The National Lottery Community Fund is inviting voluntary organisations to apply for a share of a new £3m fund that encourages cross-sector collaboration on local health and wellbeing projects. The programme aims to support local areas to develop effective and sustainable partnerships between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and empower communities. As well as providing grant funding, the programme will support the development of relationships between partners, identifying and agreeing how best to work together, to ensure the involvement of organisations working across communities, and create a plan of activities. The Healthy Communities Together programme, which is a joint initiative between the NCLF and the health think tank the King’s Fund, will choose six successful applicants to receive £50,000 to develop plans to improve local health. They will then be invited to apply for a second phase of funding worth up to £450,000 each over three years to implement their plans. The fund comes after last year’s publication of the NLCF report Connecting Communities and Healthcare: making social prescribing work for everyone, which highlighted the importance of the voluntary sector in community health. Richard Murray, chief executive of the King’s Fund, said in a statement: “Public sector and voluntary sector organisations often want to work more closely together but come up against practical barriers. “The Healthy Communities Together programme will provide the much-needed funding and leadership support to build long-lasting partnerships between local charities, community groups and public sector organisations.” The application deadline is 27 March 2020. To find out more visit the TNL community fund website.   (Information from Third