Celebrating a decade of community projects supporting mental health and wellbeing

Over 200 community projects have supported 30,000 people in Lincolnshire with their mental health and wellbeing since 2012.
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The Mental Health Promotion Fund, established by Lincolnshire County Council, has enabled investment in a wide range of projects and groups and developed Lincolnshire’s Managed Care Network for Mental Health.

The network is an alliance of voluntary and third sector groups and organisations in the county which deliver a range of activities and services to support people with mental health issues and their carers.

Since the network launched, projects have provided social support, friendship groups, supported volunteering, formal and informal learning, skills and qualifications, and community participation activities across the county.

Collectively, these projects help people to live independently in their local communities and build stronger connections and networks with local people.

Beneficiaries have reported a greater sense of personal wellbeing and self-care, improved coping strategies, increased motivation, hope and self-confidence, reduced isolation, and better physical health as outcomes of participating in projects delivered by the network.

Working in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) managed 10 waves of the Managed Care Network before handing over to Shine Lincolnshire for Wave 11.

Jane Marshall, Director of Strategy, People and Partnerships at LPFT, said:

“The Managed Care Network is a jewel in Lincolnshire’s crown, supporting thousands of Lincolnshire people with activities that improve their health and wellbeing. I pay tribute to all those people who have worked so hard to make the network a success over the last decade. We are proud to have worked with local organisations and groups under an innovative scheme sponsored by Lincolnshire County Council since 2012, to offer projects that improve how people feel and reduce loneliness and social isolation.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, in Wave 10 alone, 31 projects supported over 4,000 people to access activities including peer to peer support, outdoor activities and creative art and craft sessions. For many people the pandemic was devastating, but the network made a real difference to people’s lives, continuing to reach people who felt alone and who would not ordinarily have been able to travel or do the activities they would have done to keep themselves healthy and well.

“We are really looking forward to carrying on this vital work with our valued partners Shine Lincolnshire as the network continues to grow and diversify, using our combined knowledge of working with community groups and our experts by experience to ensure that everyone who needs support with their mental health is able to access it.”

Several Managed Care Network projects have received national recognition for their work, including Art Pop-Up, which was shortlisted for the highly prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian UK Awards for Civic Arts Organisations 2022.

The nomination for their project “Stamford Connections” explored how the people of Stamford connect.

The Director of Art Pop-Up, Sam Roddan, said:

"Being part of the Managed Care Network was essential and our partnership with MindSpace Stamford has thrived. It allowed us to create connections and embed relationships that put us at the heart of the community, where we can use creativity to make a real difference to individuals and their mental health.”

Another Wave 10 project, Nature’s Pathways, was run by Sage Gardener CIC. The group used nature and the outdoors as an inspirational guide to improving physical and mental health.

Norman, who used the group, lives by himself and found lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions difficult. He was incredibly lonely and wanted to talk to people, so he joined the group to help with the gardening, telling stories and sharing memories, as well as enjoying one-to-one walks and phone calls.

Norman reflects: “Sage Gardener and the team saved my life during lockdown.”  

Speaking about the future of the network, Rachel Wright, Chief Executive at Shine Lincolnshire, said:

“Shine is incredibly proud to have been given the opportunity to continue the excellent work achieved by LPFT over the last 10 years. The Managed Care Network has supported individuals to access local services by providing vital funds directly into local communities.

“We are currently supporting 34 projects through wave 11 which collectively aim to support just under 7000 individuals. Shine hope to continue to work closely with LPFT, so we can collectively and collaboratively support individuals to live independently within their own communities.”

For Wave 11 projects and future funding through the Mental Health Promotion Fund, visit the Shine Lincolnshire website at www.shinelincolnshire.com

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