Grants help fight loneliness

The Future of Loneliness, Friends of the Elderly and Future Foundation, SUS-151011-114507001
The Future of Loneliness, Friends of the Elderly and Future Foundation, SUS-151011-114507001

National charity Friends of the Elderly has launched a fund with Sussex Community Foundation to back charities and community groups in Sussex supporting older people.

The Friends of the Elderly Fund at Sussex Community Foundation will provide grants to charities and groups which help reduce loneliness, isolation and promote social engagement and befriending among older people in Sussex.

The activities the fund will support include befriending, social groups, lunch clubs and outings. Grants will range in size from £250 to £2,500 per successful application.

Applications to receive funding are currently being accepted and assessed with a view to grants being awarded early next year.

Sussex was chosen for the fund following Friends of the Elderly’s Be a Friend campaign pilot in the county last year.

The Be a Friend campaign combats loneliness in the older population by encouraging people to get to know their older neighbours and members of their community. Be a Friend is a direct response to the charity’s research report ‘The Future of Loneliness’ which found that 36 per cent of older people in Sussex are affected by loneliness.

Jo O’Boyle, Director of Engagement at Friends of the Elderly said: “Following our Be a Friend pilot in Sussex last year it was clear that there are already lots of brilliant groups aiming to combat loneliness in the county.

“One clear set back these groups are experiencing is the lack of funds to support their much needed activities. We hope that this fund will allow some of these groups and projects to flourish to reach even more older people affected by loneliness in Sussex.”

Friends of the Elderly was founded in 1905 and is one of the UK’s oldest charities supporting older people.

Kevin Richmond, Chief Executive of Sussex Community Foundation says they are delighted to be working with Friends of the Elderly. “Sussex Community Foundation has given over 400 grants worth a total of almost £750,000 to groups supporting older people in Sussex over the last ten years,” he said

“I hope our work will result in many older people feeling less lonely and isolated in the future.”

Applications for the fund are being accepted by Sussex Community Foundation until January 15, 2016.

Further information can be found at: