Charities representing NHS trusts across the Black Country and Birmingham have been given a cash boost of more than £600,000 which will help to improve end of life care, education for children and reduce loneliness across the area.
The grant, totalling £646,725, has been awarded from NHS Charities Together and will be used to deliver a range of community partnership projects between January 2021 and March 2022.
Your Trust Charity, which supports Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, led the bid for the grant which will be shared amongst those hit the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money will be split between Your Trust Charity and the six registered charities for Birmingham and Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Johnny Shah, Head of Your Trust Charity, said: “The money will help to fund truly transformational projects across all these areas, for all our community.
“Programmes include delivering cultural education sessions for children from the site of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, and supporting advanced healthcare in care homes.
“We are very grateful to NHS Charities for this generous amount which is great news for the people of Birmingham and the Black Country.
“We are looking forward to working in partnership with our charity colleagues from other Trusts across the West Midlands. Together we will benefit and improve the lives of our communities in Birmingham and the Black Country.”
Georgina Dean, Chief Financial Officer at Black Country Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to be working with fellow NHS Trust charities from across the region to highlight some really important projects.
“Loneliness has been particularly heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people have been forced to isolate and had less social interaction.
“Whilst feeling lonely isn’t in itself a mental health condition, the two are strongly linked. “There is research that suggests that feeling lonely, particularly for long periods of time increases the risk of a person developing mental health problems including, depression, low-self-esteem and problems sleeping. This funding from NHS Charities Together will allow us to tackle loneliness earlier on, to prevent it from causing people to develop complex mental health illnesses.”
Daren Fradgley, Director of Integration for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been successful in our application for this bid. The money will be instrumental in allowing the Walsall Together partnership to really push forward with its plans to reduce social isolation and health inequalities in Walsall and support our most vulnerable residents to lead healthier and happier lives.”