Our Step Forward Fund

Children and adults living in the lowest 20% income bracket are 2-3 times more likely to develop mental health problems

What is the Step Forward Fund? 

Enabled by an initial generous donation from the estate of the late Anne Richardson, our Step Forward Fund has been set up to help provide access to a programme of nutritional therapy for those who are suffering from a diagnosed mental health condition (including depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders and/or autism and ADHD), living on low income.

Nutritional Therapy can offer individuals and families a positive step forward in helping improve long term mental health conditions. Through our Step Forward Fund, we are currently able to offer a small number of applicants an initial programme of nutritional therapy to support them in taking positive steps forward. Applicants are required to show they have a diagnosed mental health condition and are on low income.


What is Nutritional Therapy?

We understand that many people want help to find positive ways through which they can improve their mental wellbeing. Nutritional therapy is a complementary therapy, which aims to identify the underlying drivers of symptoms of poor health. This is done through consultations, whereby a  thorough analysis of a patient’s health history, diet, lifestyle and symptoms will be performed, as well as biochemical testing, which can give valuable information on an individual’s health such as nutrient deficiencies, neurotransmitter imbalances and food intolerances, that may be playing a role in the individual’s symptoms. This allows us to tailor a nutrition programme to the patients’ needs.

A typical nutrition programme can include dietary changes and usually therapeutic levels of key nutritional supplements, as well as lifestyle changes. These can be a positive route that people can take, helping to imbalances that can often be the root cause of ill health.

Nutritional Therapy is not available yet on the NHS and therefore can often be expensive to those who want to try this approach. The Step Forward Fund supports successful applicants with a programme of consultations, testing and supplements over a period of 3 to 4 months, giving them guidance to take some positive steps forward.  

How the Step Forward Fund Application Process is Managed

Food for the Brain manages the application process and our not-for-profit nutritional therapy clinic, the Brain Bio Centre, then manages the clients through the programme, awarded support by the Fund. 

The charity and clinic are working closely with clients benefitting from the fund to track their progress, so we can share both the positive benefits they experience, as well as the challenges they face in following the programme. This will help us develop the fund if needed to best support clients over time and helps us to also understand and effectively communicate the impact the programme can have, against recognised measures of mental wellbeing. To find out more about our Fund, please see our video 

For every £1,000 raised, we can reach out to one more person, helping them through nutritional therapy to take positive steps that can change their life. 


How to Support Us

If you would like to support Food for the Brain in our work please donate here 

You can also donate £5 (or another amount) by sending a text message (SMS) with the message ‘STEP’ to 70085.


For other amounts you can state STEP and the amount you wish to donate to 70085  e.g. STEP10 to 70085 or STEP25 to 70085.


How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for support from the fund, please be aware that we do have limited funds available at any one time.For this reason, we run the fund in phases, with each phase usually only being able to support a small number of individuals. In this current phase, we aim to support between 6 to 8 applicants. This means we do often have to turn a high number of applicants down even if they meet the high-level application criteria.  

We appreciate the application process can take a significant amount of effort and that this can be hugely disappointing, so please bear this in mind before making a decision to apply or not. The charity’s and the clinic’s decisions on applications are final.  

We aim to open up new phases of funding and support every 3 to 6 months.  If someone is declined due to lack of spaces in one phase of funding, they will have the opportunity to move their application over to the next phase, assuming nothing changes in their personal circumstances. If people are declined because they are not eligible, they are allowed to apply again at the next phase if their circumstances change and they believe they would now be eligible for consideration.

Details on phase timings and how to apply can be found here.