New Government Funding to Tackle Loneliness

£4 million to be spent by community groups on book clubs, walking groups & other projects that reduce isolation.


The idea behind the new Local Connections Fund is to help bring people and communities back together as the country starts to recover from coronavirus, with £2 million coming from the Government and £2 million coming from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Organisations will be able to apply for grants between £300 and £2500.


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 ahead.

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two rounds of funding – each with its own application window, one opening on 5th 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, that are working to reduce loneliness by helping people feel more connected.

Organisations should apply via The National Lottery Community Fund between 3th January and 26th January, and decisions will be made in early February. Grants from this first round must be spent by the end of the financial year (31st March 2021).

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