Hub of Hope to receive funding boost

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Liverpool-based national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma, has been awarded £53,600 of funding from Nominet

The generous funding will go towards - among other initiatives - improving the charity’s life-changing and life-saving app the Hub of Hope, making it the most effective and efficient online mental health signposting tool.

The app was launched in 2017 and has been created in collaboration with Liverpool-based software development consultancy, Mashbo.

Nominet, the profit with a purpose company operating at the heart of the internet infrastructure, has today launched the Nominet #RESET Mental Health Programme. #RESET aims to increase the reach and impact of mental health services for young people. It is part of Nominet’s public benefit activity to improve 1 million lives, and will provide grants totalling over £500,000 across some of the UK’s leading mental health and youth charities to provide support for over half a million young people a year.

The organisations receiving Nominet #RESET funding include Chasing the Stigma, The Mix, YoungMinds, stem4, Nightline Association, Barnardo’s and The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Chasing the Stigma and the other selected charities will deliver a range of activities, including improving signposting online, developing new digital products, digitally transforming their organisation to meet demand, and creating best-practice guidance for those developing digital mental health products for young people.

The programme follows Nominet research into Charities, Young People and Digital Mental Health services, an extensive sector mapping activity, and an expert panel event. This discovery process identified some key challenges: the growing pressure on mental health services, the increasingly digital channels through which young people seek support and information, and the current minimal overlap of trusted organisations delivering digital products and services for young people.

As a result, Nominet has decided to focus its support in a number of key areas: directly supporting national charities to deliver digital mental health services, supporting quality improvements across services they offer, as well as improved signposting for young people.

Gavin Sherratt, MD at Mashbo, said: "Many of our team members have lived experience of mental health issues, so we know first-hand how vital the Nominet #RESET Mental Health Programme is. Over the past two years, our team has worked tirelessly with Chasing the Stigma to develop and prove the concept of the Hub of Hope and the app is now the UK’s most comprehensive mental health signposting tool.

"We’re so proud of everything we’ve achieved so far and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with Jake and the team and taking the Hub of Hope to the next level - so we can help even more people find the support they need.”

Jake Mills, Founder and CEO of Chasing the Stigma, creator of the Hub of Hope and Ambassador of Hope training programme, said: “It is an honour to be teaming up with Nominet as part of the #RESET mental health programme. Like Nominet we are passionate about transforming young lives and we fundamentally believe that the best way to do that is by working collaboratively.

“We are delighted that Nominet has shown faith in our ambitions as a charity and with this opportunity we will be able to make drastic improvements to the Hub of Hope, that will see it become a much more powerful resource to offer hope to people across the UK.”

The Nominet #RESET Mental Health Programme is providing funding based on an in-depth consultation with each of the national partners. Each partner will invest in the development and delivery of their activities over an 18-month period from December 2019. Nominet and its partners will share an impact and learning report each year to help others exploring the role of digital in this field.

Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry Solutions and Public Benefit at Nominet says: “Demand for mental health services has risen dramatically in the last five years, and at the same time the channels young people use to seek support have migrated to digital. Our research showed that many expert charities offering targeted support for specific needs when young people are most vulnerable or in crisis are at risk of falling behind digitally or need help to amplify what they offer, and we want to support these organisations to be at the forefront of digital mental health service provision.

“As part of our commitment to public benefit, with a focus on driving initiatives that promote greater connectivity, inclusivity and security online, we believe our new funding programme #RESET will provide some much needed help - in essence, the resource to reset the mental health support system - where it is sorely required.”

“Working with these organisations we’re focused on our #RESET funding positively impacting as many young people as possible – reaching over 600,000 by December 2020 and up to 3 million over the next three years – with online mental health services that really make a difference.