Inaugural funding awards of £10,061 were made to groups from the newly established Jimmy Dickinson Fund, alongside grants from the Longley Farm Fund which has now been running for over 10 years. The new fund was created to benefit voluntary groups from all across Kirklees working in the field of mental health, and is managed by One Community, the Kirklees Community Foundation.
Mental health is an issue of increasing concern not only nationally, but locally. For many years, it has been the ‘taboo health condition’. Thankfully, things are changing and many more people are now speaking out about their mental health issues.
Serendipity Creative Writers were among 10 beneficiary groups, and were awarded £1,000 to support their work using writing as a way to help people combat their mental health problems. The project is jointly run by Sonia Zoref and Carol Irving, who established the group in 2018.
In Huddersfield, the group runs two writing sessions most weeks; at the Paddock Community Centre every Thursday afternoon, and at Cafe Society in Huddersfield on Friday afternoons. Free coffee and cake is on offer to help people feel comfortable and relax into their surroundings.
Sonia Zoref, said: “We are extremely grateful for this funding. It will help cover some of our operating costs going forward. Our aim is to provide creative writing and mindfulness workshops for people suffering from mental health problems; this can include people out of work, those that struggle to get out in to the community; and people who suffer from isolation. Our basic writing exercises encourage people to share their thoughts and feelings, when normally they wouldn’t have the opportunity. It is a real cathartic experience for people using our service.”
Carol Irving (left) and Sonia Zoref (right) from Serendipity Creative Writers.
Katie Kempf and Mandy Fawcett from Longley Farm, said: “We were delighted to present these awards, and it was lovely to meet some of the people behind these great projects. Prioritising good mental health is an ongoing commitment of ours at Longley Farm, and we take pride in being part of our local community. And we do hope that the Jimmy Dickinson Fund will help to improve mental health awareness throughout Kirklees.”
Paul Johnson, One Community General Manager, said: “We are delighted with the success of the new Jimmy Dickinson Fund. To open such a fund to support groups working with mental health issues is definitely a big step in the right direction. For too long mental health issues have not be given the attention they deserved. Too many people suffered in silence. This new fund will give local groups the financial support they desperately need to make more help available for people facing up to their mental health issues.”
Funding is available for Kirklees based voluntary groups from One Community Foundation throughout the year, and further details can be found on the Foundation’s website: www.one-community.org.uk
One Community Foundation is an independent charity that connects people in Kirklees who care with causes that matter. Working with donors, we award funding to community projects supporting children, adults, older people and people living with disabilities to take part in initiatives promoting community cohesion, education, sports, health and everything in between. Last year, 2018/19 the Foundation gave out £350,000 in grants.
Full list of grant recipients:
Jimmy Dickinson Fund
Longley Farm Fund