The Co-op Group’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, is inviting applications from organisations to tender for two contracts designed to tackle youth loneliness by strengthening local services.
The tenders are part of the £11.5 million Building Connections Fund, a partnership between government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation. The fund was set up in response to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness to support projects in England that prevent or reduce loneliness.
The Co-op Foundation is offering up to £85,000 (including VAT) to develop and support the ‘Belong’ Learning Network and up to £150,000 (including VAT) to boost resources aimed at improving the capabilities of youth workers and youth organisations to tackle loneliness.
Organisations can tender for one or both of these by midday on Monday, 3 December. Contracts will start in January 2019 and run to the end of March 2021.
Jim Cooke, head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Recent research funded by the Co-op Foundation found that 50% of youth workers believed a lack of training was a barrier to tackling loneliness. Organisations tendering for these contracts will help combat this by developing our Belong network to increase collaboration across the sector and creating free, shareable resources that will improve the capabilities of youth workers.”
The Foundation is already funding 23 organisations tackling youth loneliness through grants worth £1.4m. An additional £3.5m of grants will be delivered through #iwill Fund and the Building Connections Fund enhanced Youth strand in December.