Just as Big Lottery partnerships up and down the country are putting the finishing touches to their first-stage Ageing Better applications — which require a strong focus on voluntary action as a means of addressing social isolation amongst older people — the Cabinet Office has announced a £2m fund for supporting older people and reducing pressure on hospitals.
The fund, which is administered by SIB and is open for applications until 12 noon on Friday 13th June 2014, will “support services that use social action to help older people stay well, manage their conditions or recover from illness or injury, and thereby reduce pressure on hospitals.”
Coincidence? Surely not. It looks astonishingly like joined-up policy-making.
Civil society minister Nick Hurd says the fund “…is also about building a case to encourage more commissioners to look at the wider role that the voluntary sector can play in supporting people in their own homes.”
The SIB website emphasises that “organisations with matched funding for their work will be the preference” and says eligible projects must:
- Focus on benefits to England only
- Have volunteers as core to the delivery of the service
- Have letter(s) of support from the relevant local Urgent Care Working Group(s)
- Are from organisation(s) in a position to accept a grant offer by July/August 2014 and spend this by end of March 2015
- Primarily use funding for revenue costs, with no expenditure on capital items with a value in excess of £5,000
- Comply with State Aid guidelines.