Loneliness: Finance

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 21st February 2022.

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Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Trade)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to commit further funding to address loneliness during winter this year.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

In 2018, HM Government launched the world’s first tackling loneliness strategy. Since 2018 we have invested almost £50 million in tackling loneliness. This includes over £34 million in reducing loneliness for response to COVID-19 as part of the £750 million voluntary and community sector funding package.

In September 2021 we launched the Loneliness Engagement Fund, which provided small grants between £15,000 and £50,000 to organisations which could engage with target groups at high risk of loneliness. Nine organisations received grants through the fund, including charities supporting disabled people and young people.

The Government also plays a role in tackling loneliness by setting national direction and supporting other organisations across society to play their part. The tackling loneliness strategy sets out three objectives for the Government's work to tackle loneliness:

  • reducing the stigma associated with feeling lonely, by building a national conversation through our communications campaigns;

  • driving a lasting shift so loneliness is considered in policy-making and delivery by organisations across sectors; and

  • building the evidence base, making a compelling case for action across society.

The Government is continuing to take action to tackle loneliness this winter, including through a new communications campaign launched in January which encourages young people to take small actions to “lift someone out of loneliness”. We continue to support organisations to take action on loneliness through our Tackling Loneliness Network. We are supporting Network members to connect and share resources through our digital platform.

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