Community groups in South Ayrshire can soon apply for a share of £350,000 worth of Scottish Government funding.

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund aims to support community-based initiatives to help address the impact of distress and mental ill health caused by social isolation and loneliness, as well as tackling the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic.

Grass-roots community groups and organisations will be able to benefit from grants to deliver activities and projects designed to help adults re-connect and boost their mental wellbeing.

Voluntary Action South Ayrshire will take the lead in managing the fund.

Marie Oliver, VASA’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “VASA distributed Response, Recovery and Resilience funding to local groups during the height of the pandemic and a recent report has highlighted how effective this new, more local method of grant distribution is.

“I am delighted that once again, through the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, VASA will play a key role in targeting funding directly to where it can do the most good.”

The fund opens for applications on November 29.

Over the next three weeks, the VASA team will be holding information sessions in town and villages across South Ayrshire to share more details about the fund with local groups.

The information sessions are:Wednesday, November 10: Colmonell Community Centre from 10am to 12noon and the Quay Zone, Girvan, from 2pm to 4pm;

Thursday, November 11: The Carrick Centre, Maybole, from 10am to 12noon and the McCandlish Hall, Straiton, from 2pm to 4pm;

Tuesday, November 16: Reception Room, Troon Walker Hall from 10am to 12noon and the 65 Club, Prestwick, from 2pm to 4pm;

Monday, November 22: The Black Bull, Tarbolton, from 10am to 12noon and Claude Hamilton Hall, Coylton, from 2pm to 4pm;

Tuesday, November 23: Online event;

Wednesday, November 24: Lochside Community Centre from 10am to 12noon.

Launching the fund, Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “This funding reflects the importance we place on promoting good mental health and early intervention for those in distress and will help develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities.