Mona Lisa smile – money available to help improve health through art

Voluntary groups and organisations can apply for grants to help improve people’s health through art.

The funding, commissioned by Trafford Council, aims to support local activities which focus on arts, culture and heritage. Trafford voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) organisations can apply for grants of up to £3,000 to develop and deliver of activities for community spaces, including youth centres and libraries.

It’s hoped the grants will help fostering a sense of local pride and belonging, through investment in activities that enhance physical, cultural and social ties and amenities.

Nathan Atkinson, Trafford Council’s Corporate Director for Adults and Wellbeing, said:

“Engaging with the arts can have powerful and lasting effects on health. Art engagement can improve wellbeing and protect against a range of mental health conditions, help manage mental ill-health and support recovery. It can help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient.

“The arts can also help at a community level. As we age, we might face isolation through a loss of social connections, such as friends, family, and workplace – as well as other limitations such as decreasing physical health.

“Engaging in the arts, social activities and interaction within our communities can help with major challenges, such as ageing and loneliness.”

To be awarded funding, groups will need to demonstrate how their application will increase pride in Trafford, help to reduce loneliness and social isolation, improve residents’ health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and celebrate diversity.

This project has been made possible thanks to Greater Manchester Combined Authority securing funding to deliver UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) projects, which forms part of the Government’s wider Levelling Up agenda.

The UKSPF has been designed by government to replace the former EU structural funds, with GMCA named as the lead authority for administering the fund in the city-region.

A total of £40.3m will be invested in Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities to improve pride in place, support creating space for businesses in city and town centres as well as increasing investment to create attractive and exciting high streets, green space, arts and heritage events across Greater Manchester.

For more information on the UKSPF go to the government website.

Locally, the fund is administered by Trafford Collective the organisation which supports VCFSE organisations within Trafford.

For more information on the application process, including how to apply, please visit the Trafford Collective website.

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