Women's Mental Health Peer Support Programme: Enabling Provision for Women

Status:  Open to applications

Application Deadline: 15 October 2018


Grants are available to voluntary organisations in England and Wales to fund community-based, peer-support initiatives that are targeted at women experiencing multiple disadvantages and with, or at risk of developing, mental-health problems.

Fund Value: £ 1,300,000
Maximum Value: £ 50,000
Minimum Value: £ 5,000
Value Notes

Two strands of funding are available:

Women’s Peer Support Hub Grants:

  • Up to £50,000 is available to deliver five Women’s Peer Support Hubs, alongside direct or indirect peer support delivery.
  • Up to £25,000 is available to solely deliver the Women’s Peer Support Hub capacity building element (without the direct or indirect peer support element).

Peer Support Delivery Grants:

  • Thirty large grants of £5,000-£25,000 are available for peer-support initiatives.
  • Fifty small grants of £5,000-£10,000 are available for peer-support initiatives.

The total amount applied for (across both the Hub and Peer Support Delivery strands) is expected to be less than 25% of the applying organisation's annual turnover.

Projects will be funded for a maximum of one year from 1 February 2019.


Extended Description

Launched in 2018 the £1.3 million Women’s Mental Health Peer Support grants programme is administered by Mind, the mental health charity, in partnership with Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, with funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Welsh Government as part of the ‘Tampon Tax Fund’.

In this context 'peer support' refers to people who have similar experiences of something difficult, such as mental-health issues, trauma, or other forms of social or emotional distress, coming together to support each other. The programme builds on Mind's previous peer-support work and on research into existing services for disadvantaged women across England and Wales that was undertaken by Agenda, in collaboration with AVA (Against Violence and Abuse). This research highlighted the significant gaps in available mental-health support that responds to women’s needs and recognises the trauma many women have experienced in their lives. It also found that women who have experienced such traumas particularly valued emotional support from other women when accessing services.

The programme aims to respond to these findings by funding effective mental-health-peer-support activity that is delivered for and by women with experience of multiple disadvantage. Multiple disadvantage is defined as women who experience several issues such as mental health problems, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, abuse and violence, offending, and family breakdown. They may have one main need complicated by other factors (eg race, sexuality, age or disability) or lower level issues, which together combine to constitute multiple disadvantage.

Grants are available to support a broad range of voluntary, predominantly women’s sector, organisations in England and Wales across two funding strands:

  • Women’s Peer Support Hub Grants: to fund five 'Hubs', four in England and one in Wales, to improve the capacity of individuals and community-based organisations to lead effective peer-support activity delivered for and by women.
  • Peer Support Delivery Grants: to fund 80 community-based, peer-support initiatives facilitated by the organisations and led by and for women with experience of multiple disadvantage.

Latest Information

The deadline for applications is 15 October 2018 (5pm).                                              

Key Criteria

Registered charities, Community Interest Companies (CIC), Charitable Incorporate Organisations (CIO), or Company Limited by Guarantee in England or Wales are eligible to apply.

Partnerships, where the lead partner who will hold and administer the funds is a registered charity, Community Interest Company (CIC), Charitable Incorporate Organisation (CIO), or a Company Limited by Guarantee based in England or Wales may also apply.

The following addtional eligibility criteria applies to each funding strand:

Peer support hub grants, applicants should:

  • Be a women’s organisation (ie an organisation whose primary purpose is to work for the benefit of women and girls as reflected in its governing documents).
  • Have a track record of engaging with women with experience of multiple disadvantage.
  • Have a track record of partnership working across a geographical area or community of interest.
  • Be committed to supporting peer-leadership opportunities for women and have ideas for how to engage women with lived experience across all elements of the Hub's work.
  • Have and will provide the skills and resources to plan, develop, deliver and manage the project against the intended outcomes.

Peer support delivery grants, applicants should:

  • Have a track record of engaging with women with experience of multiple disadvantage.
  • Be able to demonstrate the skills needed to facilitate effective peer support eg an understanding of the organisational support needed for an effective peer support project; an understanding of some of the challenges that might arise in the delivery of peer support and how these can be addressed.
  • Involve women experiencing, or at risk of developing, mental health problems in the design, delivery and management of the project.
  • Have and will provide the skills and resources to plan, develop, deliver and manage the project against the intended outcomes.
  • Be a women’s organisation, or be partners with one or more women's organisations within the proposed project (not essential but desirable).

Eligible Expenditure

Grants are available to support voluntary organisations with costs associated with the facilitation and delivery of community-based, mental-health peer support activities that will benefit women experiencing multiple disadvantage in England and Wales.

Funding can support activities to establish:

  • Women’s peer support hubs that will:
    • Convene and deliver, in partnership with Mind, four capacity building workshops for grantees in strand one of the programme and others to grow local expertise in delivering women’s mental health peer support.
    • Establish and support networks of women’s peer support practice.
    • Become centres of expertise and knowledge on women’s peer support.
    • Promote the value of women-led peer support to service providers and commissioners.
    • Facilitate women-led peer support directly or indirectly eg by holding a community chest for independent user-led initiatives (providing this element is not compulsory for applicants).
  • Peer support delivery initiatives based in the community, which will be facilitated by the applying organisations and led by and for women with experience of multiple disadvantage.

Eligible costs are:

  • Staffing costs, including salaries of project workers employed solely for the project, pension and National Insurance contributions; staff and volunteer recruitment costs; fees for sessional workers; expenses for volunteers.
  • Direct project costs, including travel expenses for staff and volunteers; staff and volunteer training; venue hire and meeting costs; other expenses relating to the activity and that will enable women to participate, for example, materials, refreshments, crèche and childcare costs.
  • Communication costs, including market research, advertising, print costs for promotion/marketing; specific communications staffing expenses.
  • Core costs, including a proportion of costs related to running the project such as management costs, building costs and office costs.
  • Capital costs, including office equipment necessary for project delivery. (Costs exceeding 10% of total project cost will have to be justified as to why they are vital to the successful delivery of the project.)


The following will not be funded:

  • Requests for more than 25% of the applying organisation’s annual turnover.
  • Retrospective costs.
  • Costs not linked directly to the project (eg contributions to the organisation's reserves, contributions to general appeals, funding shortfalls on existing projects, loan repayments, endowments).
  • Staff time to develop and write applications and general fundraising work.
  • Redundancy costs.
  • Minibuses.
  • Routine repairs and maintenance.
  • General improvements to public areas, unless essential to the project.
  • Personal equipment not essential to project delivery.
  • Maintenance and office equipment not essential to project delivery.
  • Activities for which there is a statutory responsibility to provide funding.

Application Procedure

Applicants should complete and submit the relevant application forms available through Mind's online application portal.

Organisations applying for funding for 'Hubs' that will facilitate direct or indirect peer support activity as well as providing the capacity building element must complete one small or large Peer Support Delivery application form as well as the 'Hubs' application form.

For further information contact Mind.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
Mind's Investment Team
15-19 Broadway 
E15 4BQ
020 8519 2122