A project that supports vulnerable and isolated young adults across Nottingham has been awarded a £9,000 grant from Jigsaw Foundation, part of the Jigsaw Homes Group.
The Wolfpack Project, a charity which works with people aged 16-35 across the region to improve their mental health and wellbeing, was allocated the money from Jigsaw Foundation.
A £500,000 pot of funding is shared to support projects that will positively impact local communities.
The award-winning charity was founded in 2019 by CEO Damien Reynolds from Mapperley, and supported more than 250 people across Nottingham last year.
He said: “Thanks to the money from Jigsaw Foundation we are now able to increase capacity and the number of volunteers to support an additional 500 people.”
The Wolfpack Project applied for the money to fund an increase in capacity of its telephone ‘buddy scheme’.
This scheme’s main aim is to tackle the sense of loneliness struggling young people may feel by providing a safe place to chat with likeminded people.
The programme is designed to pair volunteers with lived-experience, with those who have similar interests.
They also provide wellbeing packs.
Due to Covid restrictions, a virtual support programme has been set up to continue to help hundreds of young people.
The need for referrals has increased 60% due to the pandemic, so this money will also allow them to cope with the ascending demand.
CEO Damien Reynolds continued: “We have close referral links with organisations such as the Red Cross, YMCA and all local authorities as well as colleges and universities.
“We’ve seen a real rise in vulnerable, lonely young people who are struggling mentally, needing our support.
“We hear from many of them, particularly since the first lockdown, who haven’t known where to get help. In today’s society, we are all communicating more digitally, but we see a lot of people who have been missing a personal connection and we want to change that.”
Sarah Keenan, Jigsaw Foundation manager, said: “I am so pleased that Wolfpack Project has been successfully selected to receive this money.
“I know it will make a huge difference to Damien and his team to help reach more young, vulnerable people and for him to be able to raise awareness of the project more widely.”
The Wolfpack Project has an office and community space which Damien hopes will be able to re-open soon, once national lockdown restrictions are eased.
Further details can be found on the website www.thewolfpackproject.org.uk
If you have a project that you think could benefit and is eligible for funding, please see the Jigsaw Foundation website on how to apply.