Government offers small charities £4m in microgrants to combat loneliness

Small charities are being urged to apply for a share of £4m in government funding to tackle loneliness.

The Local Connections Fund is open to charities and community groups to combat social isolation, through activities such as book clubs, walking groups and other community projects.

The funding is being handed out through microgrants, worth between £300 and £2.500 each.

A total of £4m has been made available – split equally between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF).

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, “said charities minister Baroness Barran.

“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.”

NLCF director of England funding Elly De Decker added: “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen charities and community groups be a powerful force for good, tackling loneliness.

“Small organisations are making a big difference, often on only small sums of money – supporting individuals to connect, reducing feelings of isolation, and helping communities thrive.”

Funding is being allocated in two rounds of £2m, in January and during the summer 2021. It is available to charities and groups with an annual income of £50,000 or less which are involved in tackling loneliness.

Applications for the first round of funding open on 5 January.

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