Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that charities and community groups are to get £20 million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness.
The funding will go towards supporting and expanding programmes that bring people together and are proving to benefit communities and includes a new £11 million Building Connections Fund. This fund will be used to help make the most of local spaces, such as by opening them up for community use, and helping businesses and local services working to combat isolation. It will also fund projects that use technology to link those in remote areas and help improve transport connections to make face-to-face contact easier. It will also support groups to understand the impact of their work and share best practice about how to prevent loneliness.
The fund has been created as a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and the Government, each having equally pledged £5 million, and the Co-op Foundation, which has allocated £1 million to tackle loneliness among young people.
In addition to the new Building Connections Fund, People’s Postcode Lottery has committed £5 million of players’ money to top up existing grants it has given to charities that combat loneliness. The Health Lottery will also give out £4 million to charities that work to improve social links in disadvantaged areas across England.
Prime Minister, Theresa May, said:
“Feeling lonely or isolated can have a profound and devastating impact on people’s lives. The new funding today will make a big difference, helping more people to establish and maintain connections. This will build on work already going on, including through the second Great Get Together this weekend, which will see people up and down the country celebrating the strength of their communities.”
Jamie Ward-Smith, Chair of the Co-op Foundation, added:
“The Co-op Foundation is working to connect and empower 5,000 young people to tackle loneliness in their communities. Our new match funding partnership with the Government, announced today, will help us build on this, extending our network of partners and reaching even more young people. We believe youth loneliness is best tackled at community level, by working with young people to overcome the stigma around this issue and helping them shape their own solutions.”
Funding applications for the Building Connections Fund will open from July 2018 with grants available until the end of December 2020.