The EFL Trust has secured £810,000 of government funding to make onward grants to club community organisations (CCOs) in 32 deprived locations across the country, with the aim of connecting more older people at risk of loneliness at a time when the Coronavirus has resulted in many individuals facing prolonged periods of isolation. A recent study from the Office National Statistics (ONS) showed that five per cent of people in Great Britain (2.6 million adults) reported that they felt lonely "often" or "always". Of those asked, 30.9 per cent (7.4 million adults) reported their well-being had been affected through their having felt lonely in the past seven days.
The EFL Trust is one of nine organisations who will receive a share of £5 million to reduce loneliness which was pledged as part of the Chancellor’s £750 million support package for charities. The successful organisations are providing vital support for a wide range of vulnerable people at risk of loneliness at this time, including the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities and as communities adapt to the easing of lockdown this work has never been more vital.
CCOs have a history of working with people across all generations and have a track record of connecting the people who need it most and the new grants will allow expanded activities across the country under the campaign ‘Let’s Tackle Loneliness Together’. Activity will include befriending phone calls, online social groups, a pen-pal scheme, social action from young people taking part in NCS and socially distanced ‘garden gate’ conversations to emerge across EFL communities and reach the people who need this vital support right when they need it the most.
Mike Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the EFL Trust, said: “We are proud to have been chosen to be part of this vital mission to support the older people in our communities. We see this as an endorsement of the great work that our CCOs have done in this area and we know there is so much more that our network will achieve. Our Health and Wellbeing team are working hard to match the expertise of our network to the communities where it is most desperately needed and we continue to work with DCMS, NHS, Public Health England and other agencies to ensure we can all build back better after Covid-19.”