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£2 million of funding available to tackle youth loneliness

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Belong helps young people beat loneliness

Charity and community organisations tackling youth loneliness across England can apply from today (15 August 2019) for a share of £2 million to expand or enhance their support for young people.

This is part of the wider £11.5 million Building Connections Fund, announced in June by Prime Minister Theresa May and the lead minister for tackling loneliness Tracey Crouch. The youth-specific strand includes £1 million match funding from both government and ourselves at the Co-op Foundation, the leading funder of projects tackling youth loneliness in the UK.

Eligible organisations can apply for funding from today (15 August 2018) to explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision and share their learning as part of the our national ‘Belong’ network.

Grants of up to £80,000 are available. The fund is targeted at organisations supporting young people in more deprived areas or with specific circumstances that increase the risk of loneliness.

Applications will close on Wednesday 26 September 2018.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “People can feel lonely at any age, with research showing young people are particularly affected. The Youth strand of the Building Connections Fund will help bring young people together to come up with innovative solutions to tackling loneliness while also building their confidence and skills to strengthen their connections and sense of belonging.

“We look forward to receiving applications from organisations across England looking to explore youth loneliness in greater depth and share their learning with partners nationwide.”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:“Loneliness can affect anybody, whatever your age, and we know that many young people struggle with feelings of isolation. This fund will support new ways to tackle youth loneliness, reduce stigma and make a real difference to the lives of young people across the country.”

The remaining £9.5 million of the Building Connections Fund is being delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. This is made up of £4.5 million from the Government and £5 million of National Lottery funding.

Grants of between £30,000 and £100,000 are available to support projects which reach out to people of all ages who feel lonely or isolated, and encourage them to take part in activities, helping them to feel more connected. Guidance and criteria are available on the Big Lottery Fund website.

Groups should apply to the strand which is most appropriate to support their work

Successful applicants will be announced in December 2018, with funding available to support projects until March 2021.

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