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Bristol City Council as part of its budget proposals for 2016/17 agreed to fund Community Access Support Service (CASS), based at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, in Barton Hill, Bristol, to extend its work with vooluntary and community groups with a focus on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children, young people and families (CYPF).   The support is a programme of early intervention and prevention activities through a small grant fund, aimed at children of primary school age and their families to be delivered by voluntary and community groups.

The fund will help meet the broad objectives of the Bristol Emotional Health and Wellbeing Transformation Plan for Children and Young People (BEHWTP) and guidance set out in “Future in Mind” .  One in ten children aged five to sixteen years have a diagnosable mental health problem.  The results of a recent Bristol City Council and NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group joint survey showed that the top emotional health and wellbeing issues identified in schools were sexuality, eating disorders/body image and mental illness within the family.

The CASS grant will support activities delivered by groups to children, young people and families in communities who are at risk of poor mental health to:

•    raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and to address the stigma associated with poor mental health.
•    improve access to information, support and services.
•    promote resilience, prevention and early intervention (promote self-help, stop things getting worse and ensure help and support is achieved earlier).

The programme will be delivered by CASS between 1 September 2016 - 31 August 2017.

Activities that encourage prevention and early intervention in relation to mental health with children and families of primary school age will be priortised. The activity should focus on the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people, though it can be within the family context as a whole.

Through consultation with stakeholders it has been identified that music, art, drama (expressive activities) as well as sports and outdoor activities can be used to help CYP to learn to express their feelings and manage anxiety. However, a wide variety of community-based activities will be considered. Priority will be given to applications that target recognised vulnerable groups or areas identified as being at higher risk of poor mental health. Innovative and creative activities as well as “proven” interventions/activities which have worked elsewhere (either within Bristol, regionally or even nationally) will be valued as learning for the City and this programme.  

Applications will be considered on a bi-monthly basis with the following deadlines:  

-10th January 2017
-10th March 2017
-10th May 2017
-10th July 2017 (pending availability of funds)
The fund guidelines and application form can be downloaded from: or collected from Wellspring Heathy Living Centre, Beam Street, Bristol BS5 9QY.  For more information or support contact or call 0117 304 1400 asking for CASS team.