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You can find information on all the projects funded by The Ideas Fund so far here.

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Outdoor Transformation Through Education and Re-Connection

  • North West Northern Ireland

Working with adult community members in two main age groups- 19+ and 40+, this project examines the benefits of time spent outdoors on mental wellbeing.
Working with a researcher will enable them to develop an approach with the community to measure and co-design the activities that participants go through. Two programmes are running to help establish a connection between the community members and the natural surroundings in their local area: Air (walking and woodland exploration) with mature adults, and Water (water-sports and swimming) with young adults.

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Sunflower Project

The Sunflower Project

  • North West Northern Ireland

This project is set out in two 10 week periods to provide support to survivors of mother and baby institutions. It will give those affected an opportunity for creative expression.
From painting to performances, the sessions are facilitated by an experienced theatre practitioner and a researcher using a trauma informed lens. The group are working with the researcher to develop their skills around research protocols and receiving guidance on the format of the project. The project is being co-designed by the participants and is using the arts as a way of improving mental wellbeing.

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Changing The Story I Tell Myself

  • North West Northern Ireland

Young people participating in this project are being encouraged to develop educational programmes and resources, using storytelling as one of the tools for improving mental wellbeing. They will work with a researcher and learn about approaches and methodologies in cultures and traditions across the world, as well as developing their own research and facilitation skills. Through workshops focusing on empowerment and positivity, the programme is allowing young people to build relationships and make connections though sharing their lived experience.

Fitmums and Friends

Bereavement Support in the Forest

  • Hull

This project is supporting children and young people who have been bereaved through using outdoor activities to help improve their mental wellbeing.
They will work with researchers to co-design age-appropriate writing and poetry activities that will form part of the support sessions. Fitmums and Friends, who are facilitating the project, are using outdoor activities, exploring literature about grief and providing emotional support and opportunities to share feelings to improve the mental wellbeing of those affected and creating a long-term network to support them.

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SB Elevate, Orkney

  • Highlands and Islands

SB Elevate® is a dance programme developed by Scottish Ballet for people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The project partners are working together to adapt SB Elevate® for Orkney using dance as a means to create a community amongst its participants. A researcher is collaborating with the project partners and the wider community to explore community action research and informally test data collection methods for dance health, as well as exploring the aspects of island ecology which support SB Elevate® activities. Alongside ballet classes and social cafes other safe spaces are being utilised to help support the participants and improve their mental wellbeing across the islands both in person and via virtual sessions.

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North Isles Natural Wellbeing

  • Highlands and Islands

Situated on the Northern Isles of Orkney, the Stronsay Development Trust are working with researchers and community groups to help local residents design their own programmes to help improve mental wellbeing in the community, utilising nature as a resource and inspiration. Outdoor activities are run in nature to bring the community together and combat the traditional barriers to wellbeing, such as remoteness and lack of facilities.

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Arts and Nature Connections

  • Highlands and Islands

Green Tree Arts Studio in Moray is focusing on combining the arts, nature, and online/outdoor connectivity. Art & Nature Connections is about engaging participants with the natural world and creative activity. The researcher will support 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. By offering a series of online/outdoor creative workshops, the project is providing a safe space for self-expression and exploration, bringing together the community and researcher to discover how the arts, nature and technology can enhance mental wellbeing.

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SAW Well

  • Oldham

Oldham Libraries is bringing together South Asian Women and children, running creative and physical activities to spark conversations and exploration around mental wellbeing, physical health, and parenting. Researchers from the University of Manchester will share their knowledge on mental and physical wellbeing, and co-create workshops to meet both the women’s and children’s needs. Through a diverse range of activities including theatre, art, yoga, and walking, the programme is celebrating creativity and encouraging conversations about the shared experiences of the community through the pandemic.

Dads Minds Matter
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Dad's Minds Matter

  • North West Northern Ireland

This project is recruiting and training volunteer dads to engage with other local fathers to identify issues and facilitate programmes to support each other’s mental wellbeing. The project is working with a researcher to train a group of dads to become peer researchers who will be able to gather information about the needs and interests of others in a similar position in order to inform the approach. By offering a supportive and collaborative environment, the project is improving the confidence and skills of dads in the local area and highlights the positive force they are in the lives of their children and wider community.

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Belong: Supporting Mental Wellbeing

  • North West Northern Ireland

This multi-stage project is working with patients of a local GP practice to help them discover their own strength and capabilities, leading to an improved sense of self and mental wellbeing. 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.

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Alderman Kneeshaw Park: The Replenishment of a Neglected Urban Space

  • Hull

The project is aiming to regenerate and replenish a 17 acre park in Hull whilst also developing new activities that can benefit mental wellbeing, such as nature trails, gardening and musical classes. They have partnered with a researcher who will assist in co-designing a work plan, and identifying gaps in knowledge. By engaging in the redevelopment of the park, the project is improving relationships and creating a stronger sense of community.

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WhoseSpace Derringham

  • Hull

This project is promoting the voices of children, young people, and their families to determine how they can get the most from their local green spaces and how it can improve their mental wellbeing. They are working with a researcher who has expertise in working with children and young people to improve their connectivity to their environment. The group will host events including picnics, drop-ins and coffee mornings to help facilitate dialogue and co-produce a vision for their community.