Countering Loneliness Innovation Fund

The Countering Loneliness Innovation Fund (CLIF) seeks to support projects aiming at reducing loneliness in the Lakenham Ward of Norwich and Reepham and its surrounding area. 

The Fund also seeks to collect learnings to determine the impact of initiatives to counter loneliness in both urban and rural areas. Successful applicants will participate in a shared evaluation process throughout the duration of their project, including a network meeting within the first 3 months of funding.

What is Loneliness? 

Loneliness is a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when there is a mismatch between the quantity and quality of the social relationships that we have, and those that we want (Perlman and Peplau, 1981). 

This funding may be right for you if:

  • You are a charitable organisation which has a clear track record in delivering activities aimed at reducing loneliness or have the capacity and relevant experience to adapt your services to meet this aim.
  • You are a group who are working in, or would like to deliver an activity in either the Lakenham Ward of Norwich or Reepham and its surrounding area.
  • You are a group that is rooted in your community and understand the needs of groups of people that are vulnerable to loneliness.
  • You are a group that is willing to engage in a shared evaluation process.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that can’t be funded. This funding is not right for you if:

  • You are a group that does not intend to work in the Lakenham Ward of Norwich or within the surrounding area of Reepham.
  • You are a statutory service such as Community Connectors.
  • Your project is a capital (building) project, including kitchen/ toilet and other refurbishments.
  • You are seeking funding solely for capital costs.

This fund will prioritise:

  • New and innovative ideas, but will also consider funding an expansion of an existing project which has an evidenced impact of reducing loneliness.
  • Groups that are working with distinct demographics that are vulnerable to loneliness and understand the needs of those groups.
  • Groups that are able to demonstrate how they will measure the outcomes of their work.
  • Groups that can demonstrate a relationship with social prescribers, work collaboratively with other VCSE organisations or have mutual signposting relationships.
Examples of fundable projects include:
  • Community based activities that form social connections such as film clubs, book clubs, walking groups, stay and play sessions, youth clubs, community cafés and coffee mornings, exercise groups, arts and crafts groups and skills sharing sessions.
  • One on one activities that support people to form social connections such as mentoring schemes and befriending schemes.
  • This list is not exhaustive!

Research commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that groups at greatest risk of loneliness were:

  • Women
  • Young people
  • Those who live alone, are widowed or single
  • LGBTQI+ individuals
  • Those living with a mental health condition
  • Renters
  • Those living in areas of lower neighbourhood belonging, and lower social trust.


What else do I need to know?

When to apply

The Fund is now open. The deadline for submission of applications is 12 noon on Friday 7th June, and we expect to confirm funding decisions in August 2024.

How to apply

All applicants should check that they meet NCF’s eligibility criteria.

Please use the ‘Apply online’ link below to begin an online application.

Funding Available 

Grants of up to £5,000 are available and must be spent within 12 months of the award.

Organisations may apply to receive a larger grant if they are able to demonstrate a developed activity or offer they would like to explore, or if they will be working in partnership with other VCSE organisations.

Please contact the Programmes Team before making an application if you are considering applying for over £5,000.

Call for Applications


Maximum Grant

Over £5,000


7 June 2024 – 12:00pm

Who can apply?

Charity, Faith organisation, Parish/Town Council, Social Enterprise/CIC, and Voluntary/Community Group

Eligible Area

Lakenham Ward (Norwich) and Reepham and its surrounding areas (8-mile radius)

Find Out More & Apply