Essex Community Foundation

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East of England Co-op tackles loneliness

18th May 2018

The East of England Co-op has awarded £70,000 to local charities and groups across the region in a bid to tackle loneliness.

Working in partnership with the Community Foundations in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, the East of England Co-op’s Tackling Loneliness Fund was promoted to local charities and organisations who bid for a share of the funding. 

Chris Matthews, Chair of the Membership and Community Engagement Committee who approved the funding, said: “The Co-op has a long and proud history of supporting communities and tackling the big issues that affect us all. Loneliness is a growing concern and we wanted to do something that would directly benefit lonely and isolated people living in the communities we serve.”

Twenty two applications were shortlisted by officers from the three Community Foundations and East of England Co-op which were approved by the MCE together with a further scheme, ‘Supporting Women and Activities Network (North Norfolk)’ and the Goodgym project in Norwich.

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Essex Community Foundation, said, “In many ways we are more connected than ever before, but people still feel lonely and isolated.  The benefit of working in partnership with community foundations across the region is that we can reach small, local charities working in the heart of their communities. The grants awarded in Essex are helping to connect people and provide a wide range of activities for all ages, helping them to socialise, enjoy life, access help and support, feel valued and contribute to their community.”

Teen Talk (Harwich) provides emotional support for young people aged 11-25 years. Covering two main areas; one-to-one support and group activities they allow young people to access their service directly. Their drop-in service provides instant access to a support worker where young people can offload their worries and concerns and be provided with strategies to help them develop their skills to overcome or manage the difficulties they face day to day. 

Teen Talk (Harwich) are using their grant of £2,500 to run a series of ‘This is Me’ courses for groups of 14-16-year olds, who are struggling with self-esteem, identity and confidence.

Hayley Lovett, Chief Executive Officer at Teen Talk (Harwich), said, “This is an informal programme that allows young people to build better relationships and be more confident through creative activities. They identify their own strengths which they develop to empower them to be more resilient. Through the course, new friendships are formed, improving the young people’s confidence, helping them to improve communication, become more aware of their unique characteristics and raise their self-worth reducing the impact of loneliness.”

To date, three courses have been completed and 11 young people have taken part in the programme.

The projects who received funding in Essex are:

Beacon House Ministries: received £2,454 to support their welcome services for socially isolated homeless people, in Colchester.
Colchester Gateway Clubs: were awarded £2,500 to increase the hours of a support and advocacy manager for adults with learning disabilities.
Crossroads Care Tendring & Colchester: received £2,500 to help with the running costs of a young carers group in Tendring.
Jaywick Community Resources Centre Association: received £1,500 to support the costs of an elderly people's lunch club.
Teen Talk (Harwich): have been awarded of £2,500 to run a series of ‘This is Me’ courses for groups of 14-16-year olds, who are struggling with self-esteem, identity and confidence.
Tendring Community Transport: were awarded £2,500 to run a dial-a-ride service. This gives isolated people without their own form of transport the opportunity to use a minibus.

If you are a community or voluntary organisation that tackles loneliness, please call the grants team on 01245 356018. We are keen to discuss your work and potential funding opportunities.