A FUND to try to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation will help grassroots organisations bring communities together across Wales.

The three-year Loneliness and Social Isolation Fund will support frontline, grassroots organisations which bring people of all ages together, helping them to build social connections in and across communities.

£1.5million has been split across Welsh local authorities, working in partnership with County Voluntary Councils, during the next three years.

This 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, 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 announced today 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.”

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s lead member for wellbeing 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.”