COMMUNITY groups across North Somerset will benefit from council funding to support the mental wellbeing of residents. 

To support families and others with community projects and services, North Somerset Council aims to address a range of health issues as the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

Some of the projects to receive funding include an oral health programme for children, a smoke-free initiative, 'warmer homes' and a breastfeeding peer support programme.

The funding was secured by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSG ICB) as part of a larger programme to enhance the council's joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2021-2024.

Executive member with responsibility for health, Cllr Mike Bell, welcomed the scheme.

He said: "We know these interventions will make a huge difference to people’s lives and help improve children’s health over the long-term.

“During this period of increased cost-of-living, this support and advice to address fuel poverty among our most vulnerable residents will help make a vital difference to those people who are struggling the most.

"Our investment in Weston's south ward will help people who are experiencing isolation, supporting them to stay connected with their local communities and improving both their physical and mental wellbeing."

More than £90,000 will help address fuel poverty by helping the most vulnerable residents in cold homes access advice on energy, money, benefits and carrying out home repairs.

While in Weston's south ward, £78,000 will fund a dedicated project to tackle health inequalities by engaging members of the community to develop tailored action to improve health and wellbeing

Smokefree Homes will also see a £33,000 cash bonus to raise awareness among parents about the risks of second-hand smoke exposure.

Cllr Bell added: "A smokefree home benefits the whole family, reducing the likelihood that children will go on to be smokers and protecting them from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

"The oral health programme will help our most vulnerable children to start good dental habits early, preventing future tooth decay. And breastfeeding has important benefits for babies and mothers - support for families helps mums continue breastfeeding for longer.”