FRIDAY 6 AUG 2021 2:16 PM


Comic Relief and Walkers have partnered to launch a mental wellbeing fund to provide support to community projects that have suffered as a result of reduced funding during the pandemic.

The ‘Smiles’ fund will award grants of up to £300k to 12 UK charities that use the arts and comedy to challenge mental health stigma and help vulnerable individuals. It aims to support organisations that focus on early intervention and community-based approaches.

It is widely understood that Covid-19 has had a detrimental effect on people’s mental health, across all demographics in the UK and worldwide. “We are so pleased that together with Walkers, we will be able to offer more funding to charities focused on improving mental wellbeing across the country,” says Aleema Shivji, Comic Relief’s executive director of impact and investment.

The programme is part of a £2m partnership announced by Comic Relief and Walkers, to help more people access mental wellbeing support in the UK. The partnership has enabled Walkers to take an active and visible step to help consumer communities and wellbeing.

Fernando Kahane, senior marketing director at Walkers, says, “Our mission at Walkers is to bring a bite of positivity and humour to people’s lives. Through the creation of the Smiles fund, we look forward to supporting the nation’s mental wellbeing through the power of comedy and the arts, especially those who are struggling now more than ever.”