In partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Government has announced the Know Your Neighbourhood fund, a package of up to £30 million to create volunteering opportunities and increase connections across the country.

The DCMS Know Your Neighbourhood Fund will be distributed by the UK Community Foundations Network to create volunteering opportunities and help connect communities in nine high-priority areas around the country.

Volunteering helps to connect communities, helps people to develop their skills and grow their networks; and helps public services serve local communities and places more effectively. However, we know that some of the most disadvantaged areas in England are missing out.

Heart of England Community Foundation is delighted to be distributing £135,000 of the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund in Wolverhampton to support initiatives that can help to boost volunteering and tackle loneliness, helping participants improve their mental and physical wellbeing, develop new skills and form social connections.

From needs-led programmes of activities for people experiencing social isolation, to training young people to become accredited sports coaches, funding will go to those who do not usually have access to volunteering opportunities.

Examples of what this funding is supporting include:

  • Gazebo Theatre In Education Company Ltd to deliver a community programme consisting of one-to-one mentoring to identify barriers and create a personal action plan, co-designed social activities, and projects providing volunteering opportunities.

  • All Saints Action Network Ltd (ASAN) to deliver volunteering taster sessions and recruit volunteers to work in different work areas within ASAN including woodwork & recycling, gardening & landscaping, upcycling clothing and supporting a new marketplace for affordable clothing.
  • Age UK Wolverhampton to fund activities for older people which will reduce loneliness and social isolation, and provide volunteering opportunities.

Minister for Civil Society and Youth, Stuart Andrew, said:

“During the Covid-19 pandemic we saw communities come together and volunteer to help one another in a time of need.


“We want to see this brilliant community spirit continue, which is why I’m delighted to be able to announce the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund to create meaningful and impactful volunteering opportunities.


“With rising living costs increasing the risk of isolation, it’s more important than ever that those at risk of loneliness feel supported, and this funding will be vital in helping people build personal connections and develop new skills.”

Tina Costello, CEO at Heart of England Community Foundation, said:

“The Foundation is delighted to have the opportunity to support volunteering opportunities in the Black Country. We’ve been able to fund some really innovative projects in Wolverhampton tackling social isolation and improving wellbeing through the power of volunteering. I can’t wait to see the benefit this funding will have on communities in Wolverhampton.”