The Social Action End of Life Support Fund will focus on projects that provide compassionate support. The Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action launched the fund today (2 October).
Successful applicants will build on existing ways that volunteers improve the experience of people at end of life and their families by:
- reducing isolation
- meeting emotional needs
- maintaining connections with networks in the local community
Social action projects can provide befriending, peer support and enhanced support networks. They can also give practical support such as transport, dog walking or gardening, and help those in need to find other services and support.
Hospice UK, previously known as Help the Hospices, will run the fund. It will help projects to:
- grow and widen their reach
- build capacity in communities to support people at end the end of their life
- evaluate the project’s impact
The fund is open to applications from charitable and NHS hospices, hospitals, care homes, UK registered charities, public bodies, social and community enterprises.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said:
Many people who are dying have complex needs, yet sometimes all it takes is a friendly face or a hand to hold to brighten someone’s day. Even help with small but important tasks like doing the washing, fetching someone’s groceries or helping people stay connected to the community can make a huge difference to a person’s life.
That is why today we are announcing more support to help people live with dignity and compassion towards the end of their life. I’m urging organisations with the skills to provide support to vulnerable people and their families to apply for this new £1 million fund.
David Praill, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said:
Volunteers offer the human touch that is the hallmark of high quality end of life support, through the crucial practical and emotional support that they provide for dying people and their families.
This fund will help increase the number of volunteers carrying out this vital activity, as well as supporting the growth of innovative partnerships and the development of new approaches to volunteering.
Volunteers currently have an invaluable role in end of life support. This will become increasingly important in the future as we explore new and different ways we can support the growing number of people in the UK with chronic and complex conditions.