The Building Connections Fund

We are leading the learning and evaluation partnership for the first ever cross-government Building Connections Fund, dedicated to reducing loneliness in England.

The £11.5 million Building Connections Fund is a partnership between the UK government—who have pledged £5.5 million—The National Lottery Community Fund—who have pledged £5m—and the Co-op Foundation—who has allocated £1 million.

The fund will target people from all age groups and backgrounds and aims to build on existing knowledge to better understand the most effective approaches to measure, reduce and prevent loneliness.

NPC is partnering with the Centre for Youth Impact, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Brunel University London, Bryson Purdon Social Research, and David Pritchard to support grant holders with their evaluation practice.

Tackling loneliness—the Building Connections Fund

The Building Connections Fund is an £11.5m investment funded by the UK government, The National Lottery Community Fund, and Co-op Foundation. The fund aims to support existing projects able to reduce or prevent loneliness.

HM Government, Community Fund, Co-op Foundation

The investment is part of the UK government’s wider package to tackle loneliness, including the first loneliness strategy for England and Office for National Statistics recommendations on standard measures of loneliness.

The Building Connections Fund has awarded grants to 126 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working with groups of all ages and backgrounds across England.

Our leading role

We are supporting Building Connections Fund grant-holders  around the country to evaluate how their projects reduce and prevent loneliness, and will share learning with the wider sector.

We are gathering evidence together to help improve the evidence base on loneliness, which will be used to inform longer term policy and funding decisions.

Our partnership will support grant holders with evaluation through a programme of online guidance, workshops, and tailored assistance. We will work with grant holders in two ways:

  1. Focused evaluation on a sub-group of around 30-40 grant holders, to inform the wider sector as well as the evaluation of the Fund
  2. Supporting grant-holders and the wider sector to learn from the data collected and, as a result, improve their service provision

We will also disseminate evidence and insights from grantees through workshops, webinars and a dedicated webpage in collaboration with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

Resources

For resources and further evidence on tackling loneliness, visit the What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s dedicated webpage.

This is a really exciting opportunity. Focusing on learning and impact alongside programme delivery will create an evidence base that will benefit the sector well beyond the Building Connections Fund.

It will build the capacity of organisations in this space to understand their impact and improve their services.

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