University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity awarded £500k to help combat loneliness

Transforming Communities Together have been successful in their bid and awarded £24,992.00 for continuing work for Places of Welcome across Staffordshire. Some of our team were delighted with a surprise visit from Lynn and her team on a beautiful sunny day in Lichfield to present the cheque!

UHNM Charity Logo NHS Trust Logos

University Hospitals of North Midlands Charity has been awarded half a million pounds to work with community and voluntary groups from across Staffordshire to help to tackle loneliness and social isolation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) has awarded the £500,000 grant to UHNM Charity as part of its Community Partnerships Grants programme.

Fourteen community groups and projects from the Staffordshire and Stoke Integrated Care System (ICS) will receive a slice of the grant funding to help address the issue of loneliness and social isolation.

UHNM Charity worked with other organisations including Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Support Staffordshire to identify the projects who will get a share of the half a million pound grant over the next two years.

The grant will fund a range of initiatives including improvements to existing services for people at risk of loneliness and isolation, the creation of new projects and groups to improve social connection and the use of new technology.

Those benefitting include Beam Staffs, an organisation based in Stafford who provide opportunities to people with low to medium learning disabilities.

A grant of almost £50,000 will enable Beam to provide a series of day activities aimed at improving day-to-day living skills and personal independence helping to boost self-confidence.

Mike Howell, Chief Officer at Beam Staffs said: “Our clients are knocking on the doors of different life experience and this grant funding enables us to open them for them. It adds strings to our bow and our current offer. Where at times previously we might not have the staff or resources, now we’re able to find a way to say yes to more clients activities, be that cooking or employment skills training or even a trip to the shops or cinema.”

Other initiatives planned thanks to grants from this project include the creation of a weekly Friendship Café at the New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The café, funded by a grant of almost £30,000 will be open to local people wishing to attend free drop-in sessions where they can meet new friends and take part in health and wellbeing-focused activities.

Lisa Thomson, Director of Communications and Charity at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) said: “Data shows that almost half of all adults experience some degree of loneliness in their lifetime and this has been made worse by the pandemic.

“It’s thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people that got behind NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 appeal and of course the incredible fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore that we are able to work in partnership with community and voluntary groups to tackle loneliness and isolation in our region. UHNM Charity is proud to be a part of this project helping to improve the health and wellbeing of thousands of local people and we look forward to working with and supporting the local groups.”

NHS Charities Together launched its Community Partnership Grants Programme in September 2020 in recognition of the work that voluntary and community groups do to support the work of the NHS.