Community groups and charities in Teesside are set to benefit from the launch of a new grant fund to help tackle isolation and loneliness, thanks to Tees Valley Community Foundation (TVCF).

TVCF has been helping local charities and community groups by distributing grants for more than 30 years. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, which are made up of local companies and individuals, the Foundation has donated more than £35m across the Tees Valley in that time.

This new Better Together Fund, which launches on Monday Feb 8th, has been created specifically in response to the rising issues of loneliness and isolation in the community as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Jonelle Bain, donor services officer at TVCF, said: “We’ve been issuing much-needed grants daily to groups who are on the ground and working specifically to relieve the direct impact of the pandemic for almost a year now and we constantly monitor the trends in terms of need.

“The staff at the Foundation, and our donors, are of course all experiencing the impact of the virus and restrictions like everyone else, and we know isolation and loneliness is an increasing problem as we come to the end of a long year of lockdowns.

“Our donors have responded with this fund and we are delighted to open the doors to it and get it out to those who need it as quickly as we have with our other relief funds.”

TVCF’s mission is to empower local communities to address disadvantage and exclusion – the Better Together Fund is operated as a third-party grant, meaning individuals cannot apply directly. Applications must be submitted by a support organisation who has detailed knowledge of the need or beneficiary.

Although applicants do not have to be registered charities, all applicant groups must have an appropriate constitution or governing document, and demonstrate they comply with all relevant safeguarding requirements for the activity for which they are seeking funding.

The fund will remain available until April 30th 2021 – Ms Bain urged anyone who wishes to make an application to visit www.teesfoundation.org and follow the “apply for a grant” links specifying the ‘Better Together Fund’.

If you require any help or support, please contact grants@teesfoundation.org – announcements and updates will appear via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/teesvalleyfoundation.