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Community Mental Wellbeing Project

People round a meeting table

 Project Brief

UKSPF Interventions - E34: Courses, including basic, life and career skills


In 2023, the most prevalent health condition reported by the working age population was depression, bad nerves or anxiety, with 5 million people reporting symptoms.  This was also the largest health condition for those who are economically inactive because of long terms sickness, with 1.35 million people reporting it as a health condition.  (source ONS). 

Poor mental health can reduce a person's motivation, energy and concentration, making it hard for them to find or maintain employment.  Long-term economic inactivity can also lead to social isolation, reduced self-esteem and loss of purpose which in turn contributes to feelings of depression and anxiety.  Economic inactivity also correlates with other determinants of mental health such as low income, inadequate access to healthcare and poorer living conditions.

The aim of this project is to provide a variety courses and activities that reduce social isolation, increase self-esteem and promote good mental wellbeing for residents across communities in Preston.

The project should especially target residents who are socially isolated, encouraging them to participate in activities in community venues across the city in order to reduce social exclusion.  Whilst participants are engaged in classes and activities it is important that they are presented with wider opportunities to undertake education, training, volunteering or involvement in other events or activities in their community, and the success of the programme will in part be determined by the extent to which participants do this. 

It is also essential that residents involved in this programme are sign-posted to wider counselling and support services, should they need them, as part of a holistic programme of support.

Programme Outline

The mental wellbeing project will primarily focus on group and class activities which are social by nature, providing residents with opportunities to engage with new people in their neighbourhoods.  

The focus of these activities could be on one of a number of things including arts, crafts, music, music, relaxation, yoga or the subject of positive wellbeing itself. However, whatever the focus of these activities and classes, it will be expected that all participants will have the opportunity to explore and reflect on the subject of self-esteem on the programme and to develop strategies to promote their own wellbeing.

Courses and support will be based across different community venues, especially in the more deprived areas of the city.  The programme should take a partnership approach to delivery with local VCSOs who are embedded within the city (and especially those in the more deprived wards) engaged in the programme. The chosen provider should regularly engage with the local delivery partners to ensure that a co-ordinated, joined-up approach is used.

The successful applicant organisation will also be expected to provide bespoke, one to one support for those residents who need it the most, providing or signposting participants to professional counselling services if needed as well as helping to refer people to further opportunities for volunteering, employment, education or training. 

The success of the project will, in part, be determined by the extent to which participants sign up for and engage in further activity in their communities and neighbourhoods.

It is expected that the classes and activities for this project will be delivered and led by qualified, professional trainers.  However, the programme can and should be supported by community volunteers, some of whom might have started out through engagement in the classes and activities as participants.

Financial Profile




Total Expenditure

Year 24/25





Number of people supported or engaged in skills


Number of socially excluded people accessing support


Effective working between key workers and additional services


Number of volunteering opportunities supported


Number of people supported to access basic skills courses



Number of active or sustained participants in community groups as a result of support


Number of people sustaining engagement with keyworker support and additional services


Number people in education/training following support


* The output and outcome figures shown are the minimum which Preston City Council expects the available funding to deliver.

Applicants applying for the full amount would be expected to meet these targets as a minimum. Where an applicant is applying for a share of the funding, we expect outputs and outcomes to be delivered in proportion to the share applied for.


Project Timeline

  • Date of launch for commissioning - 8 November 2023
  • Deadline for receipt of applications - 15 December 2023 at 17:00
  • Notification of whether applications have been successful - 8 January 2024
  • Issuing of grant agreements, commencement of projects - 1 April 2024
  • Project end - 31 March 2025

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