Over the last nine years, we’ve built five charities that tackle disconnection in Manchester, Liverpool and London. But of course we know that disconnection isn’t exclusive to those areas. People everywhere are feeling isolated and estranged – especially during the pandemic. But though it’s true that disconnection is everywhere, so are solutions that will help us thwart it.
The nuances of how to build community in a village in Cumbria are known by the people who call that village home. The details of how disconnection can be dismantled in a town in Glamorgan are known by the people in that town in Glamorgan. Many people have brilliant and simple solutions to our age of isolation – and we want to support them and their solutions to succeed.
That’s why, in partnership with UnLtd, over the next five years we’re investing in 50 people building bridges in their own communities in their own ways to adapt, grow and multiply their initiatives to meet the challenges of our time.
Amid a loneliness pandemic, and increased understanding of and empathy for people experiencing disconnection across the UK, we’re supporting 11 people – from Belfast to Birmingham, Cardiff to Cornwall, London to Liverpool – to create more connected, cohesive communities, with relationships prioritised by all.
We will support these amazing Multipliers to meet the challenges their communities face during the Covid-19 recovery; to share our learning over nearly a decade, and to help those local leaders to work together to help their communities leverage their collective power, and to help power better understand community. Multipliers will receive grants of £10,000 from UnLtd, six months of coaching, training on everything from storytelling to fundraising, and films made about the connections they make.
By working together, we can make a greater impact than we would alone.
We put the word out about this new programme in October 2020 and were inspired by the quality of the 129 applicants: it was heartening to see so many people nurturing so many wonderful communities all across the UK. We’re so proud of our first cohort, what they’ve already achieved, and what we know they’ll achieve together over the coming years.
The 2021 Multipliers are: