“We’re amazed and humbled” - More than £300,000 raised for new mental health fund in just two months

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation. Picture: Ian Burt

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Donations amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds towards a new mental health fund have left its founder 'amazed and humbled', just two months after it launched.

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, today hailed the response of the county's community to the foundation's bid to raise £500,000.

Since being launched in April the fund, supported by this newspaper as part of our Mental Health Watch campaign, currently stands at £330,000.

This money, along with the final £170,000 which the foundation hopes to raise, will be made available to charities, community groups, and individuals hoping to run services to help people with poor mental health.

It comes as experts met last night to discuss how to combat the rising numbers of people being treated.

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Mr Tuttle said: 'The funding challenge has resonated with individuals and businesses alike. We have been amazed and humbled by the number of private donations.'

His organisation, which works with hundreds of local charities and voluntary groups, pledged to match every £2 donated with an extra £1. That means the £330,000 total is made up of £220,000 of donations, with the extra £110,000 coming from Norfolk Community Foundation. Individual donations have reached £25,000.

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Mr Tuttle added: 'I am sure this generosity is driven by a genuine wish to make a difference to those whose lives have been – and continue to be – affected by mental health challenges.

'As a foundation it is now important that we get this funding working in local communities to the benefit of these individuals. Applicants can bid for funding for projects of up to £5,000 and they will be successful if they can demonstrate how their project will help people affected by mental health conditions.

Norfolk Community Foundation has drawn up a list of five themes and applications should relate to at least one of them.

The themes are helping older and vulnerable people live independently and longer, caring and supporting people recovering from trauma or abuse, offering support and respite for carers; aiding recovery and rehabilitation and growing healthy minds among children and young people.

Individuals and businesses can help by setting up their own named fund, giving them the option to help decide where the money is spent - or by making a donation of any size into the general funding pot or by offering further match-funding.

The fund is not about providing treatment or statutory services but voluntary and community sector based work which support mental health in the widest sense.

If you or your organisation is interested in benefiting from the fund visit www.norfolkfoundation.com or call the team on 01603 623958.

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