Nearly £1m of PHA funding supporting communities across Northern Ireland

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Monday, December 14th, 2020

Despite the difficulties coronavirus has caused this year, there are over 335 projects in communities across Northern Ireland that have benefited from over £975,000 investment by the Public Health Agency (PHA). 



This investment has been the result of a short-term funding programme to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of communities, with thousands of participants of all ages and backgrounds benefitting.



The short-term funding programme has awarded grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 and have enabled community and voluntary sector groups to implement small-scale programmes within communities.

The investment has provided direct support in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities and demonstrated how they could contribute to building capacity, emotional resilience and mental and emotional wellbeing. 



Fiona Teague, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing lead at PHA, said, “Given the challenging environment that we have been experiencing with the impact of COVID-19, we wanted to respond quickly to help ensure wellbeing in our communities.

“The Public Health Agency was keen to fund programmes in the communities that had a particular focus on those using one or more of the ‘Take 5’ Steps to Wellbeing’. 


Copywriter Ireland - Paul Malone, Tall Paul Marketing, Freelance Belfast Copywriter - Tall Paul Marketing Blog Writer - Copywriter NI


“These are five simple steps that we can build into our daily lives to maintain and improve wellbeing – Connect, Be active, Keep learning, Give and Take Notice.

“The breadth, creativity and ingenuity of the projects are truly inspiring, and the groups’ commitment to creating then executing their ideas in these challenging times makes this even more impressive.

“In the Southern area alone, 49 projects supported through the funding programme benefited from over £172,035.

“They included a project in the Dungannon area from Tyrone Scouts called ‘Full Esteem Ahead’, a six-week art programme designed to build the self-esteem of 11-15-year-olds, in turn helping to build their resilience and confidence.



Fiona adds, “This was expanded to offer related workshops to adult volunteers and parent groups.”

In Belfast, one of the successful projects came from Counselling All Nations (CANS) Mental and Physical Wellbeing COVID-19 Recovery Project.

It offered remote online befriending and mentoring for members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities to promote self-help skills.

Within the Northern Area, a number of excellent projects were successful, including Cookstown and Western Shores Area Network (CWSAN) and STEP.

Their project provided opportunities to improve mental and physical health and reduce isolation through face to face classes where COVID-19 restrictions allowed, whilst also ensuring those who were medically shielding could continue to view the class online.

They also supported those who have been affected by suicide as well as the pandemic by connecting people often living in a rural setting, back into their community.

‘Song for the Soul’ within the Western area provides choral singing activity for adults with a diagnosed severe and enduring mental illness.

Participants sing together and have a recorded CD and perform at community events.



Further information on future short-term funding programmes will be available directly from the PHA website.

To find out more about the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing visit


Keep up to date with the latest Northern Ireland business news, marketing tips and tricks and advice for local businesses on the Tall Paul Marketing website.


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