Projects in focus

Here you can find out about some of the fantastic projects delivered by organisations that have received funding from the Bupa UK .  You can also download our Highlights Report 2015/17, which lists grants awarded through our first three funding programmes.

Deafblind Scotland: Raising Expectations

Funding Programme: Healthy Futures 2017
Grant awarded: £21,275

Many young people with dual sensory impairment do not receive support tailored to their individual needs at the time of diagnosis.  This can often lead to social isolation and a loss of independence. As a result, mental distress is estimated to be three times more common among people with deafblindness than within the general adult population. 

Deafblind Scotland’s Raising Expectations project provides peer coaching for young people with dual sensory impairment. The project focuses on helping young deafblind adults to develop practical coping strategies and on encouraging them to work towards their personal ambitions and aspirations.  

As part of the project, Deafblind Scotland is also developing a coping toolkit to help young people come to terms with the co-morbidity of deafness and blindness and to improve understanding of their needs among family members, friends and the wider community.

“Raising young people’s expectations of what they can achieve in their daily lives through the example and encouragement of peers who have walked in the same shoes will inspire dual sensory impaired young adults to make positive and informed choices about their future.”  John Whitfield, Participation Manager, Deafblind Scotland.

Sinfonia Viva: Sing Viva! The Derbyshire Carers' Choir

Funding Programme: Caring for Carers 2016
Grant awarded: £14,950

Sinfonia Viva created a warm, welcoming and supportive community choir for carers in Derbyshire.  Named Sing Viva, the choir now has a core of around 30 regular members.  In its first year Sing Viva gave sparkling performances on BBC Radio Derby, at an event in Manchester Cathedral and in front of a crowd of 15,000 people at an open concert at Darley Park in Derby.  

Sinfonia Viva used a short version of the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Health Scale to support project evaluation.  Although small scale, the results indicated a +9 improvement in measures relating to health and wellbeing, which was reflected in comments from choir members:

On physical health:  ‘I didn't realise how physical singing can be - literally warming you up - opening air ways - making better posture and feeling good.’
On emotional health and wellbeing:  ‘I suffer from an overstretched and very active stress system. Singing is a life line for me.’
And on self-confidence, taking timeout and companionship:  ‘It has given me time to do something for myself and forget about my caring role for a short while - a breathing space. Helped me to feel more confident in myself and more positive. It has been good to share time with others who understand how I feel and who are going through similar experiences and dealing with similar problems.'

Chequers Community Kitchen: Mood Food Project

Funding Programme: Mid-life Mental Health 2016
Grant: £12,820

Chequers Kitchen Cookery School’s mission is to teach people to cook, eat well, and develop a healthy relationship with food. The Mood Food project developed and delivered classes for people who live with mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. The classes allow everyone to cook healthy, appetising dishes encouraging a diet that supports improved mental health in a fun and friendly environment. 

The Mood Food project has been supporting people with a wide range of conditions, like Elaine.  When Elaine first came to Mood Food with a carer she had suffered a psychotic episode and was still affected by her medication. She was uncommunicative and withdrawn.  Over the course of several weeks she began to interact with other participants and steadily became more confident and sociable.  Elaine now has a part time job as a carer and is well on the road to recovery. She gained a great deal of confidence from the sessions and attributed some of her recovery to her attendance.

Another participant explains why they enjoyed participating in the Mood Food project:"I suffer from mental illness and anxiety.  When you suffer with a mental health problem, the last thing you want to do is to cook. To see someone laughing when they are cooking is quite special.  The best thing I like about the project is the way it beings community together."