The Ideas Fund brings together people who have an idea about how to improve the mental wellbeing of their local community, to collaborate with researchers who can help turn their idea into a reality. We, along with The Liminal Space, have produced a video sharing some of the highlights so far, as told by project participants themselves.
The Ideas Fund focuses on the community-researcher relationship, and was a new way of working for many projects. Six projects agreed to share their stories, illustrating how their collaborations have the potential to create meaningful and long-term change.
The video was produced with contributions from the following projects:
- Green Tree Art Studio (Highlands and Islands): a project focusing on combining arts and nature, in Moray. The researcher supports co-researchers (including participants and facilitators) to help capture learning and develop research skills, using a range of creative and digital tools, helping to gain invaluable insights to share with others.
- OPEN Project Shetland (Highlands and Islands): to combat the lack of resources for young people on the Shetland Islands, the project has created a drop-in café to help support residents, combat isolation, and develop connections. Young people are leading the project in designing what kind of space they want, and are supported by researchers offering their advice and expertise.
- Made by Mortals (Oldham): this project is centred around survivors of domestic abuse, who are working with a researcher from the University of Manchester to produce a creative resource to help others going through similar experiences.
- Borashabaa (Hull): focusing on those seeking refuge or asylum in Hull, this project has created a safe space for people to share their stories and attend informal classes provided by researchers. They are also receiving support from researchers in understanding the needs of the community.
- ParentingNI (North West Northern Ireland): their project, entitled “Dad’s Minds Matter”, is engaging with local dads, identifying issues and facilitating programmes to support each others' mental wellbeing. They work closely with their researcher, who is helping to interpret their progress and sharing evidence from international research with them.
- Yellow Wood Group (North West Northern Ireland): this project is working with patients of a local GP practice. Through peer-support groups, and input from their researcher, the patients are being supported to become ‘peer researchers’ to help explore barriers and enablers to wellbeing, helping co-design a programme for wider rollout.
The Ideas Fund is supported by The Social Change Agency and The Liminal Space, who have come together as an expert Learning Partnership helping us gather insights and document learning from the projects. This is helping to inform the Fund’s future approach and is also part of our commitment to share our learning. The Liminal Space led on the creation of this video.
We are continuing to conduct programme monitoring through our work with our Learning Partners. If you would like to chat with one of The Ideas Fund team about the learnings, please get in touch at email@example.com