Scottish Government’s Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund Opens for Applications

Funding for third-sector organisations, grassroots and community groups based in Scotland for activities that reduce social isolation and loneliness in the post covid period and to help mitigate the impact of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The Scottish Government’s Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund is being managed on its behalf by Impact Funding Partners (IFP).

The funding is to support the Scottish Government’s strategy of tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections. The vision of this strategy is a Scotland where individuals and communities are more connected, and everyone has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships regardless of age, stage, circumstances or identity.

In tandem with the launch of this fund, the Scottish Government have released their Recovering our Connections (2023) delivery plan, which outlines how they will take forward the delivery of the A Connected Scotland strategy. The Social Isolation and Loneliness Fund is part of the delivery plan to take the strategy forward.

Grants range from a minimum of £7,200 to £72,000 to cover the 36-month period (1 August 2023 to 31 July 2026). It is expected that around 70% of the funding will be allocated to smaller community organisations (with an income of below £500,000).

The funding will support the continuation or expansion of existing activity as well as new or pilot activity, as long as it helps to provide safe spaces for people to connect/reconnect with others.

Activities must contribute to one or more of the Fund’s four outcomes:

  • Understanding increases around social isolation and loneliness and causes/impacts, along with understanding of what works to reduce it.
  • Social isolation and loneliness are reduced.
  • Harm resulting from the effects of social isolation and loneliness is reduced.
  • The conditions which help to reduce social isolation and loneliness are increasingly widespread.

Applications will be accepted from third sector organisations, grassroots or community groups including unincorporated voluntary organisations, clubs, SCIOs (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations) and CICs (Community Interest Companies). Partnership bids from two or more of these community groups and organisations can also be made. Where sensible to do so, partnership and multi-agency working is welcomed. This includes with public bodies and local authorities, as long as the lead partner is a third sector organisation or community group.

There is a two-stage application process.

Expression of Interest will be accepted from 8 March to 31 March 2023.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)