GROUPS in Barnsley have the chance to apply to an innovative funding scheme which awards grants to tackle and prevent mental ill-health through nature connection.

Groups in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield can apply for up to £7,500 from South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF).

The South Yorkshire Green Social Prescribing Grants Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and many more health and care partners, is available for approximately 20 community groups, social enterprises and charitable organisations.

Funding will be targeted towards projects which connect people with outdoor green or blue spaces, for example, horticulture, conservation, physical activity, wilderness schemes, crafts, nature appreciation, care farming and alternative therapies.

Jess O’Neill, Grants and Partnerships Manager at SYCF, said: “The Green Social Prescribing Grants Programme has been designed to support community groups, social enterprises and charitable organisations across the region where small amounts of funding can make a real difference.

“Funding is available to previous applicants and new groups who can offer activities to people with a variety of mental health needs ranging from those with low level emotional and psychological needs, for example loneliness, worry and low mood, to people with mild to moderate diagnosed mental health need, such as mild depression and anxiety, to people with severe and enduring mental health conditions, who may need support in their recovery and to prevent relapse.”

Green social prescribing supports people in engaging with nature-based interventions and activities to benefit their mental, emotional, physical, or social health. It involves linking individuals to community-based initiatives, often delivered by the voluntary and community sector.

Jess added: “We are delighted to be working with the NHS, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and wider partners on this innovative project. From local walking schemes to community gardening projects, we welcome applications to fund existing activities which need extra funding to expand, develop or adapt, as well as new activities which help to increase the breadth and diversity of provision.”

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday May 27. Funding decisions will be made by a special panel in mid-June, with money released in early July. Projects should complete in January 2025.

For more information and full details, including application criteria, visit Green Social Prescribing 2024/25 | South Yorkshire's Community Foundation (