NHS Mental Health Charity invests £220,000 into voluntary sector to fund community mental health support

22 February 2023

Heads On, the official NHS charity for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has awarded £220,000 in grants to voluntary sector organisations to deliver suicide prevention programmes and community mental health support.

Funded by Sussex Health & Care Partnership, the Mental Health Community Grants are part of a programme across the county to improve the lives and life expectancy of people with serious mental illness and the way they are supported in their local communities. This work is part of a 5-year national programme and brings together health and social care, local authorities, emergency services, voluntary sector organisations and people with lived experience of mental ill health across Sussex.

Rachael Duke, Head of Charity for Heads On, said

" We are delighted to announce the first tranche of Mental Health Community Grants. The voluntary sector in Sussex has a rich history of reaching diverse communities across the county that can face barriers to accessing mental health care; supporting people in places and ways that feel right for them. By working in partnership, the NHS and voluntary sector  can improve the care available for people, supporting them to manage their conditions and move towards recovery on their own terms.

"The grants will test new work and develop projects in the voluntary sector with a proven track record. A range of support includes peer support work, arts-based recovery, mental health support for male travelling communities, suicide prevention training, and specialist therapy for refugees. The  funding is targeted at reaching communities in Sussex who are in most need bringing together NHS and voluntary sector support."

£220,000 has been awarded across projects in Sussex, with a further £380,000 to be allocated throughout 2023. The full list of funded projects includes:


  • Refugee Radio
    £25,000 towards support services for refugees in Hastings, including support groups and long-term specialised psychological therapies.
  • ONCA
    £20,000 towards Dresscue, a community sewing space that will provide creative and social opportunities for people accessing support through Southdown & Sussex Partnership's The Lighthouse, a specialist service for people experiencing personality disorders, emotional intensity and attachment disorders.
  • West Sussex Mind
    £25,000 towards peer-led community support for people with severe mental illness in the most deprived wards of Littlehampton, supporting people before crisis and building resilience to increase and maintain recovery.
  • Sussex Cricket Foundation
    £10,000 towards the establishment of a Sporting Memories Club in Crowborough, supporting older men whose mental health is at risk due to loneliness and isolation to build social networks through sport.
  • Friends, Families, Travellers
    £15,000 to develop and pilot a mental health support programme for male Gypsy Romany Traveller (GTR) community members who can often face barriers to accessing health care.
  • Brighton Women's Centre
    £25,000 towards delivering a programme of trauma-informed mental health provision for women in Brighton & Hove with complex histories who face barriers to engaging with services.


  • Grassroots
    £45,000 towards developing and delivering a new suicide prevention training approach for non-clinical staff working with vulnerable people within the voluntary sector across Sussex.
  • Citizens Advice
    £35,000 towards the specialist financial and debt advice service working with people being discharged from Langley Green mental health hospital and people under the care of the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment Team in Crawley, working to tackle one of the root causes of poor mental health.
  • MindOut

£20,000 to expand their preventative and crisis support for gay, bisexual and trans men aged 40+, who are experiencing suicidal distress, to Worthing and Crawley. 

Find out more about Heads On and the work that they do.