The National Lottery Community Fund has recently launched the £4 million Local Connections Fund in partnership with The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.

This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

The Local Connections Fund will be split into two equal rounds of funding. DCMS will provide the first £2 million round of funding - which will be distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. This first round will be open for applications on 5 January 2021 and close on 26 January 2021.

Successful applicants for this round of funding must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.

The second round of funding will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and will launch in the summer of 2021.

Grants from the first round of funding will strengthen and develop small and micro organisations that connect communities together and reduce loneliness.

This fund is suitable for England-based small local charities and grassroots groups working to tackle loneliness by helping people feel more connected within their communities.

The funding size varies between £300 to £2,500. The total funding available will be of £2 million in phase 1 - successful applicants must spend their grants and have completed their projects by 31 March 2021

The application deadline is Tuesday 26 January 2021.

Organisations can still apply, even if they already have existing grants with The National Lottery Community Fund. However, bear in mind all funding conditions, available on The National Lottery Community Fund's website.