Building Connections Fund

Social welfare
Young people
Existing collaboration

Aims and activities

Aims and questions

The £11.5 million Building Connections Fund was set up in response to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness to support projects that prevent or reduce loneliness.

The fund aimed to:

- increase social connections, helping people form strong and meaningful relationships and creating a sense of community and belonging, and helping people feel more connected

- support organisations to build on their existing work, eg by reaching more people, or working in a new area or with a different method or group of people

- encourage organisations to join up with others locally

- improve the evidence base and use learning to inform longer term policy and funding decisions.

The Fund was split into two strands: a Main fund and a Youth fund. All grants were awarded in December 2018 and the programme ran until 2021.

In a sense, the Building Connections Fund was an experiment in gathering loneliness evidence and collaborating between funders.

Louise Snelders
Head of Funding and Partnerships, Co-op Foundation

How to get involved

This funding collaboration has now closed but learning is available to share. Funders interested in supporting youth loneliness can contact Louise Snelders at the Co-op Foundation.

Who's involved

DCMS led the government's input into the fund, co-ordinating contributions from seven government departments. The National Lottery Community Fund match-funded and distribute the Main fund, and Co-op Foundation match-funded and distributed the Youth fund.

Learning and Resources

The final evaluation of the fund by NPC is available here. Other resources developed during the evaluation process are available on the What Works Wellbeing and NPC websites.

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