A new £4 million fund has launched to support small charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness.
The Local Connections fund is being backed by the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Fund, which have invested £2 million each.
This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations with an annual income of £50,000 or less can bring people and communities together.
The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding.
DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding, which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This round opened for applications on January 5 and will close on January 26, 2021.
Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent their grant and finished their project by March 31, 2021.
The second round of funding will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and will launch in the summer of 2021.
The aim is to help to bring people together in safe and secure ways – including by covering the costs of technologies and equipment that will help people feel more connected within their communities.
Funding can also be used to help strengthen organisations and their services through, for example, training and development.
People understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone. We know that different groups within different communities have different needs and so will need different levels of support. We want to hear directly from organisations as to who, in their community, needs additional assistance.