The Government has announced a £7.5m funding package to help tackle loneliness during the winter period.
The funding will be targeted at cultural organisations, charities and local community groups who are working to ensure no one feels isolated in their local community.
Arts Council England will receive £5m for arts and library services. Around £3.5m of this has been awarded to the national charity, The Reading Agency, for their Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes.
The Government also said that £2m will go to extend the Government’s Loneliness Fund launched in May this year and £500,000 will be distributed amongst the Audio Content Fund and the Community Radio Fund.
Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said: ‘We are coming to the end of one of the toughest years we have ever had to face and I know that the next few months will be a worry for many people who have felt particularly isolated or lonely during the pandemic.
‘We still have some difficult times to overcome and it is important that we continue to provide support to those most at risk of isolation and loneliness over the next few months.
‘There is already such important work being done in the arts, library and radio sectors to help bring people together and tackle loneliness. I am thrilled that the £7.5m funding package will have an immediate impact on those who need it most.’