People from across North Ayrshire are being offered the chance to stake their claim for up to £1,250 for worthy projects which will improve the lives of others.

A total of £50,000 is up for grabs in the participatory budgeting event which aims to give financial backing to projects and programmes which make a positive difference to improving mental health and wellbeing in North Ayrshire.

Applications are open now for the scheme with the money due to be handed out in February.

North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the Scottish Government are jointly funding the £50,000 Participatory Budgeting initiative.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) lets communities decide how to spend a small amount of public money.

A number of successful PB events have already been held across North Ayrshire in recent months and this latest initiative will invite bids of up to £1,250 from groups and individuals to tackle issues such as social isolation, stress and anxiety, and young people’s mental health.

Councillor Peter McNamara, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Our Participatory Budgeting events have been hugely successful and I’m delighted that people now have the chance to bid for projects which will make a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of many people across North Ayrshire.

“We look forward to hearing what the bidders have to say and seeing how they can use this money to really make a difference to our communities and the lives of those within them.

“We would like to encourage people to come along on decision day on February 25, even if they are not pitching, as they will get to vote on how the money is spent.”

Those interested in applying for the Mental Health and Wellbeing Participatory Budgeting event should ensure they fill out their application before the closing date on Tuesday, January 31. Online applications can be made here. This page will also give guidance on the bidding process. An application form can also be downloaded and emailed to yourmoneyyoudecide@north-ayrshire.gov.uk. For more details call, 01294 317774.

The final decision on the bids will be made on February 25 at a special public event in Ardrossan Civic Centre. The bids will be subject to a public vote – with applicants also able to take part – and the successful bidders receiving funding up to £1,250 for their project.

For those wishing to find out more, special information sessions are being held around North Ayrshire in the coming weeks:

12 January, 10am-2pm – Arran CVS, Lamlash

17 January, 4pm-7pm – Kilwinning Library

17 January, 5pm-7pm – Cafe Solace, Fullarton Connexions, Irvine

18 January, 12pm-3pm – Garrison, Millport

18 January, 5pm-7pm – Cafe Solace, Nazarene Church, Ardrossan

19 January, 10am-2pm – Arran CVS, Lamlash

19 January, 11am-4pm – Morrison’s, Largs

23 January, 2pm-5pm – West Kilbride Library

24 January, 5pm-7pm – Cafe Solace, Fullarton Connexions, Irvine

25 January, 5pm-7pm – Cafe Solace, Nazarene Church, Ardrossan

26 January, 3pm-7pm – Kilbirnie Library