New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has been appointed to lead a consortium of partners to evaluate the Building Connections Fund — an £11.5m investment to tackle loneliness, funded by the UK Government, the Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation.
NPC’s role will be to “capture the impact” of the fund on reducing and preventing loneliness and support capability building of grant holders.
The news comes after Theresa May’s endorsement of the Jo Cox Commission recommendations on Loneliness in January 2018, the Building Connections Fund has been set up to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness. This is part of Government’s wider package to tackle loneliness, including the first loneliness strategy for England and recommendations on standard measures of loneliness.
The fund will provide grants to 126 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working with different groups across the age range and across England over the next two years, beginning in January 2019. Grant holders will be supported with evaluation through online guidance, workshops, and tailored assistance.
In partnership with the Centre for Youth Impact, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Brunel University London, and Bryson Purdon Social Research, NPC will:
- Support grant holders with their evaluation practice
- Undertake focused evaluation on a sub-group of grant holders, to inform the wider sector as well as the evaluation of the fund
- Support grant-holders and the wider sector to learn from the data collected and, as a result, improve their service provision
Anne Kazimirski, head of measurement and Evaluation at NPC said: “This is a really exciting opportunity. Focusing on learning and impact alongside programme delivery will create an evidence base that will benefit the sector well beyond the Building Connections Fund. It will build the capacity of organisations in this space to understand their impact and improve their services.”