The government has launched a £2 million fund to help organisations tackling loneliness across the country.
The funding aims to support frontline, grassroots organisations that bring people together and help them make friends. These could include community cafés, street parties, coffee mornings or local walking groups.
The investment will help small organisations promote themselves more widely, help fund the use of suitable venues and accessible transport, and bring established groups together to best serve local people at risk of loneliness.
The funding marks one year since the publication of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy, which outlined almost 60 commitments to end loneliness. This included funding 126 projects through its £11.5 million Building Connections Fund – the first Government fund ever dedicated to reducing loneliness, jointly funded with the Co-op Foundation and National Lottery Community Fund.
Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, said:
“Loneliness is one of the biggest public health challenges our country faces and we are committed to tackling it head on. This new fund is a fitting way to mark one year since the launch of our landmark strategy and will help grassroots organisations address the issue in their own communities.
“I have had the privilege of meeting so many people, young and old, who are unsung heroes and heroines in their communities, bringing people together through cafés, reading groups, arts and crafts, gardening, sports and more. They have told me how they want a chance to celebrate their work, together with other local groups, so they can raise awareness and encourage more people to be involved.
“This new investment shows how much we value their work and our continued commitment to beating loneliness.”
Further details on the funding application process, including eligibility and when it will open, will follow in due course.
Main image: UK Parliament official portrait of Baroness Diana Barran, released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence.
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