The University of Sheffield has collaborated with Sheffield-based mental health charity Recovery Enterprises to win an award of £56,696 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund, and an additional award of £51,801 from other grant-giving foundations.
The Big Lottery award will be used to develop a digital “recovery hub” to help people living with and recovering from mental health issues. This unique and regionally-focused resource will benefit service-users, their families and friends, clinicians, and support workers. It will make information available about existing opportunities for recovery and wellbeing in the city, and support and seed new projects such as local peer-support groups via a digital platform. Features such as discussion forums and online mentoring will enable people to interact with each other and share ideas and resources for recovery. The hub will also host a wide range of new content, including blogs, podcasts, and videos.
The University of Sheffield will continue to support development of the digital hub through partnerships with USE (University of Sheffield Enterprise) and the Storying Sheffield project, which already has a strong focus on mental health, recovery and wellbeing. Plans for the second phase of the project include working with CATCH (The Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare) to develop new digital therapeutic tools.
The Sheffield Recovery Hub will be the first initiative of its kind, and was developed in partnership with the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust (SHSC). The Hub will support the development of the new Sheffield Education Exchange (SEE), led by SHSC in partnership with Recovery Enterprises, the University of Sheffield, and Sheffield design team HumanStudio.
Professor Brendan Stone said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award from the Big Lottery. During the application process we faced huge competition from lots of other worthy organisations around the country. It’s great to see innovative work in Sheffield being recognised nationally. We look forward to delivering the project and making a difference in the city.”
Recovery Enterprises currently works to improve the lives of people with mental illness by supporting them to set up their own businesses, volunteer, and pursue activities such as gardening and the creative arts.