DCMS has appointed NPC to lead the evaluation of the Government’s new £11.5 million loneliness fund.
NPC will lead a consortium of partners who have been appointed as evaluation and learning providers for the Building Connections Fund, funded by the UK Government, the Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation. NPC’s role will be to capture the impact of the fund on reducing and preventing loneliness and support capability building of grant holders.
The £11.5m Building Connections Fund is the first ever Government fund dedicated to reducing loneliness in England and will target people from all age groups and backgrounds. It has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness and is part of Government’s wider package to tackle loneliness.
It will provide grants to 126 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working with different groups across the age range and across England over the next two years, beginning this month. They include The Ramblers Association, Care Leavers Association, Action for Children, and Marmalade Trust.
The grantees will provide a range of solutions including new community transport links to support those most at risk of isolation, digital solutions that enable elderly people and young care leavers to connect with their peers and one to one support for LGBT+ people suffering from loneliness.
Funding will also go to expanding existing programmes that harness sport, arts or music as a way to encourage people to establish lasting and meaningful friendships with those who have similar hobbies and interests.
Grant holders will be supported with evaluation through online guidance, workshops, and tailored assistance.
In partnership with the Centre for Youth Impact, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Brunel University London, and Bryson Purdon Social Research, NPC will:
- Support grant holders with their evaluation practice
- Undertake focused evaluation on a sub-group of grant holders, to inform the wider sector as well as the evaluation of the Fund
- Support grant-holders and the wider sector to learn from the data collected and, as a result, improve their service provision
Anne Kazimirski, Head of Measurement and Evaluation at NPC said:
“This is a really exciting opportunity. Focusing on learning and impact alongside programme delivery will create an evidence base that will benefit the sector well beyond the Building Connections Fund. It will build the capacity of organisations in this space to understand their impact and improve their services.”
The project aims to generate learning that will be used across the sector and beyond the lifetime of the project. NPC and its partners will share learning through events, publications and blogs.
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