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Kintsugi Hope: equipping churches to support mental health

Man and woman talking at Kintsugi Hope event

Kintsugi Hope: equipping churches to support mental health

In 2020, Benefact Trust awarded Kintsugi Hope over £80,000 across three years to grow its Wellbeing Groups project across the UK, working with churches of all denominations.
Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Groups are safe supportive places in spaces such as churches, coffee shops, homes, shelters, and prisons for people who feel or have felt overwhelmed, giving them the tools they need to grow towards a more resilient and hopeful future.
The organisations that partner with Kintsugi Hope are trained and resourced to run the wellbeing groups, covering 12 weeks of topics ranging from Anxiety and Perfectionism, to Shame and Forgiveness. 
Our funding has helped Kintsugi Hope to expand its work over the past three years with the employment of a Groups Coordinator and the development of an interactive website (GMS) for Group Leaders to access training material and resources, manage groups, and network. 

The impact

With the support of our funding, there are now 765 registered wellbeing groups across the whole of the UK. Research shows that each group has an average of 8 to 10 participants, so an estimated 6,120 people have been through a Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Group so far. Training has also been a huge success, with over 1,521 Group Leaders resourced to run the course in their community setting.
The new Groups Coordinator and GMS have meant that Kintsugi Hope has been able to cope with the ever-growing demand for the wellbeing groups, as crises such as the pandemic and the rising Cost of Living exacerbate mental health issues. The additional support has put the charity in a position to scale-up and reach more vulnerable people throughout the UK. 
The challenges

Although there has been enormous success over the past few years, there have been setbacks along the way. Kintsugi Hope identified early on that they needed to create better communication between themselves and their partner organisations, to help them understand the opportunities of being partnered. They created a welcome pack to be sent out to all new partners, and monthly online calls for all new organisations to meet the Kintsugi Hope team and share ideas and plans for community engagement.
In 2020, a question was also raised that sparked a new project entirely for Kintsugi Hope. At a Christian Leaders meeting an attendee asked:
'It's great that Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing groups can be safe and supportive spaces - but what happens when church isn’t a safe and supportive space?’

This sowed the seed for Kingtsugi Hope’s Mental Health Friendly Church (MHFC) project, to see local churches have an elevated understanding of mental health, eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness, and respond with compassion and supporting spaces for everyone to flourish. The MHFC project has successfully piloted, and there are MHFC days set to be booked across the UK, at least one a month. 
The future

It’s safe to say that Kintsugi Hope’s achievements have been outstanding, but there’s still a long way to go in creating inclusive, mental health friendly spaces. The charity’s big dream is for everyone in the UK to have the opportunity to join a Wellbeing Group near them. In order to achieve this Kintsugi Hope needs to encourage more partner organisations to join the cause and train more Group Leaders. But with the charity’s clear engagement strategy and sheer determination, the future is looking bright for mental health in our communities.
If you’re looking for funding to make a positive and transformative impact in communities, visit: https://benefacttrust.co.uk/which-grant-is-for-me/community-impact-grants/
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Benefact Group's work

As a Trust, our ability to support and fund so many worthwhile causes, is made possible by the hard work of the award-winning specialist financial businesses that make up Benefact Group – which gives all its available profits to the Trust, sustaining our giving. As a part of the Benefact Group each business, whether it be in specialist insurance, investment management, broking or advisory shares the Trust’s ethos of giving back.