Sheffield receives £19 million windfall to tackle mental health and homelessness problems

People in Sheffield have welcomed a £19m government grant to help tackle homelessness and mental health problems in the city.

Days before the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, it was announced that Sheffield is going to receive the biggest amount of government money of any region to tackle a range of social issues.

These include social wellbeing, homelessness and youth unemployment. The grant aims to transform the way public services are delivered in Sheffield.

Olivia Brown, 61, retired, of Stothard Road said: “I’d like to think that our council is a caring one, although I have been in real doubt about that recently, and if they manage to spend the money wisely the city will definitely benefit from this grant.”

It is still to be decided by Sheffield City Council how the money is going to be allocated in order to maximise the impact of public spending across the city.

This will be followed by the establishment of local projects to tackle entrenched social issues, helping those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives.

Margaret Lewis, Chief Executive of Sheffield Mind, said: “We receive a lot of calls from people who say they have been put on long-waiting lists for counselling when urgent help is expected, so wisely allocated money on mental health especially are much needed.”

The money has come from the £80m Life Chances Fund which was launched in 2016 and is organised around six key aspects of social issues such as drug and alcohol dependency and services for people from all ages in the society.

Sheffield is of one of ten projects across England that will receive funding to help the council focus on major problems of social importance.

Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Tracey Crouch, said: “The Life Chances Fund is helping transform lives across the country and I am looking forward to seeing how these fantastic projects use this funding to benefit children and young people, teaching them valuable life skills.”

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