The Ideas Fund opened its second round of applications for funding earlier this year and on Tuesday 2 August, 28 organisations were revealed to be shortlisted for a grant of £3,000. This funding will help develop their ideas around improving mental wellbeing by working with researchers over the coming months.

The shortlisted ideas are came from:

Highlands and Islands

  • Relationships Scotland - Counselling Highland
  • Centred
  • Deepness Ltd
  • Garelochhead Station Trust
  • Kyleakin Connections Ltd
  • Individual Applicant - Linked to Inverness College
  • Equal Adventure


  • Prison Abolition and Transformative Justice Learning Group
  • Youth Aspire Connect
  • P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery
  • ERNI (Emotions Are Not Illnesses)
  • Sight Support Hull & East Yorkshire
  • Open Source Healing Initiative (OSHI)
  • Learning Disability Peer Advocacy Social Group


  • Tameside Oldham and Glossop Mind
  • Westwood and Coldhurst Women's Association
  • Air Athletics Cheer and Dance
  • Men Behaving Dadly
  • Inspiring Futures Partnership
  • OAK Community Development
  • Keeping Our Girls Safe

North West Northern Ireland

  • Sion Mills Community Forum
  • Informing Choice NI
  • Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group
  • ARC Fitness Addiction Recovery Centre
  • Derg Valley Care
  • In Your Space Circus
  • Londonderry YMCA

In total, there were 129 expressions of interest from community groups and existing partnerships this year, covering a huge variety of themes and ideas. The Fund criteria included looking to prioritise applications from groups who are often overlooked by this type of funding, focusing on innovative ideas around mental wellbeing, and looking to shortlist a diverse portfolio of ideas and themes. There were some strong ideas that missed the shortlist, however the panel aim to identify other support The Ideas Fund can offer those applicants.

Shortlisted applicants include Deepness Ltd, based in the Highlands & Islands, who aim to address the stigma and misunderstanding of dementia in rural communities and are interested in exploring its impact on individuals. From Hull, Youth Aspire Connect support young people and are looking to develop strategies with them to help improve their mental wellbeing.

In Oldham, the expression of interest from Westwood and Coldhurst Women’s Association, who work with women from the Bangladeshi community was shortlisted. In North West Northern Ireland, the Fund will be working with ARC Fitness Addiction Recovery Coaching, who support individuals struggling with substance misuse.

With support from our Development Co-ordinators, each group will be able to explore different ideas and be introduced to suitable researchers, before submitting a more detailed project proposal later in the year.

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 by working with researchers.

Visit The Ideas Fund website and learn more