 1,000 young people with support to improve their mental health, wellbeing and resilience.
We commissioned an external evaluation of the programme during its second year. The recommendations from the evaluation included:
Working longer term with the delivery partners - these are long term issues that require long term responses;
Simplifying our approach to monitoring and evaluation and provide more support for partners around measuring mental health and wellbeing outcomes;
Continuing to develop the relationships and trust we were establishing.
Taking these recommendations into consideration we launched the second round of the Improving Youth Mental Health programme in Spring 2020. This builds on the previous programme, giving larger, longer term grants to fewer organisations.
We have particularly focused on organisations that are working in partnership with others, spreading mental health expertise to professionals working directly with young people, whether in schools, youth clubs or statutory settings.
We're delighted to announce our two new partnerships:
Khulisa is an award-winning national charity that works with young adults and children in schools, prisons and the community to help them understand and tackle the root-cause of their challenging behaviour. In this programme Khulisa will use a whole-school approach to deliver its Face It programme to 79 young people in London. In addition, the project will support 170 professionals to establish better wellbeing services for both staff and students.
MAC-UK is at the forefront of innovative mental health services. Our funding will enable the charity to expand its 'street-therapy' approach in Barnet, north London. The work brings together socially excluded young people and the services around them, to ensure help is available where and when it's needed. Three young people will be employed by the project; 25 youth workers will receive therapeutic training; and 35 young people will take part in work to help shape the future of local mental health provision.
Additional programme partners will be confirmed over the coming months.