Big Lottery Fund unveils £120m drive to help vulnerable older people

Initiatives include a £50m Centre for Ageing Better and the opportunity for local authority areas to apply for up to £6m in funding

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced two initiatives, worth £120m, to improve the lives of vulnerable older people in England.

The BLF will ask 100 selected local authority areas to put together applications for funding, including projects led by voluntary and community sector organisations, as part of the £70m Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme.

The areas will apply for funding of between £2m and £6m. From these applications, money will awarded in 15 to 20 areas, over a period of up to six years, to pilot projects that tackle the isolation of older people.

The BLF is also putting up to £50m toward the creation of an independent Centre for Ageing Better, scheduled to open early next year. The centre will aim to provide community-based solutions to the challenges facing older people.

The BLF said the initiatives would be complemented by Research for Impact, a £5m UK-wide initiative that will launched later this year to research better coping strategies for ageing and major life transitions such as retirement, becoming a carer and dealing with poverty.

Nat Sloane, BLF England chair, said: "Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better is a game-changing opportunity. The Big Lottery Fund is turning what is a threat into a positive by placing older people in the driving seat of change. Older people and their needs will be at the heart of services for them, ensuring their voices are heard."

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