A fund to tackle loneliness and social isolation will help grass root organisations bring communities together across Wales.
The three year Loneliness and Social Isolation Fund will support front-line, local, grass-roots organisations, which bring people of all ages together, helping them to build social connections in and across communities.
£1.5 million has been split across Welsh local authorities, working in partnership with County Voluntary Councils, over the next three years and will help organisations run face-to-face activities safely and securely or continue online activities if access to venues is difficult or to reach people who are not ready to attend in-person events.
All applicants had to demonstrate how their proposal met one or more of the Welsh Government’s loneliness and social isolation strategy priority areas.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
Community groups are best placed to understand what their communities need and what support is required to help people re-engage and re-build social connections. The funding announced today will help small organisations support their communities by scaling up existing activities, promoting themselves more widely and helping fund the use of suitable venues.
The pandemic caused many people across Wales to feel lonely and isolated. Even with the lifting of restrictions some people may still have some concerns or hesitations about leaving their homes and re-engaging with others. I hope the projects funded will help alleviate some of these fears.
Councillor Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said:
We are delighted Denbighshire has been successful in its bid to the Welsh Government’s Connected Communities Loneliness and Isolation fund. In Denbighshire we will be calling this the 'Getting Back Together' fund. Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council and the Council’s Community Support Services, Community Development, Libraries and One Stop Shops have already received requests for support for a range of activities and interventions which will help residents re-engage with friends, families and those with shared interests.
Many people have been suffering considerably from a sense of loneliness and isolation particularly since the pandemic began and this fund will help to support those in need.
Councillor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Community, Well-being and Social Justice said:
This funding will really help to kickstart local community projects and support communities to turn their ideas into reality. We know that loneliness and social isolation are serious problems in our county and can affect anyone of any age or background. We know the best way to tackle loneliness is to build thriving, inclusive communities from the ground up; this is the core purpose of our local community networks. Building on the strong partnership between GAVO, Monmouthshire Council and other important local organisations, Monmouthshire’s community networks are a way to help people who want to take action and make positive changes in their area connect with other like-minded people.
Putting communities in the driving seat is at the heart of everything we try to do in Monmouthshire. We know that local groups and citizens are fizzing with ideas for how to transform their local areas and to bring people together in the process. This fund will be another important step in supporting them to do just that and to help all our residents to be fully included in their local communities.