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Bipolar News

August 25, 2005

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Bipolar Patty Duke launches blog to help others with disorder
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Big Lottery backing helps reduce problems of mental health.

M2 Presswire; 8/23/2005

Projects helping to reduce problems associated with mental health are at the forefront of a GBP2.3 million funding announcement today (Tuesday) by the Big Lottery Fund. The new lottery good causes awards come from the Fund's Strategic Grants scheme, which has so far funded 1,423 projects with grants worth over GBP288 million.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: "We are delighted to award this funding. Working together we can help many thousands of people affected by severe mental illness to recover a better quality of life. The services they provide will help people take more control of their own lives by building their confidence and strengthening their skills."

One of the groups receiving a Big Lottery Fund grant is First Step Trust (FST), which has been awarded GBP500,000 to provide work experience and employment opportunities for people with mental health problems and other disadvantages. This project aims to promote social inclusion and provide opportunities for disabled people in a real work setting. An 'End of Life Vehicle' (ELV) recycling social enterprise will be established, providing work experience, training and support for people who are economically inactive because of disability. This will be a stepping stone into other employment or supported self-employment.

SMaRT vehicle recycling will also be used to demonstrate good working practices and influence policymakers to adopt this model as a genuine alternative to day-care. The project will directly benefit 488 users over three years, although there is the potential for a wider impact on other beneficiaries. The project hopes to effect change in day care provision, increased and more meaningful work opportunities and increase in local income through the social enterprise.

Carole Furnivall, FST Joint Chief Executive, said: "First Step Trust has a solid track record in enabling people, long term unemployed and socially disadvantaged, to access work and employment. SMaRT provides an exciting opportunity to do this while addressing important issues concerning the impact on the community and environment of abandoned and unwanted cars. We have received tremendous support in Salford and this grant will enable us to set up what promises to be a significant service model."

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RP) has been awarded GBP347,062 for a project to strengthen systematically a minimum of 75 existing Therapeutic Communities (TCs) in three new fields: namely children and young people, substance mis-users and people with learning disabilities.

TCs provide residential or day care for these groups, in an informal, supportive environment. The focus will be on quality improvements based on an annual cycle of review and consultation. Three new sets of service standards will be developed and applied. The aim is that for the first time these TCs will be brought together in a systematic way to share ideas and improve the quality of care they provide to their service users, as well as establishing a 'Task Force' to influence positively all the statutory bodies that commission and regulate TCs.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the UK and Ireland. It advances the science of psychiatry, promotes research and provides membership services.

Adrian Worrall, project co-ordinator, said; "We feel delighted and very privileged to accept this award - it is an affirmation of the hard work done in therapeutic communities and the importance of our current work with them in mental health, social care and prison settings.

"Therapeutic communities desperately need and deserve this support.

Many struggle to survive in our modern care system, which is preoccupied with approaches that are short-term, target-focused and dis-empowering, as well as being less human, caring and thoughtful.

This new funding will help support the hard work and commitment of their staff and client members."

National Hearing Voices Network has received a grant of GBP96,383 to employ a full-time National Co-ordinator to run the national office, and be responsible for the planning and development and implementation of local self-help groups.

It is hoped this project will help people who hear voices to improve self-esteem, reduce isolation, and gain new coping strategies, through involvement in local self-help groups. National Hearing Voices Network offers information, support and understanding to people who hear voices and those who support them.

Jaquie Dillon, Chairperson of HVN, said; "It is fantastic for the Hearing Voices Network to have secured Big Lottery funding. It means that we can start more self-help groups that will make an enormous difference to the lives of people who hear voices. It is a real boost to all the volunteers who have worked so hard to keep HVN afloat all these years."

Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) have been awarded a GBP187,571 grant for a project that will work in two pilot areas to identify support and information needs of disadvantaged families, produce new appropriate materials and resources, establish a helpline number, publicise and disseminate all new materials nationally and affect change in clinical settings based on the learning.

The project will help over 2,600 disadvantaged families improve their knowledge of continence conditions, improve access to help and support and enable parents to respond more appropriately and effectively to their children.

ERIC provides support and information to children, parents and health professionals on bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), day-time wetting, constipation, soiling and incontinence in children with special needs.

Penny Dobson, Director of ERIC, said; "We are thrilled to have been given the resources to address the needs of this particularly neglected group of children and look forward to a partnership with the Big Lottery Fund over the next three years."

MDF The BiPolar Organisation is set to expand its work through a BIG Lottery Fund grant of GBP56,885. The Lottery funding will help to continue the Self Management Training Programme (SMT) and STEADY (Support and Training for Elation and Depression in Young People) in an online format in order to provide access to at least 120 people in isolated areas or where their illness means they are unable to travel.

The aim is for people with the diagnosis of manic depression to benefit from the programmes, learning how to cope and manage their illness and developing greater life skills.

MDF The BiPolar Organisation works to enable people affected by manic depression to take control of their lives, by supporting and developing self-help groups, publishing information on all.phpects of manic depression, developing and providing services for members, providing training on self-management techniques and representing needs of sufferers to policy making bodies and professionals.

MDF Chief Executive Michelle Rowett said; "We are thrilled that the Big Lottery Fund has been able to offer this award to expand our self-management training programme on-line. The Year One pilot has helped refine the programme, taking into account participant feedback, lessons learned and further evidence of benefit. We are now well positioned to increase participation and offer broader availability to members unable to access the mainstream face-to-face programme."

These are among 13 grants totalling GBP2,350,047 awarded today from the Fund's Strategic programme.

Big Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030 Textphone: 0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on: to Editors

Big Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board (which made grants under the name of the Community Fund). The Big Lottery Fund, launched on 1st June 2004, is distributing half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK.

The Big Lottery Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money. To date, the two merged Funds have committed more than GBP5 billion to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.

The Strategic Grants Programme provides large and medium-sized grants to help meet the needs of those at greatest disadvantage in society.

The Strategic Grants Programme provides funding for projects that cover a wider geographical area and may require larger grants.

Strategic Grants benefit projects that span three or more England regions or England as a whole or more than one UK country or the UK as a whole. The programme is due to end in November 2005.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Ingram Investment Ltd.

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