Mental Health Foundation and Our Time jointly awarded Big Lottery Funding for a project in Southwark to support families affected by mental health problems

The Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with Our Time, a charity which supports children and families affected by parental mental illness, has been awarded £260,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to fund the delivery of family workshops called KidsTime Southwark.  

The funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will enable Our Time to train a project team from the Foundation to equip them with the skills and knowledge to set up KidsTime Workshops for families where at least one parent has a diagnosed mental health problem across Southwark (An estimated 3.7 million young people in the UK according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, 2018).  These sessions have never been run on such a scale before.

The KidsTime Southwark Project will run nine groups, each consisting of 12 fortnightly workshops over the course of six months. These workshops allow families to come together and have open conversations about the impact of mental health on their lives. A drama session also takes place for children and young people to express themselves and help them to meet others with similar experiences. The families then eat together to end the evening with a sense of positive support and connection.

Dympna Cunnane of Our Time, said: “Our Time welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, supported by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, to pilot these workshops for families where there is a parent with a mental health condition, across Southwark.  Our Time’s approach is unique in working with the whole family to overcome the challenges of raising children and having a mental health problem. We know from research that parental mental illness presents a serious risk to the mental health of their children. We also know that from 20 years of working with these families that relatively simple, early help makes a huge difference to the life chances of the children.”

Jane Caro from the Mental Health Foundation said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in partnership with Our Time and are grateful to the players of the National Lottery who have made this possible.  Families, where a parent has a mental health diagnosis, are particularly important to support. We value the experience that Our Time will bring to this project. We hope to learn lessons from the KidsTime Southwark project to extend this important work elsewhere in the country.”

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Media contacts

If you would like to know more or are interested in interviewing our team or a young person affected by parental mental illness, please get in touch with the communications team:

  • Fran Edwards – Mental Health Foundation – Fedwards@mentalhealth.org.uk or on 07786 437249
  • Dympna Cunnane – CEO Our Time – 07800 976 778
  • Christina Clarke – Communications Lead Our Time – 07939 563 756
  • Email – media@ourtime.org.uk