The Stay Connected Community Grant

The Stay Connected Community Grant

Find out more about Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health Team Stay Connected Community Grant.

Tackling loneliness, social isolation and health inequalities has been a priority in Worcestershire for several years. This has been reinforced in the new Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2022-2032), which focuses upon what we all need to be mentally healthy.

To support this priority, the Tackling Loneliness Partnership Group was created to understand local needs and shape initiatives which aim to increase connections through a variety of opportunities. The group brings together representatives from the County and District Councils, the NHS and the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to explore ways to tackle loneliness and isolation throughout Worcestershire across all ages.


Loneliness and social isolation are different but related. They can both be experienced by anyone of any age and any background. But some groups are at greater risk than others.

Increasingly we understand the negative impact they can have on our physical and mental health, and therefore, the importance of social relationships and networks which can promote wellbeing.

Experiences of loneliness and social isolation are personal. A combination of life events, environmental factors and individual circumstances may contribute.

Research suggests that there are multiple successful ways to tackle loneliness. It is also suggested that interventions are most effective when they use a blend of key elements. For example, help people to feel welcome, build trust and meaningful relationships. 

The Stay Connected Community Grant

As part of the new Healthy Worcestershire Programme, Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health Team have created the Stay Connected Community Grant, to empower local organisations to help build social connections.  

The new fund sits alongside an existing programme of work, including The Stay Connected pledge and creative health projects delivered through the county’s arts development work. In support of the Tacking Loneliness Partnership, the Stay Connected Community Grant will be used to help strengthen Worcestershire’s voluntary and community organisations which bring people of all ages together and help them establish connections, prevent loneliness, strengthen our communities, and improve people’s lives.

Key information


  • grants are expected between a minimum of £250 and a maximum of £2,500
  • only one-off funding can be granted at this time
  • the maximum funding available to support bids is £50,000

Who can apply?

Applications will be accepted from third sector (not-for-profit) organisations. This includes community or voluntary groups, registered charities, constituted groups and social enterprises.

Organisation must have an annual turnover of £100,000 or below and a bank account in the name of the organisation applying (cannot be a personal account).

What should your application focus on?

Applications must demonstrate creation or expansion of activities to tackle loneliness and social isolation. Your project must fit under one of the three priorities of the Tackling Loneliness Partnership’s new Action Plan:

  • connecting people to each other and to wider community assets​ – create opportunities for people to connect with others or target support to those at greater risk of loneliness
  • taking a place-based approach to support social interaction​ – help develop community transport schemes, unlock the potential of community-spaces or provide digital support
  • working in partnership across the system to make tackling loneliness everyone's responsibility ​– help raise awareness of how loneliness and/or social isolation impacts peoples’ lives, promote positive attitudes, and tackle stigma

For example, funding may go towards a new or existing…

  • community café to provide a lunch and learn club, where people can gain new arts and crafts skills and have a social-get-together
  • local dance group that would like to expand to encourage young carers to join, so they can meet up with friends
  • computer group for older adults, where customers bring their own IT device and get help to learn how to use it
  • local running club or exercise group opening to new beginners’
  • single or new parent support group, to increase availability

There will be a preference for applications that:

  • align with The Worcestershire Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • support the Stay Connected pledge initiative 
  • offer support to all age groups
  • focus on reducing inequalities
  • target those most isolated and/or lonely
  • have been co-designed with people who have lived experience
  • adopt a person-centred approach
  • facilitate social interaction e.g. through health promotion activities or food delivery
  • help people to develop social, emotional and relationship building skills
  • have the ability to continue benefitting people once the funding has been spent

All applications will be considered, and funding allocated using the criteria and above preferences. Allocations will not exceed the maximum funding available of £50,000.

We will not fund

  • purchases prior to funding being confirmed
  • activities that promote political beliefs or are designed to impose religious beliefs on others
  • on-going organisation core costs e.g., staff
  • activities where funding has already been secured
  • payments to individuals with no clear link to a community, voluntary or resident-led group
  • privately owned businesses
  • organisations with aims that do not match those of Worcestershire County Council
  • anything that discriminates against individuals or organisations
  • anything that promotes any illegal or immoral purposes
  • groups with over 12 months reserves

The following restrictions are also in place

  • successful applicants will be unable to apply again within the same financial year or within six months of a previous successful application
  • organisations who have already received other grant funding from Public Health in the same financial year will not be eligible
  • due to the existing Public Health Innovation Fund, Schools are not eligible to apply

Monitoring and evaluation

  • we ask that successful applicants complete a ‘light touch’ evaluation after 3 months, that shows what you did and what positive impact it had
  • this may be quantitative and/or qualitative feedback and can include video’s, pictures, and stories – as well as showing any activities that the funding had made possible
  • with your consent, we will share your film online and or in social media to inspire others

Application process

  • your application should be made using the online application form which will be considered by a panel against the funding criteria

Stay Connected Community Grant application form

  • for further information, to discuss an application or to request an alternative format application form, please contact the Public Health Team at
  • following successful application and signed grant agreement, funding will take a minimum of 2 weeks to be processed

Further Information

For more information about the ongoing work to tackle loneliness and isolation please visit the Loneliness and isolation page.

To view a collection of news, reports, data and community stories celebrating a healthy Worcestershire, visit:

To search for services and support offered by charities, community groups, businesses and other local organisations, visit the Community Services Directory.

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