Grants of up to £80,000 available to tackle youth loneliness

The £2m youth-focused strand of the Building Connections Fund will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation

Charities and community groups that deal with youth loneliness can now apply for grants of up to £80,000 from the strand of the Building Connections Fund run by the Co-op Foundation.

The Prime Minister announced the £11.5m Building Connections Fund, aimed at reducing loneliness, in June, with £9m of it due to be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund and £0.5m going towards evaluation of the scheme.

The remaining £2m will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation and will focus specifically on loneliness among young people.

Projects will be eligible to apply for a share of the funding if they support young people in the most-deprived areas in England (the bottom 30 per cent), or if they benefit young people in any area who are carers, unemployed or precariously employed, experiencing bereavement, have a disability or long-term health condition, or have been in the care system.

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 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."

Applications for the fund will close on Wednesday 26 September and more information can be found on the Co-op Foundation website

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