Westminster charity workers to get mental health support
Workers in two Westminster charities will receive specialist mental health support after a report revealed the capital’s voluntary sector staff are under growing pressure.
Hundreds of staff will receive the care after City Bridge Trust, the City Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded over £79,000 to six London charities for the projects.
The grants follow a London Funders’ study which found a critical need to protect the mental health of charity staff and volunteers.
It said community-facing workers, such as youth counsellors and advice workers, are experiencing increased pressure and demand, leading to concerns about their resilience.
Fine Cell Work in Victoria, which makes handmade products in UK prisons, received £9,756. Its needlework sessions boost the self-worth of prisoners, instill self-discipline, foster hope and encourage them to lead independent, crime-free lives. The grant will provide safeguarding and mental health support to staff through counselling and mental health workshops.
And The Listening Place, in Pimlico, which supports suicidal people through face-to-face, confidential support got £5,015. Funding will deliver weekly personalised counselling support sessions for staff, focussing on self-care and self-compassion.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“Charity staff provide an essential service to people right across the UK, but they can often feel overwhelmed.
“Dealing with such complex emotional issues can result in anxiety, depression, burnout, and even secondary trauma.
“Charities are the beating heart of our communities. We want to help them work as effectively as possible and support their staff to work effectively without being personally compromised.”
Victoria Gillies Executive Director of Fine Cell Work, which is based in Westminster, said:
“We work with offenders and ex-prisoners and the need to support front-line staff to cope with their workload has become increasingly apparent.
“This funding will help us build the resilience of our staff so we can work better as a team to be more effective in supporting our service users.”
City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.
The Trust has awarded around 8,000 grants totalling over £400 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.
Image Wandsworth Priosn (C) Derek Harper via Wikipedia.