The UK Government has announced £7 million of funding to tackle loneliness this winter and will be aimed at those most at risk of loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding will be targeted at sectors that are well-known for having the power to bring people and communities together such as the arts, libraries, charities and radio. It will also support cultural organisations, charities and local community groups who are delivering much-needed work to ensure no one feels isolated in their local community.
The funding will be distributed via a number of existing schemes such as:
£5 million to Arts Council England for arts and library services, of which £3.5 million has been awarded by the Government to national charity The Reading Agency, for their Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes
£2 million to extend the Government’s Loneliness Fund launched in May this year
£500,000 to be distributed amongst the Audio Content Fund and the Community Radio Fund
The package builds upon the £4 million Local Connections Fund announced earlier this month, which will provide hundreds of small grants to charities and small grassroots organisations – such as book clubs, walking groups and other local projects – that are bringing communities together and reducing social isolation. Applications for the Local Connections Fund will open in early January.