A new £11.5 million Building Connections Fund has been launched to support projects that prevent or reduce loneliness. The fund is a partnership between Government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation which was set up in response to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness to support projects that prevent or reduce loneliness.
The fund aims to:
- Increase social connections, helping people form strong and meaningful relationships and creating a sense of community and belonging, and helping people feel more connected
- Support organisations to build on their existing work, e.g. by reaching more people, or working in a new area or with a different method or group of people
- Encourage organisations to join up with others locally
- Improve the evidence base and use learning to inform longer term policy and funding decisions.
The fund is split into two strands.
Main fund strand
The main fund is made up of close to £9 million, which will be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, making grants of between £30,000 and £100,000. The fund is open for applications with a closing date of the 24th August 2018.
The Big Lottery Fund is offering funding to organisations with existing projects that are already helping to build connections to prevent or reduce loneliness and want to do more to build on this work. The Big Lottery Fund is interested in funding projects that could reach more people and / or join up with others and include ways of utilising existing expertise in the sector, increasing geographical reach and improving impact.
The Youth Strand is made up of £2 million, which will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation, making grants of up to £80,000. It opens for applications in August 2018 – find out more on the Co-op Foundation blog.
The Youth Strand will be open to organisations with existing youth-focused activities that could be effective at helping young people avoid long-term loneliness. Successful applicants will receive funding to explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision, and share their learning as part of a national network. You will be supported to evaluate your activities and capture your impact, which will add to the evidence base.