Eating Distress North East

Eating Distress North East works to support anyone affected by eating distress – a term used to include people with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia for instance, and all those with anxieties around, or difficult relationships with, food and eating. Based in central Newcastle, it’s services are open to anyone from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham. It aims to provide high quality services to individuals and their family members/carers, and to facilitate understanding and early identification. It offers one-to-one support as well as counselling; fortnightly health and wellbeing workshops; a monthly friends and family support group; mindfulness courses; training courses for carers; and provides training and educational talks in schools, colleges and workplaces to raise awareness and upskill others. Around 3,000 people benefit per annum.

At the October 2021 Trustee meeting, a two-year grant of £5,000pa was agreed for Eating Distress North East. The grant will contribute towards general running costs of the charity. Expected outcomes are that: the charity will ensure early help and intervention for individuals, and achieve better understanding of and improved mental health; it will help people develop coping strategies and help them move on with their lives from a critical time; and that individuals will have reduced loneliness and social isolation as a result of the charity’s support.

Larne Wellbeing Hub

Larne Wellbeing Hub offers various services for anyone in the local community who is affected by a range of issues including mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, and addiction or substance misuse, suicide, or self-harm.  Free counselling is available, along with drop-ins, wellbeing ‘check-ins’, mentoring, a listening ear service and one-to-one emotional support.  Services largely moved online due to Covid, with new online support groups offered in addition.

At the June 2021 Trustee meeting, the Foundation awarded £3,000 to the Larne Wellbeing Hub. This will contribute towards salary costs. The charity aims to be able to open the centre for more hours each week, increasing the capacity of appointments with people.  Outcomes of its work overall are to address loneliness issues and offer a space for people to be heard; to increase coping skills and resilience; and to lower the mental distress of users of the service.

African Women Impact

African Women Impact works with BME communities, especially women and young people, in order to give advice, information and support on a range of issues including education, health, domestic violence, immigration, employment etc.  It is based in Walsall in the West Midlands.  The charity runs various projects that aim to bring women together for peer support, provide positive and fun activities, and to empower women to make positive changes in their lives. Around 185 women and young people benefit from its work.

The Foundation awarded a grant of £2,000 in June 2021 to African Women Impact.  The grant is towards costs of a project that supports refugee women with mental health issues.  Around 25 women will be supported through a programme that meets twice-weekly and will be facilitated by a mental health sessional worker.  It will include health and wellbeing workshops, peer support, counselling and casework and crisis intervention where necessary.  Outcomes of the programme are that beneficiaries will be able to make sense of their experiences, drawing on their resilience and strength to recover and start rebuilding their lives; and that they will feel less socially isolated and lonely.



ACCEPT is a charity in Leicestershire that was set up to provide support to people with severe and enduring mental health issues.  It established a network of friendship groups across the region, and more recently its focus has been on developing a therapeutic gardening project based in the town of Barwell.  People are referred to ACCEPT, and can take part in various activities including weekly wellbeing gardening days, mindfulness-based courses, bereavement friendship groups and teambuilding workshops.  Around 70 people benefit each year.

The Foundation has agreed a grant of £6,000 at its February 2021 meeting.  This will contribute towards salaries to enable the running of the project over the following year. Anticipated outcomes for people who are supported by ACCEPT include: improved confidence, self-esteem and health with a reduction in symptoms of poor mental health; reduced feelings of isolation through an increase in social contacts; and a reduction in stigma and discrimination through making new connections with the community.

Millan Centre

The Millan Centre works in the Manningham area of Bradford, and aims to provide education and social activities in a women-only community space.  In general it is available six days a week, and offers a wide range of courses, groups and activities, including ESOL, gardening, IT, sewing, youth groups, self-defence, plus advise sessions, and a popular over-50s group.

At the Allen Lane Foundation February 2021 meeting, Trustees agreed a grant of £3,000 towards the Millan Centre. This is towards the Safer than Ever project – which will provide group and one-to-one mental health support and counselling to older South Asian women who have seen their mental health worsen during the pandemic.  Around 40 women will benefit over the year, through increased confidence, improved mental health and overall wellbeing, and reduced feelings of isolation and depression.



