Family Mental Health Surge funding event

We are proud to share details of the Mental Health Surge programme, a new way of funding Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector led mental health support. The programme is piloting a new approach of concentrating funding (secured by the GM Health and Social Care Partnership) on creative ways of getting mental health professionals to where and when they are needed in the system. The aim is to avoid competition in favour of encouraging collaboration and sharing expertise and funding. One aspect of the work that we are seeking to fund is perinatal support for families. 

The first 1001 days in a child’s life are well regarded as the most critical in anyone’s lifetime.  It is a time of rapid brain development and a time when positive relationships between caregiver and infant are vital in helping to shape the emotional, psychological and neurological development that will inform the long-term outcomes for every human being as they progress through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood.  However, of the 37,000 babies born in Greater Manchester every year, we already know that a significant number will not do as well as they could.  To add to this, there are now real concerns about the impact of covid on the development of our youngest children.

Having a baby is a lifechanging event and it is a time when new parents need support networks around them more than ever.  However, with the events of the last 15 months, this has not been possible, and we have seen many parents who have had a baby in lockdown thrown into heightened states of stress, anxiety, isolation, and poverty.  Parents have been deprived of vital peer support from friends and family.  They have been unable to make new friends with other parents with children of the same age.  Children have been deprived of seeing grandparents and other family members, of being around other children of their own age and of opportunities to learn and develop through play – all vital experiences in developing the social, cognitive, physical, and emotional skills that we all need to help us get through life.  This means that it’s more important than ever that communities now step up to offer vital support to parents in the 0-2 period.

Our recent survey and mapping exercise shows us that support for families in the 0-2 (and up to 5years) period in Rochdale, Bolton and Wigan is not as strong and varied as it is in other areas of Greater Manchester.  Therefore, we are keen to work with VCSE groups in these areas to explore creative ideas of how to work in partnership together and with colleagues from across the Perinatal & Parent Infant Mental Health system to strengthen the community offer in these areas.

Funded by GM Health and Social Care Partnership, GMCVO is able to provide a grant of £30,000 per borough for one project to be delivered between September- December 2021. The funding can be used to establish perinatal support groups for families that may currently be excluded from existing provision, such as LGBTQ families; those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) communities or families who don’t live near the town centre. Funding can be used for staff or volunteer training, particularly to share expertise between organisations. 

If you work in this field, either in the areas identified and/ or can offer expertise to partners already working in these areas, working in collaboration with them, then we would welcome your attendance at the following event on Thursday 15th July, 09.30:

You can register for the event here.

Please note we will not be funding single agencies so you must be prepared to work in collaboration with others in delivering this work. 
 For further information, please contact: 

The Family Support provision is one of three areas of work that is being funded along with Extended Hours provision and Digital Support.  The Extended Hours funding has enabled 15 Mental Health providers to expand their provision in the evenings and at weekends.  This will give support to ~1100 people with 5000 extra sessions.  Since March 2021, a ‘Digital Support’ strand to the programme has enabled VCSE sector mental health practitioners from existing GM services, to be seconded to children and young people's mental health charity, 42nd Street. 42nd Street, through its Digital Support offer, is now recruiting more staff.  If a member of staff is looking for a secondment or to increase their hours of work, then this opportunity would be ideal. This is a key role in delivering all therapeutic aspects of online support at 42nd Street embodying their approach to evidence based, informed practice and ensuring accessible, inclusive, young person-centred support.

You can find out more about the programme by visiting the Mental Health Surge web pages and/or apply for the Digital Support role.


*GMCVO uses the BAME abbreviation as we believe it is widely understood, but we acknowledge many feel this term is inadequate and limiting. We are therefore currently reviewing of our use of the term. Our principle is to refer to individuals, organisations or networks by the terminology they themselves prefer.

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