Rushcliffe Borough Council has launched the Reach Rushcliffe fund, dedicated to supporting projects across the Borough that tackle loneliness and isolation.
Being connected with other people matters for everyone’s health and COVID-19 has further highlighted how social isolation can be bad for our mental and physical health.
It’s fast becoming one of the greatest social challenges nationally and whilst often associated with older people who live on their own, it can affect anyone of any age and linked to issues such as obesity, smoking and can increase risk of dementia.
Now, town and parish councils, local groups and organisations can access up to £50,000 of funding from the scheme to apply for proposals to create, sustain or expand projects that could help reach out with a friendly face to those in need.
It should aim to take steps to make contact and engage individuals or groups in Rushcliffe communities who may have little or no social contact.
This could be initiatives based around a structured befriending initiative to check on individuals, lunch clubs, or safe regular social meet up events in line with government advice or other projects.
Funding could also support initiatives similar to Cotgrave Super Kitchen which has reached out to hundreds of local people in its community in the last 16 months, providing low-cost nutritious meals every Thursday lunchtime in a social setting.
Leader of the Council Cllr Simon Robinson said: “This fund aims to directly improve the quantity and quality of connections residents have with each other and local groups.
“We’ll be assessing funding applications to help with initiatives and how at the right time around COVID-19 advice, transport and technology can create and sustain stronger relationships for those who may need our support.
“We’re keen to hear from a wide range of groups and recognise that some small groups may need additional support to plan, deliver or evaluate their project so please get in touch.
“We want to hear from you too about what may help us reach out to more people across our communities who may benefit from Rushcliffe Reach. Email email@example.com for more information.”
Proposals must demonstrate how they will tackle loneliness and make a difference to the health and wellbeing of participants, be community-led and sustainable with more information available at https://www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/health/reachrushcliffe/
Applications can be made by completing an application form at https://bit.ly/3fmhJ0q and initiatives could also work in conjunction with Rushcliffe’s GP practices and the established Rushcliffe Community Voluntary Service.
It is not anticipated the fund would extend to the running costs of an existing organisation but start-up costs for a new initiative may be considered.