Book clubs, walking groups and other community projects will soon be able to apply for a share of a £4 million fund designed to help reduce loneliness, says Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely.
The Local Connections Fund – made up of £2 million from the Government and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund – will be used for hundreds of small grants worth between £300 and £2,500.
The money is intended to help local organisations bring people and communities together as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Seely: Some great work being done across the Island already
Mr Seely said,
“Lockdowns have impacted on people’s mental health so it’s important that we try to keep people connected. This fund can help with that.
“There is some great work being done across the Island already to support those who are lonely or vulnerable and this fund could help to continue, expand or commence new work to ensure people do not feel alone.
“I encourage charities and local interest groups with ideas about how to reduce social isolation to take a look at this fund when it opens.”
Barran: Getting support to where it’s needed quickly
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.”
Two rounds of funding
There will be two rounds of funding – the first will open for applications on 5th January and the second will open next summer.
Funding will be available to small charities and community groups in England with an annual income of £50,000 or less, which are working to reduce loneliness by helping people feel more connected.
News shared by the office of Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, in their own words. Ed