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The RSA’s Connected Communities programme is working in seven sites across the country to explore how people’s social connections affect their mental well-being. 

As part of this, we’ve partnered with the RSA Academy in Tipton to run a new community fund during November. It provides small amounts of cash (up to £5,000 in total) to support ideas that bring people together, promote their happiness and well-being, and help them feel that they can make a difference.

Our research across the country has shown how people’s connections to each other and to their community are important in promoting their happiness, health and well-being. Local Fellows are getting involved in organising activities and projects that help act on these findings.

For instance, Connected Communities work in New Cross Gate in south-east London (one of the seven sites) has benefited from the support of New Cross Learning, a community-run space in a former library supported by RSA Fellows. As well as this, Ann Don Bosco FRSA and Polly Akhurst have been piloting their project Talk To Me London in the area. It aims to encourage conversations between people who wouldn’t usually talk through a range of activities.

Elsewhere, RSA Fellow Martin Webber recently travelled to Tipton to try out his ClearFear game, which helps tackle social anxiety, with local people and students from the RSA Academy. You can read about the experience on the RSA blog. Other Fellows are involved in the Connected Communities work through serving on its steering and ethics groups.

If you live in Tipton and want to find out more about funding, please visit the fund’s website. Or, if you live elsewhere and have an idea for a project that would benefit your community, find out more about applying for RSA Catalyst


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