Voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations in Solihull are launching 17 new and innovative projects to improve health and care for residents after clinching between them small grants totalling almost £200,000.

The new projects are now underway in the borough after receiving funding via Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System’s £22.2m Fairer Futures Fund (FFF).

Solihull’s Place Committee, which brings together the NHS, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the voluntary, faith and community sectors, approved the allocation of funding for the projects according to agreed criteria with the small grant schemes being distributed by the Heart of England Community Foundation, acting on behalf of the Committee.

David Melbourne, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board, said: “These projects are a fantastic example of innovation and creativity, bringing communities and professional together to meet peoples’ needs.  I look forward to seeing how they impact their local communities and improve the life chances of people in Solihull.”

Councillor Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Wellbeing, Skills & Inclusion at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see Solihull Place Committee being able to support these three Solihull projects. I wish the organisers all the very best and look forward to meeting them and seeing their work in the coming months. I welcome the funding that the Integrated Care System has invested into Solihull, and I am sure it will have a profound effect on our communities right across the borough.”

Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “We are proud to support such an array of amazing projects, from a new women’s health support group to a luncheon club and drop-in centre for older people helping to reduce social isolation. These groups are already beginning to make use of the funding in their communities, and we can't wait to see their impact over the coming months.” 

Projects funded

The Solihull Moors Foundation will deliver a new Women’s Heath & Support Group, focused on improving the lives of women in Solihull and tackling the many issues they are currently facing. This new project will offer an opportunity for women in our community to come together in a supportive environment and start to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing, as well as make improvements to certain inequalities faced through gender. Every week they will deliver a 2-and-a-half-hour session specifically for women, welcoming up to 30 women per week of different ages, backgrounds, abilities and more. During these session participants will come together to share stories, concerns, challenges as well as ask questions, seek support and engage in activities and workshops that will positively impact their health and wellbeing. Weekly sessions will include a wide variety and range of activities that will focus on different topics such as gender inequality, the rise in period poverty, mental health decline and the pressures put upon women, peri menopause and menopause. They will also look at how physical and mental exercises can positively affect these issues, through sessions on breathing exercises, sound therapy, yoga & stretching, creative crafts and more. 

Inclusive Sports Academy CIC will run a weekly youth club at a local special school in Solihull aimed at children 11-16 years old with SEND on a weekday evening. The project staff will facilitate activities to encourage physical activity, raise awareness of healthy lifestyles, increase independence and promote enrichment activities such as arts, music, drama and gaming with the focus on engaging with children and young people with SEND who are currently dis-engaged from activity, have health conditions and are identified as having poor mental/emotional wellbeing.

Solihull Parent Carer Voice CIC plan to train members a team to deliver a course called Healthy Parent Carers. It is a course aimed to support and enhance the emotional wellbeing of parent carers of children and young people with SEND. 

Arden Active CIC will deliver a 48-week activity programme catering for the over 60 population across Solihull who are often inactive for reasons such as impaired physical and/or mental health, disability and isolation. The programme will combat this sedentary behaviour through the delivery of weekly activity sessions, combining mainstream and adapted sports, some of which require specialised equipment to suit all abilities and levels of fitness. Thus, the programme will utilise the power of sport to help beneficiaries improve and maintain good levels of physical fitness as well as engaging them in the social aspects of physical activity. The sports we deliver will include: bowls, archery, tennis, table tennis, golf, boccia, orienteering and gentle yoga.

Menopause Knowledge CIC aims to develop a preventative Menopause Transformation programme with menopause support pathways into/from primary and secondary care in Solihull, then roll out to Birmingham, and wider. This project includes developing new innovative co-production working relationships and holding activities with additional partners towards this goal. The format of activities and services planned is community led and collaborative, taking into account consultation with local partners, local communities and other collaborators. The services delivered will include menopause and lifestyle surgeries, awareness talks, menopause meetups/drop-ins, group and one-to-one support and one-to-one support to prepare for GP/practice nurse appointments. 

With the Fairer Futures Grant, activities planned include: - Collaboration with Solihealth (Primary Care Provider Alliance collaborating with GP practices across Solihull - population exceeding 235,000) to incorporate menopause information into surgeries including on their websites feasibility. They are also planning to set up GP surgery-based delivery with social prescribing to menopause services for groups and 1:1 support.

Re-Imagine Me CIC aim to deliver a 20 week Suicide Intervention Project at the Fordbridge Centre. This service will be available to anyone over 18 years of age, residing in Solihull who currently has suicide ideation or self-harm behaviours. Diagnosis isn't important as they recognise that many people won't, or don't access services for mental health support. This project will take place weekly in the form of 90 minute suicide awareness workshops weekly. These workshops will cover areas such as co-dependency, anxiety, depression, sleep, trauma, building better relationships, coping mechanisms, relapse prevention, crisis management and emotional triggers. 

Art at the Heart CIC aim to establish community engagement as an approach to defining health priorities for type 2 diabetes prevention, through a series of debates, creative workshops and community exhibitions. The exhibitions will be used to engage members of the local community in health conversations aimed at reducing diabetes risk. This work will be delivered as a community hub project consisting of inclusive cross-generation family friendly workshops designed to encourage whole family buy-in and commitment, a celebratory exhibition to showcase produced outcomes  to start, extend and normalise conversation about the dangers of type 2 diabetes.

