The Government is inviting national organisations working to tackle loneliness to apply for a share of £5 million of funding to help those most at risk as a result of Covid-19.
The fund will make grants of between £500,000 and £1,000,000.
To be eligible, services must be able to demonstrate their ability to reach people in ‘cold spots’ where informal neighbourly support and small local charities are not able to fully meet needs around social connection. They must also serve the needs of groups particularly at risk of loneliness, including those noted in ONS analysis and Community Life Survey and Active Lives Survey data, and continue, adapt or expand existing provision where there is a track record of successful delivery. And, they must also be services that cannot be provided without this additional funding.
The deadline for applications is 12pm on Friday 29 May, with the expected outcomes of the fund being effective, targeted relief for those most at risk of loneliness as a result of Covid-19, and contributing to the evidence base on Covid-19 and loneliness.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Coronavirus and social distancing has forced all of us to look loneliness in the eye. So recognising the signs and tackling the stigma has never been more important.
“We are launching this plan now to help ensure no one needs to feel lonely in the weeks ahead. It will help everyone understand the role they can play in looking after each other, and empower our expert charities and volunteers to reach more vulnerable people.”
More information on the Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund and an application form is available on the .Gov site.
The Government first announced a focus on loneliness in 2018 with the appointment of then Minister for Sport & Civil Society Tracey Crouch as its first ‘Loneliness Minister‘, the publication of its Loneliness Strategy with almost 60 commitments to end loneliness, and the announcement of £20million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness. This included the £11.5 million Building Connections Fund – the first Government fund ever dedicated to reducing loneliness.
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