Charities who work to tackle youth loneliness can now apply for a share of a £2m fund, jointly backed by government and the Co-op Foundation.
The fund forms part of the £11.5m Building Connections Fund, which was announced earlier this year by the minister responsible for both civil society and loneliness Tracey Crouch.
Eligible organisations can apply to the Co-Op Foundation for funding from today to “explore loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision and share their learning as part of the Foundation’s national ‘Belong’ network.
Grants of up to £80,000 are available from the youth fund. It is targeted at organisations supporting young people in more deprived areas or with specific circumstances that increase the risk of loneliness.
Applications can be made on the Co-Op Foundation website, which also provides guidance for applicants and eligibility criteria. Applications close on 26 September.
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."
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.”
Big Lottery Fund is delivering the remaining part of the Building Connections Fund, which is to be used for tackling loneliness by ‘building strong social connections and welcoming communities’. Applications for that tranche of funding close on 24 August.