SUPPORT in Mind Scotland is delighted to confirm that it has been successful in securing a grant of almost £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to develop its Solas project in the Highlands and Argyll and Bute.

A grant of £495,367 for Solas was one of 60 new grants announced by the Big Lottery Fund today (Tuesday, 28 June) across Scotland, totalling £17 million. 

Following a succeessful pilot, Solas will develop a self-management support service for people with severe mental illness. Solas (which is Gaelic for 'light') is a complex project as it is about supporting people who face any kind of compulsory treatment or compulsion because of their mental illness. 

"We will enable people to develop the skills and confidence they need to take back control, plan for their future and move past the issues that are limiting their lives."

Reacting to the news, Support in Mind Scotland CEO Frances Simpson said: "We are delighted to have been successful with receiving an award from the Big Lottery in Scotland to fund our work in the Highlands and Argyle and Bute.

"This funding will allow us to extend and develop our service to support people who live with serious mental illness, and who experience significant challenges to engaging fully in the life of their local community.

"We will enable people to develop the skills and confidence they need to take back control, plan for their future and move past the issues that are limiting their lives."

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair Maureen McGinn said: “I am delighted that Support in Mind Scotland is one of 60 groups sharing in our latest grants totalling over £17 million.

"This is life changing money which will support people and families facing challenging circumstances and I wish Support in Mind Scotland every success as it goes on to develop and expand this valuable project.”

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 the Big Lottery Fund has awarded over £8 billion to projects that make a difference to people and communities in need. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

For a full list of the grants announced in Scotland today click here