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Building Connections Fund – is your project eligible for our £2 million youth strand?

Monday 16 July 2018

  • The £2 million Youth strand of the Building Connections Fund is now closed. 

Charities and community organisations across England can now apply for a share of more than £11 million to tackle loneliness.

Part of this Building Connections Fund, announced last month by Prime Minister Theresa May, will be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund to projects tackling loneliness across all ages. This fund opened on 16 July 2018 and has now closed to applications.

The remaining £2 million of this fund will be distributed here at the Co-op Foundation to support projects that tackle youth loneliness specifically. Grants of up to £80,000 will be available and applications opened on 15 August. Please note, this fund has now closed to applications. 

Is your project eligible for youth strand funding?

Successful applicants to the youth strand of the Building Connections Fund will be charitable or community organisations already working to tackle youth loneliness.

We will be specifically looking to fund those organisations that benefit young people in one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Young carers
  • Unemployed or precariously employed
  • Experiencing bereavement
  • With a disability or long-term health condition
  • Have been in the care system
  • Live within the most deprived 30% of areas in England.

If your project meets one or more of these 6 criteria, you might be best suited to apply to the youth strand when this opens in August.

Update: Please note, this fund has now closed to applications.

What can the money be spent on?

Successful applicants to the youth strand will receive funding to explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision, and share their learning as part of our national ‘Belong’ network.

Grants of up to £80,000 will be offered as follows:

  • Up to £10,000 (to be spent between December 2018 and March 2019) to engage young people in co-designing innovations to improve the impact of existing provision on tackling loneliness
  • Up to £70,000 (to be spent between April 2019 and March 2021) to implement and evaluate these innovations.

Projects funded through our youth strand will also participate in the wider Building Connections Fund evaluation.

Why youth loneliness?

Youth loneliness is widespread but not widely understood.

The Co-op Foundation has been focusing on this issue for the past 18 months, ever since Co-op research revealed that young people feel lonely more often than other age group. We recognised that, despite its prevalence, there had been limited efforts to understand in depth how loneliness affected young people, and what would help them.

We now fund projects across the UK that help young people come together to combat loneliness.

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