Valley's grassroots grants scheme launched to raise better awareness of mental health

Lewis Baxter with Roger Dugdale, director of Dugdale Nutrition, sponsor of The Blurred Line.
Lewis Baxter with Roger Dugdale, director of Dugdale Nutrition, sponsor of The Blurred Line.

A Ribble Valley student, who battled with depression and thought about taking his own life two years ago, is now helping those who struggle with their mental health.

Inspirational Lewis Baxter, from Langho, launched The Blurred Line Foundation, which aims to support charities and organisations by providing them with funding to help people in the Ribble Valley.

The 20-year-old law student’s foundation has around £7,500 available to be applied for by groups and projects which support residents in the borough.

Lewis, a former head boy at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and radio presenter for Ribble FM, was in the iron grip of depression when he considered suicide by jumping off a bridge over the A59 two years ago.

He was forced to suspend his studies until he was well enough to return to college. With the help of family, friends and medical assistance, he took control and didn’t let depression or anxiety rule him anymore.

He was excited to set up The Blurred Line Foundation in September, which is helping others and encouraging them to speak out about the illness.

“There is not enough funding out there for local mental health grassroots groups, so I am extremely pleased that The Blurred Line Foundation will be able to help,” explained Lewis, who is studying law at Durham University.

“I am excited to see what projects and initiatives can be supported with our grants. It is a fantastic amount of money; this is a testament to all the hard work that our team put into the event and the amazing gesture of the Community Foundation for Lancashire who matched the money we raised!”

Applications are now open for the grants. Ribble Valley mental health charities, social enterprises and community groups are encouraged to apply. With a fund of almost £7,500 to allocate, each organisation can apply for grants of up to £750.

Eligible projects must benefit residents in the Ribble Valley, and groups who are based in other parts of Lancashire are welcome to apply, providing work takes place in the Ribble Valley or can demonstrate borough residents are the beneficiaries.

Closing date for applications is March 1st and all successful applicants will be notified at the end of March.

The Blurred Line will give priority to smaller grassroots organisations who may struggle to access outside funding. For more information, log onto www.lancsfoundation.org.uk