The Department of Health has awarded £6.8m to 74 charities to test innovative approaches to improve health and wellbeing.
The funding, which was announced yesterday by the care services minister Paul Burstow, came from the department’s Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund.
The fund was created in 2008 as part of the DoH’s voluntary sector investment programme, which replaced the old Section 64 grants.
Burstow said the funding would improve the lives of thousands of people across the UK.
"It is crucial that we continue to champion our voluntary organisations because their expertise allows them to design and develop innovative solutions to the big challenges we face in health, public health and social care," he said.
Successful applicants include the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which will get just over £500,000 to develop a national wheelchair provision service, and the Epilepsy Society, which was awarded nearly £300,000 to promote early interventions for people with epilepsy in hard-to-reach groups.