HUMEN was established three years ago with the aim of preventing men from suffering in silence and dying too young. It’s work is preventative – encouraging young men to put the same amount of effort into maintaining and improving their mental health as many do to their physical health by exercising and going to the gym.  It calls this The HUMEN Space: The Gym for Your Mind’. The work includes establishing and facilitating group meetings across different parts of the UK, where men come to talk, listen, and connect with others. During part of 2020 under COVID lockdown restrictions, groups have been meeting in The HUMEN Space Online. Around 2,000 men overall benefitted in that year alone.

At the Trustee meeting in October 2020 a grant of £4,000 per annum was agreed for a two-year period. This funding will contribute towards the costs of running group meetings for men in Manchester and Cardiff, each benefitting 20-25 men a week. Groups offer ongoing and practical support, and overall aim to improve and maintain better mental health and wellbeing.

Supported – The Community Eating Disorder Charity

The Linda Tremble Foundation, which has recently rebranded as Supported, aims to provide access to community based group support for people with an eating disorder and their families.  It works across different areas of Scotland through running support groups, and is based near the town of Cupar in Fife.  Supported also provides carers with training based on the New Maudsley Approach – designed to equip carers with a similar skill set to that used in a specialist inpatient setting, in order to provide in-home support to family members/friends with an eating disorder.  It also offers information, one-to-one befriending, phone and videoconference support.  Prior to the pandemic, support groups were established in Fife, Forth Valley, Glasgow and Perth and help people feel less isolated, and build their self-confidence and resilience to develop strategies that will aid their recovery.  The Foundation is currently providing access to support for over 50 people with eating disorders and 25 families.

In October 2020, a grant of £7,718 has been agreed towards Supported. This will cover costs of recruiting, training and supporting an additional 20 volunteers over the coming year, and four training sessions. Trained volunteers will deliver support by facilitating new groups, supporting existing ones, and providing one-to-one support to individuals through our Befriending Service. Overall these volunteer led services will  help to reduce isolation, improve support mechanisms for individuals with an eating disorder, and raise awareness.

The Bipolar Lift

The Bipolar Lift works in Nottingham, and was established to fill a gap in local services for people with bipolar disorder.  It is user-led, and aims to prevent the social isolation of bipolar sufferers and give them the support they need.  The Bipolar Lift works with referral agencies, and has provided practical and emotional support to more than 100 people.

The Allen Lane Foundation has awarded a grant totalling £4,000 at its June 2020 meeting of Trustees.  The grant will fund a series of workshops and group sessions that will be facilitated and aimed at various topics – such as health, welfare and wellbeing, as well as employment, benefits and debt advice.  Outcome of the work of The Bipolar Lift are to combat isolation, reduce stress levels, and tackle potential triggers before they lead to full-blown episodes.


The Octopus Foundation

This is a charity that works with vulnerable and marginalised people from areas of multiple deprivation in Medway, Kent.  Based at premises in Rochester, it aims to reduce isolation and improve health and wellbeing. The Octopus Foundation runs a weekly Men’s Shed which benefits mainly older men who are socially isolated, and face challenges such as living with dementia, PTSD, autism and other issues.  The Shed operates via a carpentry workshop, and people make useful items such as bird boxes and garden planters. Attendees benefit from the social aspect of the Shed as well as meaningful activity.

A grant of £4,000 was agreed by Trustees at the June 2020 meeting.  This will contribute towards the mental health and wellbeing project, and enable the charity to expand its operations to two days per week.  The additional day will enable the Octopus Foundation to offer attendance at the Shed to younger and middle-aged men living with mental health problems, those at risk of suicide and self-harm. It has a waiting list of people referred for support.  Outcomes of the work are that the men will feel happier, with improved confidence, skills and wellbeing; they will develop coping mechanisms to help with their mental health; and they will feel less lonely and socially isolated.

Horticultural Therapy Trust

Horticultural Therapy Trust is based in Plymouth, working from a large city-centre allotment. It is run by two experienced gardeners who are trained in social and therapeutic horticulture, mindfulness and counselling.  The Trust supports the well-being of people suffering from depression, anxiety, and those recovering from more severe physical or mental illness.  It offers a safe, calm and nurturing environment for beneficiaries to develop their confidence and self-esteem, learn how to socialise, to gain skills in horticulture, or just to take time away from other pressures to work towards improved health.

The Foundation has made a £3,000 grant towards the running costs of Horticultural Therapy Trust at the February 2020 meeting.  This will help with the charity’s aims of increasing numbers of regular participants in the core allotment project; assist with the accommodation of new groups from other local mental health organisations; and contribute to the undertaking of gardening work in the local community.