£1 million for community-based mental health and wellbeing in Scotland, with grants of up to five years

By 11th October 2021 News

35 groups are to receive grants as part of Corra Foundation’s Henry Duncan Grants. The grants were redesigned in response to feedback from charities and relaunched in 2020.

Work being funded includes mental health workshops, counselling, and therapeutic activities such as arts, crafts and cooking aimed at reducing isolation and support positive mental health.

Of the £1m given through Henry Duncan Grants this year, over a third (£330,000) is for groups led by[1] Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. The decision to ringfence a proportion of the funding came from recognition of historic inequity in funding, and of the particular impact of racial injustice on mental health and wellbeing.

Research has shown that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are disadvantaged when accessing mental health and well-being services, including the quality of care they receive. They have also been among those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This is due to racism, structural and institutional inequalities, fear, stigma and discrimination.

Carolyn Sawers, Acting CEO of Corra said:

‘Henry Duncan Grants plays a supporting role in the work of grassroots charities through £1m a year across a wide range of groups. The main message we heard from charities was that they wanted funding that comes with trust and time. That’s why Henry Duncan Grants are now for up to five years, and are unrestricted wherever possible

It’s a privilege for Corra to see close at hand the enormous difference grassroots charities make every day to the lives of people throughout Scotland.’

A full list of Henry Duncan Grants funded organisations is available here.


[1] Part of the criteria for these grants were that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people make up at least 70% of an organisation’s board and 50% of their staff team.

Notes to editor:

  1. Corra Foundation exists to make a difference to the lives of people and communities. It works with others to encourage positive change, opportunity, fairness and growth of aspirations which improve quality of life. Corra wants to see a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives. In 2020 Corra launched a ten-year strategy. It is long term because making a different on the big challenges will take time. At its heart is the strong belief that when people find their voice, they unlock the power to make change happen. You can read the full strategy here: https://www.corra.scot/corra-strategy-2020-2030/
  2. Corra Foundation has over 35 years’ experience as one of Scotland’s leading grant-makers, distributing more than £159m through nearly 16,000 grants to charities.
  3. Each year Henry Duncan Grants provides around £1m to support grass roots charities. A proportion of this is for micro grants.
  4. Corra recognises the importance of both project and core grants. While project grants are for up to three years, core grants are available for up to five years. This reflects the consistent message from charities that longer-term funding for core costs is important for sustainability and planning.
  5. Groups can only hold one grant at a time. This means that if a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic charity successfully applies for a three-year project grant this year, they will be able to apply again to Henry Duncan Grants in 2024 (if they are eligible). In 2024 the theme will be ‘supporting people experiencing inequality or discrimination’.
  6. Henry Duncan Grants focuses on a different theme each year (details available here https://www.corra.scot/grants/henry-duncan-grants/).
  7. It is estimated that around one in three people in Scotland experience mental ill health in any year. The health, economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to increase people’s need for mental health support. The impacts aren’t spread equally across the population, with adults living in areas of poverty approximately twice as likely to have common mental health problems.
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