New fund aims to boost volunteering among over 50s

Volunteers from Kilburn Older Voices Exchange fillm in their neighbourhood

A new £4 million fund has been launched to boost volunteering among people aged 50 years old and over.

Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have launched the Connected Communities Innovation Fund to support social action programmes and create new ways of volunteering.

It will focus on projects helping those aged 50 and over, those who want to give their time infrequently rather than regularly, and those who want to give their time and skills from the comfort of their own home.

In particular, it will support projects, which help bring communities closer together by creating shared resources, support community resilience and create new forms of digital social interaction.

Up to £4 million will be available in grants through the fund, with a further £750,000 in non-financial support for social action projects.

Grants of between £50,000 and £75,000 will be available for early stage projects to help test their concepts.

Grants of between £100,000 and £250,000 will be available for projects already up and running and ready to scale.

‘This £4 million investment will create more opportunities for a greater number of over 50s to share their skills with others and bring communities together,’ said civil society minister, Tracey Crouch.

‘Not only will it help support people in need, but it will also help provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves.’

The executive director of programmes at Nesta, Vicki Sellick, added: ‘We know that when volunteers work alongside public services they can achieve great things together.

‘I’m delighted to join Tracy Crouch in committing £750,000 of Nesta’s funds to the endeavour to surface and grow brilliant innovations, which connect the talents of citizens and the skills of public servants to tackle big issues we all care about – like supporting communit9es to deal with floods and fire, or reducing food waste.’

The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 October.


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