NATIONWIDE Building Society is inviting charities which help struggling households with the cost of living crisis to apply for its Community Grants programme.

The scheme awards charities, community land trusts and housing cooperatives grants of between £10,000 and £50,000.

Research from Nationwide shows 85 per cent of people are worried about the rising cost of living, with a third saying they may no longer be able to afford their mortgage or rent. Two thirds have made cutbacks in anticipation of this, while four in ten have already dipped into their savings to afford their bills over the last year.

The crisis is affecting people now and changing their outlook on the future, with more than a third (34%) having lost all hope that they will one day be able to afford a home, according to the study of 2,000 people.

Since 2017, Nationwide has given £17.7 million to 444 housing projects and charities which help address the theme of home. By 2023, £22 million will have been awarded. This year there's £4.3m worth of funding available.

All successful Community Grant applications must either help people into a home, prevent people from losing their home, or support ­people to thrive at home.

Nationwide’s senior social investment manager Craig Taylor said: “The last year has been exceptionally challenging for many of us, but if there’s one thing it has taught us, it’s the value and importance of community.

“Due to cost pressures faced by so many households in the UK, we are welcoming applications from charities supporting people in the cost of living crisis alongside those focussed on housing.

“Since 2018, our Community Grants programme has supported charitable organisations seeking to make a difference to vulnerable people facing housing challenges across the UK.

“Everyone should have a place fit to call home, which is why our programme is so important to us. As a member-owned organisation, we have always seen it as our place to help facilitate positive changes in local communities, and we are encouraging charities to apply to our Community Grants programme.”

Beneficiaries of the 2021 programme included an organisation which runs a life skills programme for young people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness, a hostel in Worcester that provides counselling support, training and employment opportunities to residents, and a charity that offers support and advocacy to victims of domestic abuse.