Charities and community groups will get £20 million of new funding to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness, Prime Minister Theresa May has said.
The funding will go to support and expand programmes that bring people together and are proving to benefit communities.
This includes a new £11 million ‘Building Connections Fund’ that will be distributed to successful applicants that can help bring communities together. This will help make the most of local spaces, opening them up for community use, as well as help businesses and local services 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 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 – who have equally pledged £5 million – and the Co-op Foundation, who has allocated £1 million to tackle loneliness among young people
In addition to this new 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 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 – it can affect anyone of any age and from any background. But just as loneliness can affect any of us, so any of us can help to overcome it.
The new funding set out 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.
This is just part of Jo Cox’s legacy, and I am determined we continue to take this forward. That’s why we need to do all we can to tackle loneliness, and our forthcoming strategy will build on today’s funding.
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:
This funding will support charities across the country that are fighting against loneliness. It will help improve people’s lives and create a shared society for the future.
I am incredibly grateful to our funding partners for their support. There is no single solution to this issue, but together we will reduce stigma around loneliness and build on Jo Cox’s legacy.
Funding applications for the Building Connections Fund will open from July 2018 with grants available until the end of December 2020.