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Aldingbourne Trust awarded grant from government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund to tackle loneliness in the local community
Aldingbourne Trust was today announced as one of the recipients of the first round of funding of the government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund, which has been designed to tackle loneliness in local communities and ensure support was directed to where it was most immediately needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Aldingbourne Trust which supports adults with learning disabilities live independent lives joins over 840 other charities, community groups and small grassroots organisations across England to have received a grant to help people feel more connected within their communities. Grants ranged from £300 to £2,500 and were awarded to organisations with an annual income of less than £50,000.
Aldingbourne Trust received a grant of £1700 to purchase computers to help people with LD could be connected, active and learning during lockdown with the support of our TechMate and so Staff and volunteers could receive online training so that remote support and communication could take place with the people we support.
The Local Connections Fund is made up of £2 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. The second round of funding for the Local Connections Fund will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and applications for this will launch in the summer of 2021.
This week also marks one year since DCMS relaunched its long-running campaign, Let’s Talk Loneliness, to remind people that there is no shame in asking for help. To mark this milestone, the Loneliness Minister has released Emerging Together: the Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan, to recognise that tackling loneliness will remain a national priority for the Government.
The action plan has set out key themes and actions decided by the Tackling Loneliness Network, which includes over 70 organisations. Members of the network have committed to self-funded actions which will help local communities tackle loneliness, including:
● WhatsApp will develop a chatbot messaging service that will offer anyone impacted by loneliness a simple and secure way to find information and support services.
● JCDecaux has committed to look at how relevant content to help signpost young people to loneliness support and services could be included on their network of free, fast wifi spots on high streets across the UK.
● The Association of Convenience Stores will produce a guide for its members on wellbeing and tackling loneliness
Since the beginning of the pandemic, over £31.5 million of the £750 million charity funding package has gone directly towards reducing loneliness, and a further £45 million to organisations supporting people with their mental health. In total, over 13,000 charities have benefited.
Project spokesperson’s name, from name of organisation, said:
Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, said:
“Over the past year I have been truly inspired by the impact that small community organisations can have on people’s lives in our towns and villages, so I’m delighted that the Local Connections Fund will give people an opportunity to go out and do things that they enjoy.
“I’m proud to have worked alongside the organisations in the Tackling Loneliness Network to produce our action plan, and I am confident that the commitments we’ve made will be a positive step towards ending the loneliness that has blighted so many lives in the past year.”
Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said:
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve continually seen the impact that grassroots groups and charities are having on their local communities. The grants made through the Local Connections Fund have empowered small organisations across England to make a huge difference – supporting individuals to build connections, reducing feelings of isolation and helping communities to thrive.
“We are proud to have distributed this funding on behalf of DCMS, and now look ahead to the summer when a further £2million of National Lottery funding will be made available – through the Local Connections Fund - to help charities and community groups address loneliness and create social connections in their local areas.”