Bid for Better

The Bid for Better membership engagement scheme offers awards of up to £400 to support bids for activities or equipment that:

  • improve patient experience
  • promote mental wellbeing
  • make our services more accessible
Bid for Better - mural with text

Ideas should benefit two or more patients or service users. To be considered for funding you must be a member of the Trust. If you are not a member already it’s really easy to join. Find out how to join on our members page

Previous Bid for Better schemes awarded funding for a mural in the children’s waiting room at the Tavistock Centre, the Santé Project befriending scheme, a fruit and vegetable garden for the Westminster family service and cameras for the City and Hackney community photography project. 

Applications are now open.

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Past bids

Bid for Better – applications in 2017

In 2017 eight bids were received. These were carefully reviewed and considered by a panel made up of representatives from across the trust.

Six bids were awarded funding – read their stories in the accordion below:

  • Laptop for hearing impaired young people at African Physical Training Organisation
  • Toys and games for Portman Clinic young person’s waiting room
  • Patient library for London Family Drug and Alcohol Team
  • Cameras for the PCPCS community photography group 
  • Recipes of life session for the Refugee Team 
  • Instrument for Peoples Centre for Change music group

The African Physical Training Organisation (APTO) has been working with young people involved in or at risk of becoming involved in crime or other issues for nearly 10 years in the London borough of Camden.  APTO were awarded £200 towards the purchase of a laptop to support hearing impaired young people. The laptop will enable the young people to develop their IT skills.

Following a CQC inspection the Portman Clinic were obliged to establish a separate waiting room for young people.  They were awarded £200 towards toys, games and art materials to make the waiting room more welcoming and non-threatening to young service users.

The London Family Drug and Alcohol team were awarded £200 towards the purchase of books to create a library for patients.  The books and self- help manuals cover various issues which the team had found the patients appreciate information on. This includes parenting techniques, dealing with trauma, substance misuse, talking about loss and mentalisation.

PCPCS were awarded £140 towards the purchase of new cameras for their community photography group.  The group was originally established to meet the needs of those who struggle to engage in traditional therapeutic treatments.  Due to the success of the community group the PCPCS was looking to turn the photography group into a psychotherapeutic treatment group in its own right and required the additional cameras to enable the expansion of the group.

The refugee team were awarded £200 to facilitate a Recipe of Life session with refugee young people and families. The session combined cooking and eating together, storytelling and talking therapy. There was an initial consultation meeting with the group and Tavistock staff to discuss and define which recipes should be prepared for the session. Three recipes that had meaning to the participants were prepared, cooked, discussed and shared as a group. This group intervention borrows ideas from narrative therapy and methodologies that are easy to engage with and useful for working with those who have experienced hardship.

Peoples centre for change run weekly participatory music workshops for young people and adults with learning disabilities, family carers, support workers and volunteers.  The group had a collection of instruments, but some members found it hard to connect with the instruments, especially where they have physical impairments and severe cognitive needs.  Peoples centre for change were awarded £275 towards the purchase of a Theramini which is small and does not involve having to touch anything.  The instrument provides a unique opportunity for participants to create sound, music and express themselves creatively.  It can be used both in group sessions but also in a quiet explorative space.

Bid for Better – applications in 2016

In 2016 fifteen bids were received. These were carefully reviewed and considered by a panel made up of representatives from across the trust.

Six bids were awarded funding – read their stories in the accordion below:

  • books on prescription 
  • art and craft therapeutic engagement project
  • creative animation to promote video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting (VIPP)
  • engaging with hard to reach children through tailored activities 
  • Lego therapy 
  • recipe of life

The Tavistock Library team initiated the books on prescription scheme, where patients can borrow a range of titles on mental health topics from the ground floor waiting room at the Tavistock Centre.

There is evidence from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that self-help books can help people understand and manage common mental health conditions and that this can work in tandem with clinical interventions. 

This initiative ties in with the Trust’s aim to increase the provision of information that can be accessible to patients.

This bid was submitted by the young people’s drug and alcohol service.

Services users who have experienced trauma or difficult situations can often find talking therapies difficult and can also have trouble remaining focused and grounded. 

In order to offer new ways of engaging with young people, parents and carers, emotion and appreciation cards and a range of arts and craft tools are used in one-to-one and groups sessions. They provide service users with a new way to express themselves, understand their own experiences, develop their self-esteem and to recover after their trauma.

This bid was submitted by the positive parenting and sensitive discipline team.

VIPP is a preventative intervention for carers whose adopted children have some difficult behaviours. In each session, a video records how the caregivers and child interact. Afterwards clinicians provide feedback on how to improve the caregivers’ sensitivity towards the child and their discipline strategies. 

Despite receiving very positive family feedback, it is thought that new families may avoid the intervention because of anxieties about being video recorded. An idea from parents was that an animation could be created that shows the process and success of the intervention from families who have completed the sessions. This video is shown to families who express an initial interest in VIPP, as well as to referring local authorities and adoption agencies.

First Step Plus works with Haringey’s most vulnerable looked-after children and young people who have experienced many housing relocations. In consequence, many find it difficult to trust adults and to engage with child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). 

Based on each individual, the team uses the funding to offer activities that could make initial and later meetings easier for them. Some of these activities include offering a meal with an important person or using equipment like board games, computer games, sports equipment or crafts to help build relationships. This might be a small start to engage with a child or young person and help them to feel a little more at ease.  

Lego therapy is a proven and effective way for children with social communication difficulties associated with social, emotional and mental health difficulties to improve their social interaction and communication skills. 

At Gloucester House we have a range of children with complex needs and so we offer a range of interventions. With the funding they have introduced regular Lego therapy sessions. This involves collaborative play therapy where students work together to build Lego models. Improvements in social competence enable students to sustain lasting friendships and build their resilience and impulse control. This helps them participate more fully in their local community.

This bid was submitted by Social Kitchen and the refugee team, following a previous successful bid. Recipe of life sessions combine cooking and eating together, storytelling and talking therapy.

Feedback from the previous bid was exceptionally positive. Some participants felt that it was the best moment for them since arriving in the UK. They were very moved to be back with a group of Congolese people and a staff member saw a lady laugh for the first time. 

In light of this, Social Kitchen offered to facilitate another two and a half hour recipe of life session in the café at the Tavistock Centre with Congolese parents and their teenage children. The group chose three recipes that have meaning to the participants and prepared, cooked, discussed and shared them as a group.  

This group intervention borrows ideas from narrative therapy and methodologies that are easy to engage with and useful for working with those who have experienced hardship. The group eats together whilst listening to the parents share stories from their family heritage which relate to the dishes cooked. These stories are not typically being shared with young people in the UK today and enrich the experience of young people and build understanding between teenagers and their parents about their different lives.


If you have questions about Bid for Better please contact our patient and public involvement team on 020 8938 2059 or PPI@tavi-port.nhs.uk

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Contact Bid for Better

If you have questions about Bid for Better please contact our patient and public involvement team on 020 8938 2059 or PPI@tavi-port.nhs.uk