Charities can now apply to a £5m government fund aimed at tackling loneliness during the coronavirus emergency, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has announced.
The fund will be issuing grants between £500,000 and £1m, and aims “to ensure that, for people of all ages and backgrounds, staying at home does not need to lead to loneliness”.
National charities providing frontline services in England can apply. Among other criteria, services will have to focus on groups particularly at risk of loneliness and have a track record of successful delivery in order to qualify.
Oliver Dowden,culture secretary, said: “Coronavirus and social distancing has forced all of us to look loneliness in the eye. So recognising the signs and tackling the stigma has never been more important.
“We are launching this plan now to help ensure no one needs to feel lonely in the weeks ahead. It will help everyone understand the role they can play in looking after each other, and empower our expert charities and volunteers to reach more vulnerable people.”
Charities have until 12pm on Friday 29 May to apply. The application form and more information can be found on the DCMS website.
In early April, the government unveiled a £750m package for charities, some £360m of which is for charities providing frontline services. Last week, the government announced £16m would go to food redistribution charities.
It is as yet unclear when applications will open for the £370m that is meant to go to small community charities via the National Lottery Community Fund.