Devon County Council launches new community travel fund to tackle loneliness with transport
Devon County Council’s travel fund will allow community organisations to apply for grants to provide transport solutions to enable people experiencing or at risk of loneliness to access the right opportunities.
Credit: Devon County Council
Devon County Council has announced that it has launched a new grant fund to tackle loneliness through transport.
The Connecting You Community Grants Fund will provide grants to projects and organisations to help connect people to activities that help address loneliness. The fund is open for applications from projects and charities across Devon. Grants are available to fund specific transport projects tackling loneliness or transport related activities to enable people to access activities that will help.
The grant is part of a Department for Transport funded project that Devon County Council successfully bid for earlier this year, which will deliver a series of initiatives.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “We know that transport can often be a barrier to connecting with others, perhaps due to living in a rural area or simply through lack of confidence in using public transport. Loneliness or isolation can negatively impact people’s wellbeing and can affect all ages. The Connecting You initiative is inviting community organisations to apply for grants to provide transport solutions to enable people experiencing or at risk of loneliness to access opportunities.”
The Connecting You initiative is already supporting a number of projects tackling loneliness with transport, including Chatty Bus, an initiative led by Westbank which enables more conversations on buses. Chatty Bus is currently running on the 57 bus route serving Exeter, Topsham, Exmouth and Brixington and there are plans for it to start on other routes.
Devon’s pilot project involves a variety of support aimed at reducing loneliness in over 55s and young people aged 16-24.
Devon County Council will be working with a series of partners to deliver a series of other innovative transport schemes tackling loneliness. Partners include Devon Communities Together, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, One Northern Devon and WestBank Community Health and Care.
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