Mental Health Surge Funding: Complete Kindness

About the Mental Health Surge Funding Programme

Designed by the GM VCSE Mental Health Leadership Group*, funded by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and facilitated by GMCVO, the Mental Health Surge programme was a suite of initiatives that concentrated funds on creative ways of getting mental health support to where and when it is needed most, and on building collaborative approaches that harnessed the strengths, specialisms, expertise and diversity of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

Covid-19 has highlighted the need for the VCSE sector to have a more flexible and resilient workforce that can respond to shifts in supply and demand. Organisations want to be able to react to spikes and changes in demand and to avoid placing people on waiting lists, but they are hampered by both the availability of staff and the resources to recruit.

The GM Mental Health Leadership Group do not believe that putting additional funds into individual organisations is the solution to the current increase in demand.  The group led a collaborative process to design this programme of initiatives intended to enable VCSE organisations to be stronger, more resilient and better connected.  

The Mental Health Surge funding programme enabled support of over 1,000 people

How the programme was delivered

Working groups were established from the Mental Health Leadership Forum for a range of initiatives; Family Support, Extended Hours, Digital Support for Young People, Bank Staff and an Equalities Group worked across the programmes. Staff were trained and seconded from VCSE organisations to work on Digital Support for Young People which was co-ordinated and managed by 42nd Street.  Funding applications for Family Support and Extended Hours programmes were invited from the VCSE sector and the initial round of successful funding taken back to the Mental Health Leadership Group.  

Complete Kindness - A case study

Complete Kindness is a small Community Interest Company (CIC) that runs a community led café and wellbeing support service in the heart of Tyldesley, Wigan. The venture is led by a qualified therapist and supported by several volunteers and facilitators, all of which have lived experience to draw on to support others.

The area has some very deprived pockets where members of the community experience lots of health inequalities. There is very little mental health and wellbeing support available locally and residents have to travel to get the support they need. The cafe and it's activities are therefore a vital community asset for local residents experiencing poor mental health and/or wellbeing.

New groups and workshops evolve to meet the needs and interests of the diverse community members. Current services and activities include;  life coaching; stress management; anxiety support; meditation sessions; holistic therapies; drop in sessions; counselling; children and baby yoga; peer led creative arts and activities; socialising activities; group outdoor activities.

Complete Kindness were connected to the Mental Health Surge programme by one of the GM VCSE Mental Health Leadership Group locality leads and they received funding to extend their hours of support to include evenings using their own staff.  The funding enabled Complete Kindness to provide counselling to over 50 additional people between April and July 2021.

Locality leads within the GM VCSE Mental Health Leadership Group look for opportunties to connect grassroots organisations to networks, groups and larger organisations to strengthen the support available in the 10 boroughs of GM

Benefits from connecting to the programme have extended beyond the Extended Hours funding. Complete Kindness also joined a collaboration to apply for funding from the Family Support initiative and is now working in partnership with four other Wigan based organisations** to deliver a perinatal service which includes breastfeeding support, baby and parent yoga, relationship guidance, Homestart support and informal chat. This service has recently been awarded a further £70,000 funding from GM Health and Social Care Partnership to enable it to continue.  

As well as the impact of the Mental Health Surge funding, Complete Kindness have also been able to connect with other groups and organisations in their area, enabling them to receive mentoring support, identify and respond to opportunities, and refer people between organisations so they get the right support.

Thanks to the Mental Health Surge programme, Complete Kindness have connected with Barnardo’s who have supported them to improve their governance around safeguarding 

* The GM VCSE Mental Health Leadership group is made up of 20 organisations operating within mental health and wellbeing, representing and advocating for the other thousands of VCSE organisations that every day strive to support and improve Greater Manchester’s mental health. Representatives are from both localities and communities of identity, experience and culture to align and join the dots across Greater Manchester

** Breastfeeding TogetherPeace at LastTalk First and Homestart


Buy from us

Conference and meeting room hire

Investments to help you grow