Small charities and community groups are being invited to apply for grants from a £4m fund intended to help tackle loneliness.
The Local Connections Fund, which is being funded by £2m from the government and £2m from the National Lottery Community Fund, will give out hundreds of grants of between £300 and £2,500.
Charities and community organisations in England with annual incomes of up to £50,000 will be eligible to apply for the funding, which would be used to bring people together in safe and secure ways, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said.
The grants could also be used to strengthen organisations and their services, for example through training and development.
There will be two equal funding rounds, with the first opening for applications on 5 January for a three-week period.
Funds granted in this window must be spent by 31 March.
The second round is expected to open in the summer, although the precise timings are yet to be announced.
Baroness Barran, the minister for civil society, said: “By investing directly in local charities and organisations, the £4m Local Connections Fund will get support to where it’s needed quickly and help bring people together through shared interests, so that no one needs to feel isolated in the months ahead.”
The NLCF will manage the fund.
For more details and to apply, click here.