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Further £2 million made available through the Local Connections Fund to help community groups tackling loneliness

The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, is pleased to announce that grassroots charities and community groups tackling loneliness in England can apply for a share of £2 million of National Lottery funding to support their work. 

  • The Local Connections Fund is a joint £4 million funding programme from The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund. It was set up to support grassroots community groups tackling loneliness by building social connections in their local areas
  • The second round of the Local Connections Fund, made up of £2 million of National Lottery funding, is open for applications from community groups with an income of less than £50,000
  • More than 850 grants were awarded during the first round of Local Connections funding earlier this year, thanks to £2 million investment from DCMS

The funding is made available through the second round of the Local Connections Fund, a joint £4 million funding programme from the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund. The fund was set up to give small community groups with an income of less than £50,000 the support needed to tackle loneliness and isolation by helping people feel more connected.

The first round of Local Connections funding, a £2 million investment from DCMS which opened in January, reached more than 850 community groups across England, with a focus on keeping people connected remotely while lockdown restrictions were in place.

The second round of funding will be used to fund hundreds of microgrants between £300 – £2,500. These will enable local activities to become more accessible and reach people who may be less likely to attend traditional clubs and societies. The funding will focus on supporting community projects to bring people together – where possible and safe to do so – in face to face settings.

Loneliness is a big concern. According to The National Lottery Community Fund’s most recent Community Research Index (a survey of more than 7,000 people across the UK) almost half of respondents (47%) say that tackling loneliness and isolation is an important priority for the year ahead. At the same time, recent research reveals that the number of people in the UK feeling “often” or “always” lonely has jumped by more than a million since last year – from 2.6 million to 3.7 million.

Through this programme and other partnerships such as The Building Connections Fund, DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund are working together to help prevent loneliness, strengthen our communities, and improve people’s lives.

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