The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) is delighted to announce that 60 projects have been awarded two-year grants of £70,000, under the Tackling Loneliness programme, designed to tackle loneliness and isolation in Forces communities across the UK.
Projects will work with traditionally ‘harder to reach’ groups of beneficiaries to encourage more people to engage in their community, access services and provision and build stronger networks with peers, support organisations and service providers.
In addition, under the Tackling Social Isolation programme, the Trust has awarded seven strategic grants to experienced organisations who will act as mentors for successful Tackling Loneliness projects. This follows the success of the mentor model used for the Trust’s Strategic Pathways/Positive Pathways programmes.
Tackling loneliness and isolation
In Scotland, Thistle Health and Wellbeing will support veterans living with a long-term physical or mental health condition, to live a life free of isolation and loneliness.
Claire Cummings from the organisation told said: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen the impact of loneliness on our communities like never before. By trialling new ways of working and developing remote support options, we’ve been able to continue providing vital support while reaching out to more veterans across Scotland.
We are grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust as the Tackling Loneliness award will ensure that, over the next two years, we are able to support more veterans living with long-term health conditions or experiencing difficult life circumstances, to break out of a life of loneliness and isolation and find connection and community.”
Support for the LGBTQ+ community
The Trust identified several priority groups of beneficiaries for this funding programme, one of which was LGBTQ+ members of the Forces community.
Dig In were awarded funding for their ‘Bloomin’ Marvellous’ project, providing a diverse befriending experience for veterans and their families with a focus on LGBTQ+, young carers and others.
Isabel from the project explains:
“We are delighted to have been offered funding for this exciting project. We will be working in partnership with Lancashire LGBTQ+, The University of Central Lancashire and Healthier Heroes CIC, to deliver a horticulture project to members of the Armed Forces and veteran community who are experiencing loneliness and isolation. Not only will the project allow the participants to take part in a shared and meaningful activity with their peers, it will provide valuable training and experience to befrienders and mentors in working with members of the Armed Forces community and, in particular, those that are also members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Much needed support during and after the Covid-19 pandemic
Chief Executive of the Trust, Melloney Poole, said:
“We are delighted to support these projects, which will reduce loneliness and support people from Armed Forces communities to develop confidence and become more connected with others. We hope that the projects we’ve funded will provide much needed support, particularly as some Forces communities have been especially isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Find out more
For a full list of awards made under the Tackling Loneliness and Tackling Social Isolation programmes, visit the Trust’s website: www.covenantfund.org.uk