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About us

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We want to connect communities with research professionals so they can work together to bring their ideas to life.

The Ideas Fund

The Ideas Fund is a grants programme run by the British Science Association and funded by Wellcome, which enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing.

We want to promote diversity and inclusion by supporting great, innovative ideas that focus on improving mental wellbeing - particularly in rural or minoritised ethnic communities or amongst young, marginalised or socioeconomically disadvantaged people who have been overlooked in the past.

We will help communities tackle the problems that matter to them by connecting them with research professionals so they can work together to bring their ideas to life and both build new skills and relationships.

Beach clean up 1

In 2022 we have £1.2m to award to new collaborations between community groups and researchers that aim to improve mental wellbeing in their communities.

Mental Wellbeing*

1 in 5

UK adults described their mental wellbeing as poor

1 in 4

say having a platform for local people and better awareness of latest research could improve mental wellbeing where they live

1 in 3

UK adults say more community action is needed

The Fund will run from January 2021 to October 2023 and is open to projects that involve communities based in four regions of the UK. These are:

  • The Highlands and Islands of Scotland - communities and activities based in the council areas of Highland Council, Moray Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council, Argyll and Bute Council along with the Isles of Arran and Cumbrae
  • The City of Hull
  • North West of Northern Ireland - specifically the area covered by Derry & Strabane District Council
  • The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham

We encourage everyone to ask... ‘what if’. What if... your experience could improve lives in your community? What if... you’ve seen a connection that others have missed? What if... your idea could make a difference?

* These statistics are from a 2020 YouGov omnibus survey of 2,000 adults (aged 18+) on the subject of "Mental Wellbeing in the UK", which was commissioned by the British Science Association.