Groups supporting Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlet communities can now apply for grants of £5,000 to £100,000.

A fund of £1.8million has been launched by East London NHS Trust (ELFT) to help organisations supporting communities served by the trust.

The programme, launched on January 17, aims to fund voluntary sector led projects that reach communities experiencing challenges and exclusion resulting in inequalities in mental health.

Mental health voluntary sector organisations may also apply for funding if they are at direct risk of closing or losing capacity as a result of the pandemic.

Dr Mohit Venkataram, director of commercial development at the trust, said: We are fortunate to have a dynamic, creative, varied, energetic and enthusiastic local VCSE – but many of these organisations have been hit hard by the pandemic and need support to continue their incredible work."

Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) groups of all sizes can apply for grants as long as they work in City and Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.

The programme is being managed by the trust’s social enterprise Compass Wellbeing.

Applications will be reviewed on February 6 and Compass Wellbeing will share grant decisions to all applicants on February 11.

The funding is project-based so applicants will also be asked to indicate a population group or priority area their work most closely aligns to from a list of themes.

These include children and young people (CYP) community and crisis, young adults (18-25) and adult and older adult mental health in the community.

Richard Fradgley, director of integrated care at the trust, said: "VCSE networks are often the beating heart of the communities we serve.

"We are launching this fund to help them continue giving voices to people that the health and social care system has sometimes struggled to hear.”

To find out more visit