Fortitude Wellbeing is one of the latest groups to receive a grant from the Hinkley Point C Community Fund. With their work on improving mental health and wellbeing having even greater significance during the latest lockdown, the group, which is based in Taunton, is focused on providing opportunities based in the natural world to help people rediscover a sense of purpose and enjoyment in their lives.
Using a grant of almost £5,000 from the Fund, the organisation has been able to deliver a new project based around the beneficial impact of woodworking on mental health. The latest initiative will bring young people and their families closer together, helping them to connect and develop coping strategies through woodworking and craft workshops.
Val Bishop, Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, who manage the Fund, said: “Fortitude’s original application for funding was for a practical craft-based and woodworking project, particularly promoting wellbeing for young people in Bridgwater and Minehead, to rekindle connections between young people struggling with their mental health and their families. Due to the pandemic, which happened shortly after we awarded the grant, the planned face-to-face workshops could no longer take place and the project model was adapted so that it was COVID-19 compliant.”
Olly Clabburn, Director at Fortitude added: “Since May of last year we’ve developed DIY kits that have been posted to families across Sedgemoor and Somerset West & Taunton. Included in each kit is everything the families need to create something special. We pre-cut, drill and package everything by hand and include a set of instructions for children to follow during the build. To date, we’ve posted bird boxes, tool caddies and flower press kits to more than 50 families in Somerset.
“The project has been a great success so far, and we have a few more kits that we’re in the process of developing ahead of this spring. We’ve received feedback from the families and young people who’ve told us that spending time together assembling the kits and taking part in a practical task together, especially one that reminds parents of their own childhood, has opened up communication and helped them to reconnect. We’ve been told that the kits are really appreciated as it offers an activity away from technology and screens, especially during the pandemic and lockdown, which has had a negative impact on the mental health of so many.”
Andrew Cockcroft, Senior Community Relations Manager at Hinkley Point C, said: “Mental health has always been important but as we all continue to cope with the challenges of the pandemic it has an even greater significance. We are extremely proud to be able to support such a valuable and unique project that is helping to support those that are struggling.”
Fortitude Wellbeing have also connected with other community groups in the area, including Minehead EYE (a youth and community social enterprise based in Minehead), Men in Sheds TAUNTON (MIST), and Home-Start West Somerset, demonstrating their connection with the wider community. As a result of developing these kits with the funding from the HPC Community Fund grant, Fortitude also recently completed a project funded by The National Lottery in which memory box kits specifically for grandparents and grandchildren were sent to families across the South West.
The HPC Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.
If you run a local community project in Somerset and would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund please call Somerset Community Foundation on: 01749 344949 or visit: www.hpcfunds.co.uk
Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is a charity that helps passionate people in Somerset change the world on their doorstep by funding local charities and inspiring local giving and philanthropy. They aim to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. They provide rewarding and impactful ways for donors to give through them, to the causes and places they care about most. Together, they fund amazing organisations and the passionate people that change lives every day.
Since SCF were founded in 2002 they’ve awarded more than £10 million in funding, changing thousands of lives across Somerset.