Hundreds of small grants from £300 up to £2500 are to be made available to community projects tackling the issue of loneliness in the coming months.
£4 million is available in total from the Local Connections Fund, which is made up of £2 million from the Government and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund.
The grants are designed to help local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Local Connections Fund will be split into two rounds of funding – each with its own application window, one in January 2021 and one in the summer 2021. Funding will be available to small charities and community groups in England with an annual income of £50,000 or less and working to reduce loneliness by helping people feel more connected.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will provide the first round of funding, totalling £2 million, and this will open for applications on 5 January 2021. Organisations should apply via The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. Grants from this round will be distributed and spent by the end of the financial year.
Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran, said:
“A great way to reduce loneliness is to do something you already enjoy with like-minded people, whether that’s walking, volunteering or joining a book club. During the pandemic I’ve been so impressed with the way community groups have adapted their work to bring people together in new and innovative ways.
By investing directly in local charities and organisations, the £4 million Local Connections Fund will get support to where it’s needed quickly and help bring people together through shared interests, so that no one needs to feel isolated in the months.”
More on tackling loneliness:
£2 million available to help tackle loneliness 17 October 2019
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