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Grants are available for projects that reduce social isolation by tackling loneliness among traditionally harder to reach groups within the Armed Forces community in the UK.

Funding body: Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust
Maximum value: £ 70,000
Application deadline: 9/10/2020

Objectives of Fund
This new funding programme forms part of the Trust’s 2020/21 funding strategy focusing on reducing social isolation in the Armed Forces community. The programme has been launched following an open consultation that took place in early 2020 on the importance of reducing social isolation and which highlighted loneliness as a major factor of social isolation.

The Tackling Loneliness programme aims to address this challenge by targeting specific groups within the Armed Forces community who traditionally do not engage with available provision (this might include local activities, NHS services or other third-sector provision).

Fixed two-year grants are available to registered charities, community interest companies and Armed Forces units for projects that work with these groups and fit with at least one of the following themes:

  • Building stronger social networks and friendships.
  • Improving access to local activities and provision.
  • Building emotional resilience to overcome the causes of loneliness.
  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more independent.

Value Notes
Fixed grants of £70,000 are available for projects lasting for two years.

Who Can Apply
To be eligible to apply, organisations must be one of the following:

  • An established registered charity or community interest company (CIC) with substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities.
  • An Armed Forces unit or base.
  • CICs must have been registered and operating for over a year and their Companies House details must show that they have a minimum of three unrelated directors.
  • Registered charities must have been registered and operational for over a year and must be able to evidence that they have a minimum of three unrelated trustees at the time of applying.

Location
UK

Restrictions
Funding is not available for:

  • Individuals or families.
  • Schools.
  • Charities or CICs that do not have substantial recent experience of supporting Armed Forces communities.
  • Local authorities or similar organisations – but they could work with an eligible organisation as a delivery partner.
  • Projects based around therapies, advocacy, support services, advice services or clinical services.
  • Projects that do not clearly meet at least one of the programme’s outcomes.
  • General running costs.
  • Projects that do not benefit veterans or other people from the Armed Forces community.
  • Topping up existing grants and grant-in-aid from a government department.
  • Projects benefiting only one person.
  • Repeat or regular projects that require a source of uncommitted funding.
  • Investments.
  • Paying for ongoing costs of existing partnership activity.
  • Organisational fundraising activities.
  • Endowments (to provide a source of income).
  • Projects, activities or services that the state has a legal obligation to provide.
  • Retrospective funding for projects that have already started or taken place (before the end of February 2021).
  • Excessive management or professional fees or contingency costs.
  • It is highly unlikely that the Trust will fund projects with budgets that are dominated by capital costs.

Eligible Expenditure
Funding is for projects that tackle loneliness within specific groups of the Armed Forces community who traditionally do not engage with available provision. This might include one or more of the following groups of beneficiaries:

  • Bereaved families.
  • Dual serving families.
  • Foreign and Commonwealth families including Gurkhas.
  • Older Service children aged 16-24 years.
  • Reservists and Reserve families.
  • Serving families with young children, or who are new to Service life or who have family members with SEND.
  • Single serving parents.
  • Carers of veterans.
  • Veterans of any age and in particular, female veterans and older veterans.

Projects that specifically work with any of the following beneficiaries will also be welcomed:

  • LGBTQ+ Armed Forces community members.
  • Those who have suffered relationship breakdown.
  • Serving families, veterans and veteran families that live in rural or remote locations.
  • Transitioning personnel and families (including any children).

The Trust is specifically looking for projects that meet one or more of the following programme themes and expected outcomes:

  • Building stronger social networks and friendships – beneficiaries form new friendships, support networks and feel they have a role in their local community.
  • Improving access to local activities and provision – beneficiaries form new friendships, support networks and feel they have a role in their local community.
  • Building emotional resilience to overcome the causes of loneliness – beneficiaries feel confident in recognising when they feel lonely and can identify the best ways to deal with it.
  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more independent – beneficiaries take an active role in their community, becoming less dependent on local services and can help themselves and others who are not as far along their ‘personal development path’.

Examples of possible projects:

  • Engaging activities designed to improve mental health.
  • Arts and creative projects.
  • Activities taking place outdoors.
  • Military and civilian integration projects.
  • Youth activities.

Eligible costs might include:

  • Staff time for a fixed-term project, including managing volunteers.
  • Purchasing items that provide practical support, or that can enable activities to take place.
  • Purchasing items to provide support, such as additional telephones or laptops.
  • Reasonable costs for storing and transporting items, including wear and tear on private vehicles.
  • Reasonable overheads that reflect the cost of delivering the project.
  • Applicants should demonstrate that they have thought about the implications of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and taken this into account when designing and planning their project.

How To Apply
There will be one application round in 2020. Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 9 October 2020 (12 noon).

Applications are made via the online application portal on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website. Decisions are expected to be communicated by the end of February 2021.

The guidance notes and frequently asked questions are available on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.

A webinar is being held at 10:30 on 8 September 2020 to give potential applicants more information about the programme. Interested participants can register to attend via the link on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust website.

Useful Links
Tackling Loneliness Programme