£20m pot will help fund digital projects that tackle loneliness
25 Jun 2018by Chloe Green
The UK government has said that a percentage of the £20m of new funding for charities and community groups to help isolated people and those suffering from loneliness will be used for digital projects that aim to bring people together.
A new £11 million ‘Building Connections Fund’, to be distributed to successful applicants that can help bring communities together, will also fund projects that use technology to link those in remote areas, the Prime Minister Theresa May said in a joint statement with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
The fund has been created as a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund
and the government – which has equally pledged £5 million – and the Co-op Foundation
, who has allocated £1 million to develop ways to alleviate loneliness among young people.
In addition to this new fund, People’s Postcode Lottery
has committed £5 million of players money to top up existing grants it has given to charities that combat loneliness. The Health Lottery
will give out £4 million to charities that work to improve social links in disadvantaged areas across England.
“Despite being more digitally connected than ever, we are facing a dire epidemic of loneliness with far reaching consequences for people’s health and mental well-being,’ said Clara Govier, Managing Director of People’s Postcode Lottery.
“Thanks to grant-giving trusts supported by supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, a £5 million fund has been created to benefit charities working towards more digitally-connected communities. This will [help to] tackle the issues behind loneliness which affect so many people across Great Britain."
Funding applications for the new Building Connections Fund will open from July 2018, with grants available until the end of December 2020. The government’s work will be led by Tracey Crouch MP
, who was appointed the ministerial lead on loneliness in January 2018, following the report of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness in December 2017.