Mental Health Foundation and Our Time jointly awarded Big Lottery Funding for a project in Southwark to support families affected by mental health problems

The Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with Our Time, a charity which supports children and families affected by parental mental illness, has been awarded over £260,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to fund the delivery of family workshops called KidsTime Southwark. 

The funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, will enable Our Time to train a project team, managed by the Foundation, to equip them with the skills and knowledge to set up KidsTime Workshops for families where at least one parent has a diagnosed mental health problem across Southwark (An estimated 3.7 million young people in the UK according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, 2018).  These sessions have never been run on such a scale before.

The KidsTime Southwark Project will run nine groups, each consisting of 12 fortnightly workshops over the course of six months. These workshops allow families to come together and have open conversations about the impact of mental health on their lives. A drama session also takes place for children and young people to express themselves and help them to meet others with similar experiences. The families then eat together to end the evening with a sense of positive support and connection.

Dympna Cunnane of Our Time, said: “Our Time welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, supported by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, to pilot these workshops for families where there is a parent with a mental health condition, across Southwark.  Our Time’s approach is unique in working with the whole family to overcome the challenges of raising children and having a mental health problem.  We know from research that parental mental illness presents a serious risk to the mental health of their children.  We also know that from 20 years of working with these families that relatively simple, early help makes a huge difference to the life chances of the children.”

Jane Caro from the Mental Health Foundation said: “We are delighted to receive this funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in partnership with Our Time and are grateful to the players of the National Lottery who have made this possible.  It is particularly important to work with families where a parent has a mental health diagnosis to ensure that both parents and children are able to connect with others with shared experience in order to reduce stigma and enable support from other families in a similar situation.  We value the experience that Our Time will bring to this project.  We hope to learn lessons from the KidsTime Southwark project to extend this important work elsewhere in the country.”

Media contacts

If you would like to know more or are interested in interviewing our team or a young person affected by parental mental illness, please get in touch with the communications team:

  • Dympna Cunnane - CEO Our Time - 07800 976 778
  • Christina Clarke - Communications Lead Our Time - 07939 563 756
  • Email - [email protected]

You can download Our Time’s brand guidelines and logos from

About the Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation is a charity dedicated to finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems.  Its mission is for a world with good mental health for all. For further information about the charity contact Fran Edwards at [email protected] or on 07786 437249

About Our Time

Our Time is a registered charity providing interventions to children and young people whose parents have a mental illness (An estimated 3.7 million young people in the UK according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, 2018). We help to increase their resilience and reduce their risk of developing mental health problems later in life.

Without support, 70% of children of parents with a mental health problem have a higher risk of developing mental health problems themselves, as well as experiencing poorer educational outcomes, and lower social functioning compared to other children.

At a key national conference, Keeping the Family in Mind, a group of young people gave an impassioned speech about their experience of caring for a parent with a mental illness. Our Time (originally The Kidstime Foundation) is the result of their plea for change and visibility. Registered in 2012, we remain committed to campaigning and lobbying for their cause.

We work in both schools and the community to provide support for these children and their families.