Thrive LDN’s new Right to Thrive grants scheme has awarded more than £170,000 to 24 community and grassroots projects across London to help support the mental health and wellbeing of those who are experiencing higher levels of unfair treatment and discrimination.

The projects range from supporting mental health outcomes for refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, providing a safe space for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women, as well as establishing a community choir, creative activities, community rugby for young black men, and expanding spaces for LGBT Southeast Asians. All projects aim to improve the wellbeing of people from intersectional and marginalised communities in London.

The Right to Thrive grants scheme from Thrive LDN is making additional support available to communities and groups who are particularly vulnerable to experiencing poor mental health.

The scheme follows the Keeping Londoners Well study, commissioned to explore the lives of a group of diverse Londoners. The research highlighted many examples and stories of difficulties or adversity that Londoners had faced, often linked to their specific experiences or identities – for example mental health issues they faced, sexual identity, ethnicity or disability. The study emphasised the need to broaden opportunities and promote acceptance and inclusion.

Jacqui Dyer, Mental Health Equalities Advisor for NHS England and co-lead of Thrive LDN, said: “The Right to Thrive initiative demonstrates our collective commitment to create a healthier, fairer city, where nobody’s mental health and wellbeing suffers because of who they are or where they live. We know that individuals and communities with multiple backgrounds, particularly minority groups, are more likely to experience unfair treatment which negatively impacts their mental health and wellbeing. The Right to Thrive grants scheme is an ongoing commitment to celebrate and protect diversity in London, especially for those from intersectional communities who are at a higher risk of unfair treatment.”

Philip Glanville, the Mayor of Hackney and co-lead of Thrive LDN, said: “Every Londoner deserves an equal opportunity for good mental health. Everyone involved in Thrive LDN is committed to finding ways of connecting all Londoners with opportunities to advance equality. Our research and community engagement highlighted that some intersectional communities recognised that they have been ‘treated unfairly’ but do not always realise that means they have been discriminated against. The Right to Thrive grants scheme provides an opportunity to tackle stigma and ensure that people from a wide range of backgrounds and communities have more support available for them.”

Through a range of grants of up to £10,000, the initiative will support 24 local grassroot providers to develop projects and activities for intersectional and marginalised communities over the next two years. This will be through a range of activities that raise awareness of challenges, addressing a specific challenge, or facilitating activities that have been demonstrated to support wellbeing, for example volunteering, sports, accessing green space, or increasing cultural activities.

Many of the successful projects typically find it difficult to access other forms of grant funding. The Right to Thrive initiative deliberately offered a more simplified and accessible application process, with three tiers of grants up to £10,000. All projects will adapt and align with coronavirus guidance.

Mayor Glanville added that the scheme was a “small but positive step” to offer targeted support for Londoners who are experiencing exclusion, discrimination and bias because of their intersectional identity.

Explore more information about the Right to Thrive grants scheme.