Mental health charities in Berkshire receive £250k boost
Projects across Berkshire supporting local people with mental health issues have been awarded £250,000 from the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) Year of Mental Health Fund, in partnership with Brighter Berkshire.
On Wednesday night (7th March 2018), six charitable organisations presented their worthy projects, scooping over £96,000 in the Foundation’s grant-giving community event. BBC Radio Berkshire’s Sports Presenter Ady Williams hosted the event at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading. BCF awarded over £150,000 to a further 22 vital projects in Berkshire, including counselling services and support for children and families, bringing the total awarded to £250,000.
Guests were treated to a stunning musical performance by Charlotte Perry, winner of the Brighter Berkshire Year of Mental Health Song Competition, with her original piece “Fisherman”.
The groups awarded were:
- Destiny Support CIC: a charity in Slough which provides practical independent living support services to disadvantaged individuals and families, awarded £19,000 for two part-time support workers
- Home-Start Reading received £15,000 towards their ‘Mums in Mind’ courses, teaching coping skills to deal with the symptoms of postnatal anxiety and depression
- Parents and Children Together (PACT) will develop mental health expertise through the appointment of a Support Worker designated as the contact with mental health partners to support women in accessing specialist services with the £18,000 grant received
- A grant of £19,000 was awarded to Recovery in Mind to run courses for up to 100 more students a year in West Berkshire
- Sandhurst Counselling Service was awarded £17,000 to train counsellors so that they can deal with a wider variety of complex issues as well as increase the number of sessions available
- Volunteer Centre West Berkshire was awarded £8,082 to increase its successful volunteering programme, offering mental health first aid training to organisations and new mentors
All six groups presented their projects to the four panel members, who were BCF Vice President Lady Catherine Stevenson DL; BCF Vice President and Trustee Jane Wates OBE; Richard Baker, Managing Partner for the Thames Valley and South on behalf of the event’s sponsor Ernst and Young; and Professor Suzanna Rose JP DL, Advisor on Mental Health for the BCF Grants Committee. Grants were then announced by BCF President Mr James Puxley, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire.
The event was kindly sponsored by Ernst & Young. BCF would like to thank the many fundholders and donors, including Ascot Racecourse, AMEC Foster Wheeler, BCF’s Business Philanthropy Club, The David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, Deloitte, The Englefield Charitable Trust, First Growth, Mars in the Community, Prudential and Redwood Technologies.
‘We must continue our work supporting groups in 2018 and beyond’
Gerry Lejeune OBE, Chief Executive at BCF said: “It was a truly inspiring evening seeing and hearing from the groups first-hand about their vital projects that help so many people from every age group and so many different backgrounds. We were delighted to support them and award such a significant amount of money. However, despite this, we received an unprecedented amount of applications requesting over £600,000 which shows just how big the issue of mental health is across Berkshire; and how we must continue to work as hard as we can to help even more community groups through our grant making in 2018 and beyond.”
Ady Williams commented: “To be part of such an inspirational evening was a huge honour. The presenters pitching to the panel were incredibly professional and extremely convincing! The BCF showcase events seem to be growing every year”.
Building a Brighter Berkshire
BCF and Brighter Berkshire formed a partnership in early 2017 with an aim to raise £200,000 to fund local projects / voluntary organisations supporting those with mental health issues.
BCF will continue taking donations for its Year of Mental Health Fund, and would be delighted to award further grants to vital projects across Berkshire. If you would like to support this fund, please click here to donate or call BCF on 01189 303021.