Befriending Networks benefits from Scottish Government Funding Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness

Sun 1 Aug 2021

We are delighted to be one of nine organisations benefitting from the first round of funding from the Scottish Government aimed at Tackling Social Isolation and Loneliness. This provides Befriending Networks with core funding for the period October 2021 to April 2022, ensuring we can continue to support befriending organisations across Scotland. It also enables us run a grant programme for members sharing a £160k fund with local befriending projects across Scotland, supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic.


Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equalities and Older People, said:

“Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation have increased for some during the pandemic, and we know this has disproportionately affected young people, carers and those with disabilities.

Whether by providing access to counselling, learning opportunities or just a friendly voice to talk to over the phone, this new funding will help ensure people can stay connected and get the support they need.

Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone and can have a harmful effect on people’s health and wellbeing. That is why we are developing a new five-year plan and we will invest £10 million across this parliament.”


Befriending services have been a crucial part of the third sector response to Covid-19 and will continue to be a vital part of the recovery, as we aim to build a more connected Scotland. Funding, limited resources and increased requests for support remain key challenges for members, as they work through the complexity of managing blended models of befriending.

The application process will open on the 3rd August 2021 and will invite Befriending Networks Scottish members to apply for a grant of between £5k - £15K, full details of the criteria and application form will be available on the website that day. Applications will close at 12noon on the 26th of August. Successful applicants will receive funds by the end of September and have until 31st March 2022 to utilise the funding.

All funded organisations would be required to have a progress update call in January and complete a report back on the impact of the funding and provide case studies in April 2022, to enable Befriending Networks to report back to the Scottish Government on the impact of the fund.

Click here for Announcement from the Scottish Government

Click here for Application Details and Forms  


Q&A Session For Scottish Members considering applying to the Befriending Fund

* Wednesday 18 August 2021 12:30-13:30


Q&A Session: Hints & Tips about Funding Applications

* Wednesday 25 August 2021 12:30-13:30 


Click Here for New Befriending Fund Allocation