A FUND to tackle loneliness and social isolation will help grass root organisations bring communities together across Wales.

The three-year loneliness and social isolation fund will support front-line, local, grass-roots organisations, which bring people of all ages together, helping them to build social connections in and across communities.

A total of £1.5 million has been split across Welsh local authorities, working in partnership with county voluntary councils, over the next three years and will help organisations run face-to-face activities safely and securely or continue online activities if access to venues is difficult or to reach people who are not ready to attend in-person events.

All applicants had to demonstrate how their proposal met one or more of the Welsh Government’s loneliness and social isolation strategy priority areas.

The Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan MS said: “Community groups are best placed to understand what their communities need and what support is required to help people re-engage and re-build social connections.

"The funding... will help small organisations support their communities by scaling up existing activities, promoting themselves more widely and helping fund the use of suitable venues.

“The pandemic caused many people across Wales to feel lonely and isolated. Even with the lifting of restrictions some people may still have some concerns or hesitations about leaving their homes and re-engaging with others.

"I hope the projects funded will help alleviate some of these fears.”

Cllr Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for well-being and independence, said: “We are delighted Denbighshire has been successful in its bid to the Welsh Government’s connected communities loneliness and isolation fund.

"In Denbighshire we will be calling this the 'Getting Back Together' fund.

"Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council and the council’s community support services, community development, libraries and one stop shops have already received requests for support for a range of activities and interventions which will help residents re-engage with friends, families and those with shared interests.

"Many people have been suffering considerably from a sense of loneliness and isolation particularly since the pandemic began and this fund will help to support those in need.”