tastelife is a national charity which offers information and resources to sufferers and carers of people with eating disorders, and works with professionals to encourage best practice in dealing with the issues.  It publishes free brochures to help sufferers and carers, and offers a useful website with relevant information.  The main thrust of the work is to run specialist community courses for sufferers, friends and family together, which have been accredited by the University of Brighton Health Sciences.  The course uses interactive methods, cognitive behavioural therapy, and motivational methods to encourage self-help and support people to make small steps to a more positive future.  It provides participants with a toolkit of support to help them overcome their eating issues, improve their physical and mental health, and starting enjoying life again.

In its October meeting, the Foundation has offered tastelife a contribution of £5,000 towards the costs of training volunteers to run the courses.  With more volunteers able to run and lead courses in new areas of the UK, tastelife will be able to deliver more courses and assist at least 200 people over the coming year.


Mental Health Advocacy

This charity is based in Hull and is a user-led service with a focus on people with mental health issues.  Overall aims are to provide support, information and assistance, through the provision of a high quality independent advocacy service.  Outcomes of the work are that beneficiaries will become more empowered, with the tools to self-advocate in future, and that they will have increased confidence and reduced isolation.

In June 2017, the Allen Lane Foundation made a grant totalling £3,412 to Mental Health Advocacy.  The funding is towards core costs of the charity – and will specifically fund the office rent, utility bills and cover insurance.

Good Morning Down

Good Morning Down offers a free caring/befriending telephone support service to people in Downpatrick, in County Down, Northern Ireland.  A registered charity, it has been supporting people for over ten years.  It targets people living in rural isolation, the elderly, people who are lonely, and others who have mental health issues, or who are bereaved.  Good Morning Down provides a regular phone call with people to lessen their isolation, and currently makes more than 300 calls each week.

The Foundation has made a two-year grant to the charity – £3,000 per annum, from February 2017.  The grant is towards salary costs of the part-time workers.



Plot 22

Plot 22 is a registered charity running a community allotment which “offers a place of relaxation, recovery, acceptance and belonging to people who may be experiencing difficulty in their lives”.  It aims to improve people’s wellbeing through involvement in therapeutic gardening; working together with others on positive, healthy and outdoor projects; and growing, cooking, and eating together.  Based in Hove, Plot 22 offers various projects, aimed at vulnerable groups of people.

In February 2017, the Foundation has contributed £3,000 towards Plot 22 developing new regular sessions.  The charity will work in partnership with specialist agencies to start groups working with female survivors of sexual violence; and with people living with dementia.  Both groups aim to offer improved physical, mental and emotional well-being, and provide one-to-one support in a safe and nurturing environment.



Monmouthshire Self Help & Friendship Group

Formed in 2005, the Monmouthshire Self Help & Friendship Group is a small group set up by people who had come together at a course run by a local Mind organisation.  The group members found it was beneficial to continue to meet and provide peer support on a longer-term basis, and numbers started to increase.  Now meeting weekly, alternating between day-time and evening sessions, there are 17 members.

The Foundation has made a grant of £1,500 to the Group in February 2017.  This will contribute towards general running costs, including room hire and transport to enable members to attend.  The overall outcomes of the Group are to increase access to those in need in remote locations, assist more people to live independently and back into work, and to continue to provide support to people with mental health issues.


Positive Approach Charity

The aim of Positive Approach Charity is to offer long-term support and care for people with mental health issues from its base in Blandford Forum in Dorset.  It offers one-to-one assistance and a daily support group with various activities and clubs on offer.  More than 70 people each week benefit.  The Charity helps to improve wellbeing and mental health recovery.  It reduces people’s isolation by providing a friendly and accepting setting where people can meet, have a cuppa and a chat, and feel part of a positive community.

The Foundation is contributing £3,000 per annum for two years from October 2016.  The grant will go towards the salaries of workers supporting the group.


Bipolar Scotland

Previously known as Manic Depression Fellowship Scotland, this charity is based in Paisley and works across Scotland.  It is a user-led membership organisation, and supports a network of 12 self-help groups, which benefit around 300 people throughout the country.  Bipolar Scotland provides information, advice, support and education to people with bipolar disorder, their friends, relatives, carers and professionals.  It also encourages research into the condition, and helps to reduce stigma by improving knowledge and understanding.

Bipolar Scotland was successful in a request for £2,450 to fund a programme of self-management training courses.  These will be run in different areas across Scotland, and aim to teach people how to recognise personal triggers and signs of episodes, and skills to manage these effectively at an early stage, thereby preventing a more serious escalation.  The funding was awarded in October 2016.



PANDAS Foundation

This charity works nationally to increase and improve the range of support available to women suffering from pre- and post-natal depression.  It has developed a network of peer support groups across the UK, and is continually helping new groups to set up and become established.  PANDAS also offers resources and information, including a useful website, telephone helpline, as well as online support groups and forums.  The charity estimates it supports more than 5,000 women each year, and numbers are increasing.

The Allen Lane Foundation awarded £6,000 in October 2016 towards the charity’s general running costs.


Byker Community Centre

This charity offers a multitude of activities and services for people living in the Byker area of Newcastle.  It works with and directly supports a number of the beneficiary groups which the Foundation funds. It offers a weekly lunch club for older people; runs two LGBT groups, one weekly and one monthly; and runs a weekly group in partnership with another organisation for women as part of their parole conditions, or for women at risk of offending.  In addition, the Centre’s activities help asylum seekers and refugees, Gypsies and Travellers, and people with mental health conditions.

In October 2016, the Foundation agreed a £5,000 grant towards the core costs of running the Centre.  Over the year, the charity aims to develop a fortnightly group working with female sex workers, and increase the current lunchtime provision for older people into a full day’s session.

About Time

About Time is a volunteer-led organisation, based at a church venue in Plymouth.  It supports asylum seekers and refugees and runs an open drop-in twice a week.  The sessions provide a safe friendly meeting place and opportunities for people to learn and practice English.  About Time runs a time-bank which is open to the local community, where anyone can get involved, share their skills and knowledge, experience and goodwill.

The Foundation has contributed £3,032 to About Time in October 2016.  This will fund the costs of providing English classes at one of the drop-ins each week, and enable around 50 people over the year to benefit.