ACRE Network Awarded £366,129 to Tackle Loneliness
by Felicity Humphrey,

In summer 2018 the Big Lottery Fund announced they could distribute almost £9 million to support projects working to reduce loneliness.

Communities in rural areas are often the victims of practical isolation, in today’s world barely-there transport, digital connectivity and diminishing facilities can play a huge factor in feeling alone. With a collective award of £366,129, our Network members’ projects can continue to play a vital role in keeping rural communities vibrant, active and connected.

Community First Yorkshire received £99,555 to develop a strategy for tackling loneliness throughout North Yorkshire with the public sector, joining up existing activities and campaigns.

Action with Communities in Rural Kent have been awarded £66,104 to help expand their existing project the Kent Coffee Caravan. A mobile pop-up cafe and information hub, which has already been seen to be tackling loneliness in rural areas.

West of England Rural Network (WERN) have been awarded £38,000 for their Village Agent service, part of the Council sponsored North Somerset “Community Connect” project, which helps older people to get involved in their community.

The Community Council of Shropshire (Operating as Shropshire RCC) have been awarded £63,570 for their Care and Share Project that provides much needed peer support and respite for people with dementia and their carers.

Devon Communities Together were also successful, having been awarded £98,900 for their project Devon Highlights. The project was co-designed with members of the Devon Senior Voice Network and the Creativity Centre to improve the quality of life of older people in rural Devon.

Our members work tirelessly to support rural communities

The fund was created last year in partnership between the government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation. Our members work tirelessly to support rural communities nationwide and we are ecstatic that multiple network projects have been successful for the fund.