The Armed Forces Covenant Trust fund has awarded over £4m in funding to 60 projects as part of its Tackling Loneliness programme, designed to tackle loneliness and isolation in our Forces communities across the UK.
Projects will work with traditionally ‘harder to reach’ groups of beneficiaries to encourage more people to engage in their community, access services and provision and build stronger networks with peers, support organisations and service providers; and will deliver their projects over a two-year period.
In addition, under the Tackling Social Isolation programme, the Trust has awarded seven strategic grants to experienced organisations who will act as mentors for successful Tackling Loneliness projects. This follows the success of the mentor model used for the Trust’s Strategic Pathways/Positive Pathways programmes.
Groups in Northern Ireland which will benefit from the Tackling Loneliness funding are:
Brooke House Project
The organisation will establish a volunteer-led ‘Veterans Meeting Hub’, specifically for hard-to-reach veterans and their families. It will build strong social networks and nurture strong friendships through the medium of radio-controlled toys, model building, competitions, inter-generational opportunities and wellbeing workshops.
Out of the Shadows
The organisation will offer an "on the road" veteran-led programme, encouraging socially and rurally-isolated individuals to take part in learning new skills and developing strong and lasting friendships to reduce loneliness and isolation while improving their physical and mental wellbeing.
The Royal British Legion Tandragee Branch
The organisation will provide an outreach, hot food delivery service to vulnerable veterans and provide a focal point for support to include drop-in breakfast club, training in shopping online for food and essentials, mental health awareness training and social activities, such as model-making for good mental health, camping and cookery classes.
St John & Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)
The organisation will connect with hard-to-reach veterans, partners of serving personnel, single parent serving personnel or those with challenging family situations in Northern Ireland. They will develop communication and provide Welfare Support and utilise club activities suitable for these beneficiaries. They will also seek to involve their broader beneficiaries through word of mouth and trusted closed groups.
To view the full list of projects which received funding, please click here.