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Mental health funding boost for Orkney projects

Seven projects in Orkney delivering mental health support and wellbeing services for people who are feeling isolated during the coronavirus pandemic has been awarded more than £95,000 in new funding.

More than £8 million was allocated to 344 projects across Scotland, including £95,876 to seven in Orkney to support those who are self-isolating or shielding.

It is part of a £50 million Wellbeing Fund that is helping people through the pandemic.

Communities secretary Aileen Campbell said: “Adjusting to life under lockdown is tough and although we have all found it difficult, for some, the strain on their mental health and wellbeing has been a real struggle.

“A quick phone call or dropping off a few essential groceries can have a huge positive impact on people who may be self-isolating or shielding for health reasons.

“Small acts of kindness will also help those people who have seen their support network — whether that be friends, extended family, colleagues or community groups — disappear almost overnight.

“That is why this funding has been so important. It has enabled groups providing mental health and wellbeing support, alongside other vital services, to offer help and advice as we deal with this pandemic.

“I am glad we have been able to support groups across Scotland to provide these lifelines at a hugely difficult time.”

£33 million of the Wellbeing Fund is open to applications, with grants available between £5,000 and £100,000.

Phase one of the Wellbeing Fund worth £14 million, has been awarded to a total of 558 projects to provide targeted support in local areas.

Applications for the second round of the Wellbeing Fund opened on 8 May to all organisations that did not apply or receive funding during the first round.

As of May 20, 237 applications had been received during round two worth £4,169,206.