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National Lottery Community Fund grant supports Northumbria University Converge programme

Northumbria University, School of Design, has been awarded £388,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to support the mental health of adults from across the North East.

Converge was established at Northumbria in 2016, with the aim of connecting local people with the University and community partners to improve mental wellbeing through art and creative education. Benefiting 420 people to date, the programme has been so successful that funding has been secured to continue it for a further three years.  

Converge is an innovative partnership across the public and voluntary sectors in Newcastle and Gateshead and beyond. Participants study non-accredited courses and access the same academic staff, learning resources, and well-being services as university students. Courses are taught by staff, students, creative practitioners, and former Converge Northumbria students on campus and in local cultural venues, with progression into further study, volunteering, or work. This funding will enable Converge Northumbria to build and extend a personalised journey that is right for every participant, providing coaching, life skills, personal development, benefit/citizen advice and advocacy, mentoring and experiential learning.

The National Lottery grant will enable Converge to become embedded within the community hub of the University’s planned Centre for Health and Social Equity. The centre will bring together academics in health, social care, education, wellbeing and equity issues across the University’s City and Coach Lane Campuses into one central base in the heart of Newcastle. It will develop and harness the University’s research, education, and knowledge exchange expertise to help meet the health and social needs of multiple stakeholders and communities in the city, region and beyond through leading partnerships with regional, national, and international organisations.

To find out more about the Converge programme contact To explore opportunities to work with Northumbria University on its Higher Education Without Barriers campaign, which has raised over £3.1m to support students from all backgrounds since its launch in 2022, contact Sue Vout, Trust and Foundation Manager, at


Below: - The National Lottery Community Fund logo

National Lottery Community Fund logo

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