There are a number of population groups vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness, and older people have specific vulnerabilities owing to loss of friends, family, mobility or income.
Preventative care and support:
- promotes independence
- prevents or delays deterioration from ageing, illness or disability
- delays the need for more costly intervention and intensive services
Loneliness and social isolation:
- Impact upon quality of life and wellbeing, affecting health and increasing use of health and social care services
- Low-cost solutions include befriending, mentoring and social groups, increasing social interaction, taking up or going back to hobbies or participating in community activities
Preventative services are a continuum of support, and this fund should concentrate on secondary or early intervention, and primary prevention aimed at promoting wellbeing, with a focus on maintaining independence and good health with activities to reduce social isolation, practical help with tasks like shopping or gardening, universal healthy living advice, inter-generational activities and transport to any of the above. There is a national consensus that support must be provided to improve social isolation and ‘to reach those living with or on the brink of loneliness’.
Research has shown the influence of social relationships on the risk of early ill-health and death exceed the effects of lack of physical activity or obesity.
The core principle of this fund is to improve opportunities for people to maintain or develop their social support networks, increase independence, improve confidence particularly where there is a long-term condition involved, and to reduce isolation.
The focus will be on smaller community groups and volunteer-led initiatives, and priority given to collaboration/groups working together, and projects demonstrating sustainability after this funding.
Proposed interventions or initiatives that address more than one of the criteria below should be given priority. Any proposed intervention can include something new (with clear identification of aims and objectives, and how the benefits will be measured), or introducing into local communities something that has been shown to work elsewhere.
Please note your referee must not be an employee of Hampshire County Council.
The grant can be awarded to contribute towards service/project costs and/or core costs including salaries.
Beneficiaries must be 18 years of age or older.
- Community Development & Support
- Social Inclusion
- Sports & Recreation
- Mental Health
- Health & Wellbeing
Small grants award for £1,000 to £5,000 should focus on one or more of the following criteria:
- Specific geographical areas
- Interventions for early intervention and prevention
- specific vulnerable groups
When planning voluntary services to reduce isolation and loneliness, strong partnership arrangements need to be in place to ensure services developed can be sustained.
Users report high satisfaction with services increasing their social interaction and community involvement, but argue for flexibility and adaption in order to offer one to one services and group activities tailored to users’ preferences.
Voluntary sector interventions should include different genders, populations and localities.
Research undertaken on which areas are likely to have high social isolation and need for social care support has identified specific geographical areas where targeted voluntary sector interventions may improve independence and reduce demand on social services. This list is not exhaustive but priority will be considered for the following geographical areas:
- Aldershot specifically St Marks, Rowhill and Aldershot Park
- Basingstoke – specifically Popley, Brighton Hill, Winklebury and South Ham
- Andover North including Alamein
- Eastleigh including Hamble-le-Rice, Bursledon and Netley
- Fareham/Winchester specifically Porchester, Fareham South and Wickham
- Havant including Hayling and Emsworth
- New Forest specifically Ringwood, Lymington, Bransgore and Burley, and Milton
Research on what works in early intervention and prevention initiatives highlights key factors that are important in keeping people healthy or reducing deterioration for people with long term conditions or a social care need.
- Keeping mentally active – improving memory and mental stimulation (e.g. Reading groups/singing groups)
- Keeping physically active – improving muscle strength and flexibility (e.g. walking groups, walking football, dance classes, community gardening clubs)
- Eating well and maintaining a healthy weight (e.g. community gardens, lunch/dining clubs, community cafes)
- Being socially active (e.g. supporting people to create new networks and/or keep up with old networks, volunteering)
Evidence has demonstrated that people who are socially isolated or lonely are at increased risk of ill health and social care need. Having a lack of social relationships is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking and alcohol. Although older people are at risk of isolation and loneliness, being older doesn’t necessarily mean that people are isolated or lonely. Groups of people who are more likely to be impacted by isolation and loneliness and therefore will be considered as a priority include:
- Those that providing significant amounts of unpaid care
- Those with mental health conditions including dementia
- People with long-term conditions and disability
- Those with Sensory Loss
- Older people, due to loss of partner, friends or family
- Ethnic minority groups
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
- Unemployed (any age)
- Those who suffer from addiction
Whilst the above is not an exhaustive list, it provides examples of those at risk of isolation.
Those aged 60 plus account for 24% of the population (Total 15.7m – up from 20% in 2014 and expected to be 29% by 2035). There are more people over 60 than under 18, and 3.5 million people aged 65+ live alone.
- Organisations NOT based and active in Hampshire. Please note grants are not available for Southampton, Portsmouth, and Isle of Wight.
- Applications from individuals
- Statutory organisations, including schools
- Organisations that are for the sole benefit or relief of animals or plants
- National charities
- Any party political activity
- Commercial ventures
- Proselytising activities, ie active promotion of a religion or belief system
- Funding trips abroad
- Services provided by an organisation under contract to Adult Services Department
- Capital grants (i.e. for equipment)
- Generic counselling services
- One-off events
Where appropriate, organisations shall have:
- relevant policies in place
- an appropriate adult / child protection policy which includes obtaining checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
- in place insurance arrangements in respect of staff, volunteers, users and third parties
Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year’s running costs, or where it is judged that these reserves are unreasonably in excess of what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes. Those organisations receiving recurring funding which hold unallocated reserves in excess of three months’ running costs may receive a reduced grant.