GROUPS in Dorset are to receive a £50,000 boost to improve the wellbeing of the county’s residents through nature, art and movement.
The year-long Nature, Art and Wellbeing Community Fund opened this week and will provide grants to projects which tackle inequalities, enable groups to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of their local area and increase engagement with nature, art and movement.
The fund particularly encourages projects which improve the wellbeing of people living with long-term health conditions, learning disabilities, low mental health, long-term unemployment, carer roles, accessing day opportunities, or who are from marginalised backgrounds.
Jo March, The Arts Developments Company’s Art, Health and Wellbeing Lead, said: “We hope this funding will give a boost to groups to continue delivering their valued support and activities within their local communities as we all recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
The programme has been made available through a partnership between Stepping into Nature, Dorset Council, The Arts Development Company, Active Dorset and Help & Care with support from The National Lottery Community Fund, National Academy of Social Prescribing Thriving Communities Fund and Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
All applicants will also be offered fully funded training on Diversity and Inclusivity, Dementia Awareness and Mental Health Awareness.
Julie Hammon, Stepping into Nature Project co-ordinator, said: “It is fantastic to work in collaboration with organisations across Dorset and this new partnership has enabled us to put together this amazing opportunity.”
The programme encourages projects to apply which up-skill communities, provide inclusive activities, remove barriers to enjoy outdoor spaces and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Examples include volunteer training, developing new or improving existing arts, nature and physical based activities, purchasing materials like tools, seeds or art materials or contracting specialist help to increase enjoyment of a green space.
The fund is open to voluntary, community, faith, social enterprise and the private sector in Dorset Council or Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas and will close on March 14 2022.
Projects will be assessed by a local panel to ensure they provide value for money, a legacy from the work, and meet at least one of the programmes outcomes.
To find out more about the Nature, Art, Wellbeing Community Fund visit www.dorsetaonb.org.uk/resource/nature-art-and-wellbeing-community-fund