VOLUNTEERING projects in Hull and North Yorkshire are to benefit from a new £2.7m government fund aimed at boosting community connections and reducing social isolation.
Announced by Loneliness Minister Tracey Crouch under her Sport and Civil Society remit, the Connected Communities Innovation Fund will support “people and places to thrive through the power of volunteering”.
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Ltd will receive £250,000 for a project that will mobilise more volunteers to enhance the wellbeing of Hull residents, encouraging social interaction, building confidence and generating confidence to take part, with a focus on tackling isolation.
North Yorkshire County Council will receive £100,000 for it’s ‘Enhance North Yorkshire’ project which coordinates individual volunteers and established groups to support collaborative emergency response and management.
The fund, delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and innovation foundation Nesta, will see 16 grantees receive funding, with projects using the money to develop and test early stage ideas as well as scaling programmes which are currently having a positive impact.
Ms Crouch said: “Volunteering has a hugely beneficial impact on people’s lives. It has the power to harness community spirit and strengthen local areas by improving people’s wellbeing and decreasing social isolation .
“This investment will create more opportunities for people to share their skills while supporting people in need - it will also help provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves. I am looking forward to seeing the impact it has on a range of areas over the next few years.”
Head of social action innovation at Nesta, Carrie Deacon, said: “We know that when citizens share their time, knowledge and skills alongside public services, communities can achieve great things together. By supporting these innovative social action projects to develop and grow we know they will transform lives, and make a significant impact on some of the biggest social challenges we face. We’re excited to be supporting these projects over the next two years.”