News and opinion Our News Alliance awards £25,000 funding for Caring Connections project ALLIANCE - the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland - have awarded Support in Mind Scotland £25,036 in funding for a 12 month programme to further develop our pioneering Caring Connections project. The project, first created in 2014, supports forensic carers (family members/carers of people detained under compulsory order in psychiatric secure care due to committing an offence while unwell). offering peer support and information and an Advocacy service. Frances Simpson, CEO of Support in Mind Scotland welcomed the funding. “Families who are supporting people within secure mental health units and hospitals face very unique and stressful issues” She said: "We are delighted that the Alliance has awarded our organisation funding to continue the important work of Caring Connections as this project supports families who find it extremely difficult to get the help and support they need. "Families who are supporting people within secure mental health units and hospitals face very unique and stressful issues and Caring Connections provides specialist information and expertise that helps families to cope." Our National Forensic Carer Co-ordinator, Lorraine Keith is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in this service, whether a carer or service provider. Please contact Lorraine Keith on 07951066234 or [email protected] for more information or to let me have your thoughts on this service. The award to Caring Connections was included in a £1.2 million funding package split between 53 charity projects. The funding was announced at the Self Management Award ceremony on 8 October, hosted at the Scottish Parliament. Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, said that this this is an important and necessary investment to address the reality that 45% of adults in Scotland live with a long term condition. Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the ALLIANCE, says people living with long term conditions need to be given more control over the support they access: “Driven by the needs of people accessing these services, the funded projects cover a wide range of activities, reflecting the diversity in support required by people living with long term conditions. “The Fund and our Awards show how people and projects delivering innovative services can make a real difference in communities.” Reflecting on investing in the Self Management Fund for the second year, Nick Addington, Chief Executive of the William Grant Foundation said: “We have been impressed by the range of projects supported by the Fund and are pleased that our contribution is enabling more people around Scotland to benefit from support to live well with long-term conditions”.