Edgbaston Foudnation are running a confidence-building project for girls aged 11-16 in Balsall Common. The project will focus on supporting girls with sports and physical exercise classes to boost their wellbeing and self-esteem. The sessions will take place twice a week over 46 weeks with on average 25 girls expected to attend each session. They particularly want to work with partners to target young girls with wellbeing issues including those who are physically inactive and those on the waiting list for wellbeing services. The sessions will be accessible for all abilities and include adapted versions of the game that make it easier for beginners to play including softball and Tape-ball. The focus will be to create an enjoyable experience that inspires wider participation. 

Everyone 4 Sport will provide a follow on session to complement the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CHAMS) team's summer programme which they are already supporting in partnership with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The programme will continue at North Solihull Sports Centre, a venue chosen at is within walking distance of the young people who access the programme and is familiar to them. Working with the CHAMS team and using feedback from service users, they have chosen the following sports: tennis, hockey, obstacle courses, benchball, basketball, dodgeball and seated archery. All sessions will focus on the participation as a team helping to break down some of the barriers that lead to isolation due to self confidence and other issues.

Dance to Health is a pioneering falls-prevention dance programme, run by charity and social enterprise Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose (Aesop). By combining the power of falls-prevention exercise and creative dance, delivered by a qualified dance artist, the programme drastically reduces falls in older people, while allowing participants to express themselves and socialise with others. With falls being one of the leading causes of injury and immobility, this can be life changing.

Shine Youth intend to extend the work they have been doing supporting the mental health of young people in local secondary schools into the local community in order to fill a gap that currently exists in the availability of accessible, timely, preventative and early help mental health support. To do this, the project is two-fold: to deliver a new holistic Youth Wellbeing Hub (YWH) in Shirley with referral routes from the Solihull Healthcare Partnership PCN, the local secondary schools and self-referral and develop a Children and Young People’s Social Prescribing Service (CYPSPS) which improves both the signposting to the available youth mental health provision and the referral pathway to access these, in order to join-up and integrate the provision to better ensure young people get the preventative and early support they need at the right time, in the right place. 

Solihull & District Hebrew Congregation will be providing a luncheon Club and Drop in Center for senior citizens that will reduce their sense of isolation leading to improved physical and mental health. They will also run sessions with Health Care Practitioners and social workers to educate people about the services available and how to access them. All too often people fall through the cracks due to lack of awareness of what is available and the authorities not being aware of them. They project will educate and raise awareness. It will also use a team of volunteers to ensure that those in the greatest need are provided with a holistic package of care that is tailored to their cultural, spiritual and physical needs.

FITCAP will be speaking to families about accessing a physical activity session that will take place locally that aims to support mental and physical health for the kids and parents. The consultation will include what days would be best, what activities they'd like to take part in, and where they would like to do it. Details can then be taken and families contacted once sessions have been booked. They will also use a Mental Health bus as an engagement tool to give out meals and food, almost like a mobile pantry. The idea is to run 90 minute sessions with the young people, taking part in sport, games and team activities to encourage communication, teamwork, lots of pulse-raising activities and boosting their immune systems and improving mental health. This will be led by qualified sports coaches, and a mentor will be present so that the children can talk to them about any issues they might be having at school, at home, with friends etc that might be playing on their minds. At the same time, the parents will be encouraged to take part in a walking group on the track outside to get their steps in - this will give them a chance to talk about life, issues, problems they might be having with their children, their own mental health, all with a qualified mentor, whilst improving their physical health. The Mentors can signpost to other services that might be helpful, or just be an ear to offload onto. 

Bethel Health and Healing Network will provide a hybrid support service through a Senior Doula Listener Champion (SDLC) . They will target the most vulnerable, including; young mothers or those with experience of being in care and those from African/African Caribbean communities. The programme of peri and post-natal mental health will support those women who have been identified as being at risk of developing pre/postnatal depression. Clients will predominantly come from North Solihull but will also include South Solihull pockets of deprivation, ensuring no woman slips through the cracks. The programme will provide early interventions, making every contact count, raising awareness of wider health issues, like maintaining a healthy diet and undertaking regular exercise to support improved physical and mental wellbeing.

Xpress- Yourself Dance CIC will provide 42 of their “Keep Dancing” classes to older people over the duration of 12 months in the Bentley Heath area of Solihull. The classes are suitable for older adults, with music participants know and love with no experience or partner necessary. They adapt and design our classes to meet the needs of our participants. The classes support people to age better by giving them opportunities to engage, be physically active and meet people. Contributing to good mental health, social connections and a reduction in loneliness and isolation.

Oasis Mental Health Support will use the funding to set up a women's only support group to specifically discuss issues such as domestic volence, sexual harassment and abuse. They are also creating additioanl women's only support groups including arts and crafts to enable women to gain confidence in a room of shared experience. 


Strike 9T are running a confidence-building project for girls aged 11-16 in North Solihull. The project will focus on supporting girls with sports and physical exercise classes to boost their wellbeing and self-esteem. The project will focus on young girls deemed ‘at risk’. This includes those who have experienced grooming or at risk of being groomed, those disengaged from mainstream education, those at risk of sexual exploitation and those at risk of involvement in County Lines. The participants will be aged from 11-16 year olds and all of the cohort will be from Smith’s Wood, Kingshurst, Chelmsley Wood or Castle Bromwich. The project will be delivered by all female staff team with many years of experience working with vulnerable girls and young women. They will participate in a range of activities including football, tennis, basketball and cricket, team building exercises and one to one mentoring support. Participants completing the project will be supported to access wider opportunities including our mainstream projects in the area and opportunities within sports clubs that operate within North Solihull.