Development Fund Winners – Winter 2022

We are delighted to announce the four winners of our 2022 Winter Development Fund and are excited to share with you the new projects we shall be supporting in the months ahead.

Firstly it’s been another fantastic year for our Development Fund, with our winter winners carefully being chosen from 29 brilliant applications. Thus, making it a grand total of 57 funding applications for 2022 – 28 applications coming from this year’s spring fund!

We must express how grateful we are for the wonderful response from the people of Devon. It’s great to see so many new grassroot projects starting to pop across the county, particularly in smaller communities that have yet to have benefitted from our funding.

Secondly, thank you to everyone who applied – every application was an inspiration to read and to consider. We wish you all the best with your project and we hope that you consider applying again next year to our Summer 2022 Development Fund.

Furthermore, a special thank you to Matt Merriam from Devon Mental Health Alliance (East Devon) who took the time to support us in reading through applications, helping choose our winners and for your contribution to extend funding on behalf of DMHA. With of course, appreciation and thanks to our Recovery Devon Board Members for their time and commitments in the funding process.

Recovery Devon Development Fund Logo
Devon Mental Health Alliance logo

Our four winners are:

Gifted Women: Tavistock Freedom Project

Recovery Devon are funding one of Gifted Women’s women support workers to attend training to become a ‘Freedom Programme’ facilitator. This course will enable their organisation to offer this course free to women via a closed group work programme to the Tavistock community.

The aim of the Freedom Programme is to empower women to break the cycle of being a victim of domestic abuse, help women identify the beliefs held by abusive perpetrators, challenge any shared beliefs and assist women in recognising potential future abusers.

This programme will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman and welcomes anyone from the LGBTQIA+ community, which includes trans women and nonbinary folk.

Sweetpea Smallholdings – Exeter

This is a wonderful community interest company with a focus on bringing volunteers together from different communities and backgrounds to complete projects that benefits their wider community. They aim to support individuals recovering from mental health and to help with the current food and cost-of-living crisis.

The idea behind Sweetpea Smallholdings, is to run weekly sessions whereby together people can grow fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs which they will donate for free to people in Exeter going through food hardship. They hope this project will help to tackle the issue of isolation that is rising for people with lived experience of poor mental health and help support individuals in their recovery journey.


Philip and Lucus: Autism-Awareness Theatre Tour

We are so pleased to support the development of a very special production created by Luca Saunders and Philip Robinson to increase the awareness, understanding and knowledge of autism to audiences across the county. With the hope to inspire those already on the Spectrum, with how to use the arts as a tool for aiding both recovery and exposure.

Together, Luca (18) and Philip (65) have begun to create a theatre show about what it is like being on the Spectrum, with the help of local director and writer, Pippa Marriott. In their words “Recovery to us means approaching wellness through creatively engaging with and utilising these mental health challenges, and actively sharing with neuro- typical and neuro-diverse people our experience of living a life on the autistic spectrum.”

Recovery Devon are delighted to be able to support Luca and Philip with their production and believe it will be very valuable to the people of Devon. We can’t wait to see the show on the stage!

Cranbrook International Club

This project will be for anyone in Cranbrook or the surrounding area who is curious about international connections from the Antarctic to Devon. There are many international families within Cranbrook who have expressed, through the GP practice and the schools, that they feel isolated from their community due to Covid-19 and the demographic of the town.

Cranbrook International Club will provide a space for a weekly early evening fun session to meet up with other people in the community and share the familiar and feel like they belong. There will be world craft, music and literature for each discussion which will provoke thought and oral engagement.

The Club will be set up in EX5 – Alive the new community hub set at the Cranbrook Education campus. The session will run alongside the Food Support Groups and Community Signposting for the members to access information about the community they live in.

Devon Mental Health Alliance has also kindly matched our funding to help this project secure the full funds needed to deliver. We are excited for the opportunity to be working alongside DMHA in supporting this project.


We’ll be reporting more on each project in turn in the months ahead. If any of these projects are of particular interest to you, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with the project lead.

Finally, congratulations to all our Development Fund winners and the best of luck with your projects!

Image of hands coming together to reflect the focus of development fund and what it aims to achieve.