The cross-government Building Connections Fund is a partnership between government, The National Lottery Community Fund, and the Co-op Foundation. The main Building Connections Fund offered £11.5m to projects working to reduce or prevent loneliness across England.

In addition to the main fund, in November 2018, the government provided over £1m to the Co-op Foundation to deliver a key Loneliness Strategy commitment to maximise the use of community spaces, particularly for young people. This included focusing on co-designing services with young people. Funding was allocated to 144 projects, with a short delivery period of three months, between January and March 2019.

NPC has conducted a qualitative evaluation of these projects to better understand role of co-design and community spaces in reducing loneliness for young people.

Our work includes:

  • Exploring the outcomes of co-design on participants, beneficiaries and the wider community;
  • Exploring how organisations were successful or unsuccessful in engaging young people in co-design, including the extent to which they integrated young people in the evaluation of co-design;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of improving community spaces on reducing youth loneliness;
  • Identifying the factors that can help communities make better use of community spaces.


Read the full report below to discover what worked well.

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