Local Connections Fund: additional 840 grants made to community groups tackling loneliness through latest round of funding

24 Nov 2021 12:10 PM

Over 840 grassroots charities and community groups tackling loneliness in England have received a share of £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund as part of a joint programme with Government to tackle loneliness.

The grants came about 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 latest round brings the total number of grants made through the Local Connections Fund to more than 1,700. More than 850 community projects received funding earlier this year, thanks to the £2 million investment from DCMS.

The latest funding was made available by the UK’s largest funder of community activity throughout the summer, and groups have been busy since using their grants to build social connections and tackle loneliness in their communities.

Grants awarded have been between £300 - £2,500 and focused on encouraging people to access local activities and services, as well as supporting community projects to create opportunities to build lasting connections. From covering costs of technology and equipment, to bringing people together in safe and secure environments, the funding was designed to support small community groups with an income less than £50,000 to tackle loneliness and isolation by helping people to feel more involved in their communities.

Headway Blackpool is one such project to receive a National Lottery grant through the second round of the Local Connections Fund. The group received £2,500 to enable people with disabilities, their families and carers to access specialist bikes so they can exercise and socialise outdoors. The project aims to support people to reduce feelings of loneliness and improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

John Mothersole, Chair of England Committee, The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Loneliness is a critical challenge for people and communities in the UK, not least in recent times. In the past five years almost £700 million of National Lottery funding has been distributed to charities working to address loneliness and social isolation and build connections and relationships.

“We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with Government on the Local Connections Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, hundreds of community projects across England have supported people to build social connections and help local communities to prosper and thrive.”

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Civil Society and Youth, said: "The Local Connections Fund has really highlighted how people coming together in their local communities to do things they enjoy has such a positive effect in tackling loneliness.

"I'm delighted to see this second round of funding has again contributed towards more fantastic projects as we continue to work towards our goal of tackling loneliness by supporting people to make connections in their local communities."

Bringing people together remains an important focus area for The National Lottery Community Fund. Earlier this month, it launched the Platinum Jubilee Fund, which will celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of dedicated public service by awarding 70 impactful grants of up to £50,000 to projects across the UK.

Up to £3.5 million will support people to come together, build connections and create a fitting and lasting legacy for their communities during a year of community spirit and celebration, which also includes the UK hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes funding on behalf of National Lottery players who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk

Notes to Editors

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we support people and communities to prosper and thrive.

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.

Our funding has a positive impact and makes a difference to people’s lives. We support projects focussed on things that matter, including economic prosperity, employment, young people, mental health, loneliness and helping the UK reach NET Zero by 2050.

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.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes. National Lottery funding has been used to support over 635,000 projects - 255 projects per postcode area.