New funding to tackle loneliness announced

More than 840 charities, community groups and grassroots organisations tackling social isolation have received a share of £4 million to tackle loneliness.

The funding is designed to help local organisations with an annual income of less than £50,000 bring people and communities together.

As such, the grants will be used to tackle loneliness and isolation in different ways - from covering the costs of technology and equipment to bring people together in a safe and secure way, to strengthening their services through training and development to provide long-term impact.

Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, marked the announcement with a visit to Cultivating Community in Somerset, who have benefited from The Local Connections Fund. Thanks to a grant worth £1502, the organisation is running a programme called ‘Planting Seeds of Connection’. The programme enables the elderly and isolated to grow plants and flowers, and whilst doing so connecting with others, to help tackle loneliness.

Baroness Barran said: “As we emerge from lockdown, it’s critical to remember that some people will remain isolated, and loneliness will not simply go away. This is why the Government is committed to continuing to tackle loneliness as a national priority.

“The local organisations benefiting from these grants are a powerful way of connecting small groups of people across communities in England. I’m delighted that the Local Connections Fund is giving people an opportunity to do things they enjoy, whilst helping tackle loneliness. It is a privilege to have worked alongside the organisations in the Tackling Loneliness Network to produce our action plan, and I am confident that the commitments we’ve made will be a positive step towards ending the loneliness that has blighted so many lives in the past year.”

The Local Connections Fund is made up of £2 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. The second round of funding for the Local Connections Fund will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and applications for this will launch in the summer of 2021.

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.