The National Lottery Community Fund is inviting voluntary organisations to apply for a share of a new £3m fund that encourages cross-sector collaboration on local health and wellbeing projects.
The Healthy Communities Together programme is a joint initiative between the NLCF and the health think tank the King's Fund.
Six successful applicants from England will each receive £50,000 to develop plans to improve local health.
They will then be invited to apply for a second phase of funding worth up to £450,000 each over three years to implement their plans.
Each application must include a voluntary organisation, a local authority and an NHS organisation working in partnership, although the programme guidelines state “most” grants will be directed to voluntary organisations.
The fund was opened today at an event in London at which third sector leaders joined government and health representatives to discuss how health and care organisations could work together to meet demand and share learning.
The NLCF is providing the £3m funding; the King's Fund will act as consultancy to the successful bidders.
The fund comes after last year's publication of the NLCF report Connecting Communities and Healthcare: making social prescribing work for everyone, which highlighted the importance of the voluntary sector in community health.
Richard Murray, chief executive of the King’s Fund, said in a statement: “Public sector and voluntary sector organisations often want to work more closely together but come up against practical barriers.
“The Healthy Communities Together programme will provide the much-needed funding and leadership support to build long-lasting partnerships between local charities, community groups and public sector organisations.”
Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the NLCF, said: “Whether it’s a local community group or charity offering tailored activities and expert support, or a group of health and care professionals striving to offer the best possible service, these local leaders understand what will improve people’s health and wellbeing.
“This funding will encourage closer collaboration between them and enable the voices of people and communities to be at the table in designing and delivering customised programmes to increase wellbeing.”
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