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Opening of £3 million fund to boost communities’ health and wellbeing

The National Lottery Community Fund and The King’s Fund yesterday launched a £3 million fund to empower voluntary and community sector organisations and the local health and care sector to work together to boost the health and wellbeing of their communities.

The new fund – which opens today – will enable effective partnerships to flourish between local groups and organisations and the NHS and councils across six different locations in England.

The programme will better enable local authorities, the NHS, and the voluntary and community sector to develop new ways of working, which make the most of their combined capability to improve the health of their community.

In the first year of the ‘Healthy Communities Together’ programme each area will receive up to £50,000 and expert support to help them to collaborate and develop a plan to improve local people’s health and encourage their community to thrive.

Partnerships will then be invited to apply for further funding, along with additional support, for up to three further years to implement their plans.

The input of leaders working in communities and the health sector has informed the design of the programme, which combines the health, care and leadership development expertise of The King’s Fund with the funding, knowledge, and insights of The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The new fund was launched this morning (20th February) at an event in London, hosted by The National Lottery Community Fund, which brought together leaders from across the voluntary and community sector, alongside government and health representatives. Attendees discussed how different parts of the health and care system can work together to meet demand and share learning.

The event followed the release of The National Lottery Community Fund’s report - Connecting communities and healthcare: Making social prescribing work for everyone - which summarises learning from the experiences of National Lottery funded projects and highlights the key role of the voluntary and community sector in social prescribing.

The joint announcement was made by Chief Executives Dawn Austwick, from The National Lottery Community Fund, and Richard Murray, from The King’s Fund.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: 

“Whether it’s a local community group or charity offering tailored activities and expert support or a group of health and care professionals striving to offer the best possible service, these local leaders understand what will improve people’s health and wellbeing.

“This funding will encourage closer collaboration between them and enable the voices of people and communities to be at the table in designing and delivering customised programmes to increase wellbeing.”

Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said: 

“Public sector and voluntary sector organisations often want to work more closely together but come up against practical barriers.

“The Healthy communities together programme will provide the much-needed funding and leadership support to build long-lasting partnerships between local charities, community groups and public sector organisations.

“By working together hand-in-glove, voluntary sector, NHS and local authority organisations will be able to have a bigger impact on the health of their communities.”

For more information about the Healthy Communities Together programme, including about eligibility and how to apply, please visit

Notes to Editors

About us

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

About The King’s Fund

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. The organisation aims to build healthier places and communities, tackle the worst health outcomes and support people and leaders working in health and care.


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