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Tackling social isolation

Published: 20 Mar 2016 12:00

Extra funding to help fight loneliness.

Additional funding of £200,000 to tackle loneliness and social isolation was announced today by Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil.

The £200,000 will be added to funds already announced and will make a total pot of half a million pounds to tackle social isolation in 2016-17. This fund will have a particular focus on helping community groups which are central to supporting this area of work.

Mr Neil said:

"We know that local solutions can be effective in helping people feel involved and included, and in doing so, can boost physical and mental health.

"Tackling social isolation and loneliness is a priority for this Scottish Government. That is why I am delighted to announce this extra £200,000, which will support community groups to test out innovative approaches to tackle loneliness and isolation in their local areas.

"We are already seeing the positive benefits of projects which we have funded to combat loneliness – such as the innovative Craft Cafés for older people, and the Fife LGBT Support Programme. This fund will support additional work like this across Scotland over the coming year.

Maruska Greenwood Chief Executive of LGBT Health, said:

"In carrying out the Fife LGBT Needs Assessment we found that due to the current lack of LGBT-specific social activities, venues or services, LGBT adults in Fife have very limited opportunities to connect with others. This lack of peer contact and support often leaves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feeling isolated and lonely and can have a negative impact on their health and emotional wellbeing. People told us they want to meet other LGBT people, want social events and want those to be local. Thanks to the Scottish Government's funding for the Fife LGBT Support Programme, we will now have a chance to respond to these findings and develop an affirmative and inclusive programme of social activities where LGBT people can meet with peers."

Notes to editors

The additional investment in this fund will open for applications on Monday, March 21, with a deadline of May 20.

The funding is being managed by the Voluntary Action Fund. For further information and guidance on how to apply: http://www.voluntaryactionfund.org.uk/funding-and-support/social-isolation-and-loneliness-fund/

Projects wishing to apply must be small and community-based. They must start by July 1, 2016, and must finish by June 30, 2017.

There will be two levels of grants available: small grants from £2,500 to £10,000; larger grants from £10,000 to £20,000.

The fund will support different types of interventions to tackle social isolation and can support the continuation or expansion of existing activity as well as new activity.

Funding awards are one-off and will be for one year only.