National Lottery funding for mental health secured

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During Mental Health Awareness Week (10th – 16th May), GCU Foundation has secured £9,000 funding from the National Lottery’s Awards for All programme to support student wellbeing.

With research showing that 50% of student’s mental health is now worse than before the pandemic (NUS December 2020), the need for additional wellbeing support is greater than ever and this has been a key focus of the Foundation’s Common Good Campaign.

The funding will enable the delivery of the Empowering Student Wellbeing project - a series of mental health and wellbeing workshops for students. The project will be run in partnership with GRIT: Breakthrough Programmes, a Glasgow-based charity that has been supporting wellbeing for more than 25 years.

The project will focus on supporting students experiencing isolation, disengagement, loneliness, and anxiety about their finances, health, and future prospects in the wake of COVID-19.

GRIT will run four workshops for students as well as train staff throughout this year. In the first workshop, staff will learn how to run future training sessions, and in autumn and winter, GRIT will run workshops for students identified by the University as most in need of additional support as well as the general student population. In addition, two student mentors will be recruited to kick start the creation of a student wellbeing community through social media that can eventually run events. 

Katrina Forbes, Head of Careers at GCU, which is running the programme, said: "We are absolutely delighted and very grateful to have been awarded this funding. We are looking forward to working with GRIT and I know they will make a huge difference to the lives of some of our students who need support most. I have seen people go through the GRIT programme, watching it transforming their confidence and allowing them to find new ways to deal with the challenges of life. The programme is a personal development journey that has no limits, and we are thrilled to be able to fund this through the Awards for All fund."

Nina Campbell, Development Manager of GCU Foundation said: 'Through our Common Good Campaign, the GCU Foundation has been focusing on securing support to alleviate the added burden students now face as a result of the pandemic. We are therefore delighted to be able to bolster our student wellbeing offering thanks to this funding from the National Lottery.'

You can find out more about GRIT by visiting their website here.