Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family.
NHS England


About the Fund       

This fund has been created by NHS Norfolk & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, working in partnership with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, to enable voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations across Norfolk and Waveney to provide enhanced support to women – and their partners/families – accessing perinatal services in the community.

This funding aims to develop and strengthen grassroots interventions that complement existing NHS perinatal support, through digital infrastructure development and digitally-enabled peer support.

Fund outcomes:

  • VCSE organisations supporting the perinatal community across Norfolk and Waveney are able to offer enhanced engagement and support, especially utilising peer led, digitally enabled approaches.
  • Through the above, improved identification of need (and onward referral to specialist services where this occurs) will be more effectively facilitated, and consequently responded to.
  • Improved reach to fathers and partners, through improved digital access, and via improved VCSE engagement, will ensure fathers and partners have their mental health needs addressed.
  • VCSE sector with experience of perinatal mental health will be bolstered to deliver grassroots digitally-enabled peer support interventions that will complement existing NHS support.

Funding available

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to charitable organisations providing effective and targeted digitally-enabled perinatal support to women and their partners/ families in the community across Norfolk and Waveney.  Grants must be spent within 12 months of award.

Who can apply

Applications are invited from charitable organisations which have a clear track record in delivering effective services in relevant field/s, and have the capacity to adapt/ enhance their services in response to identified perinatal mental health support needs.

Applicants will have appropriate systems and procedures in place to protect and care for the vulnerable people they help.

Please note proposals must evidence an understanding of best working practices in the light of Covid-19 and the challenges it presents, both to those delivering services, and beneficiaries.

What type of activity can be funded

Grants can cover:

  • Volunteer recruitment and training, or specific staff training to enhance services and build skills/ capacity
  • Equipment – for example IT equipment to help isolated families access support online, or help staff/ volunteers deliver digital services
  • Digital infrastructure development – for example improving online access to information, expertise and resources, or facilitating online referrals
  • Peer support – helping people with shared experience to connect and build support networks

Find out more about some of the projects this funding could support here 

Working in partnership is encouraged, particularly where there is the opportunity to share expertise and resources to identify and respond to at-risk cases, or fill gaps in existing support pathways.


  • Funding cannot be awarded to support general ongoing operational costs or replace expected income – proposals must be designed in response to identified perinatal mental health support needs of women and/ or their partners/ families.
  • Funding cannot be used to support public or private healthcare, or statutory health services.
  • Funding cannot be used to support projects or initiatives that should be covered by core NHS or social care funding.

Funding priorities

The Fund will aim to support a geographical spread of funded activity across Norfolk and Waveney.  Successful applicants will:

  • Demonstrate a proven track record in relevant activities, and the skills, experience and capacity to deliver proposed work successfully
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of the challenges facing the people you aim to help, and ability to reach and engage them with tailored approaches
  • Present proposals that are designed in response to identified perinatal mental health support needs, and show the additionality that funding will enable
  • Present a model for capturing and measuring the impact of their funded activity
  • Evidence a willingness to share learning and take a partnership/ collaborative approach to achieve sustainable health outcomes.


The Fund is now closed.