Launch of £4m fund widen volunteering opportunities for over 50s
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is launching a new fund with Nesta that will support volunteering in public services and new ways for over-50s to engage in digital social action.
Civil Society reports that there is £4m in grants from DCMS and £750,000 in non-financial support from Nesta available through the Connected Communities Innovation Fund. Funding will be provided to test new concepts and support proven innovation to scale up their work.
The fund is open to applications from projects which encourage people to volunteer alongside public services, those which encourage new people to get involved in volunteering and those which create new forms of digital volunteering. The fund is open to applications from projects which encourage people to volunteer alongside public services, those which encourage new people to get involved in volunteering and those which create new forms of digital volunteering.
There are four social issues which have been identified as priority areas:
• Bringing communities closer to create shared resources and support one and other;
• Supporting community resilience in emergencies;
• Improving the environment;
• Creating new forms of digital social action.
Early-stage innovations can apply for a grant of between £50,000 and £75,000 with non-financial support over 12-18 months to test their concept. Grants of between £100,000 and £250,000, along with two years of non-financial support, are available for innovations already in place and ready to scale. The fund has opened for expressions of interest, with a deadline of 30 October 2017.
Vicki Sellick, executive director of programmes at Nesta, said the funding would “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 communities to deal with floods and fire, or reducing food waste”.
She added: “We’re especially keen to hear from innovators who have ideas to make it easier to give time and skills in our hectic 21st century lifestyles, whether that’s new ways to give remotely via apps or new ways to give infrequently, rather than schemes that require the volunteer to be available every Thursday at 8pm.”
Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, said: “Volunteering has a hugely beneficial impact on people’s lives. This £4m investment will create more opportunities for a greater number of over 50s to share their skills with others and bring communities together. Not only will it help support people in need but it will also help provide a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves.”
(Story source: Civil Society)