A non-profit group which aims to connect people living in care homes with babies and children to tackle loneliness has received £10,000 of matched funding.

The Together Project was founded by mother-of-one Louise Goulden who wanted to reach out to care home residents who may not enjoy visits from relatives.

The 37-year-old of Walthamstow who quit her job as a marketing director raised £31,500 from crowdfunding and received a grant of £3,500 from Waltham Forest Council.

The latest support for the project comes from Santander’s Changemaker Fund and will enable Ms Goulden to roll out her services across the UK.

The project’s singing group Songs & Smiles brings children and pensioners together through music and has been running weekly sessions in Ross Wyld Care Home in Forest Road, Walthamstow since last July.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded funding from the Santander Changemaker Fund,” said Ms Goulden.

“This money will make a real difference towards achieving our objective of a more age-integrated society.

“It will allow us to bring joy, music and friendship to older people across the country, many of whom deal with loneliness and isolation on a daily basis.

“And it will give hundreds of children the opportunity to get to know a generation of people who they might not ordinarily come into contact with in their day-to-day lives.”

The funding will pay for equipment such as musical instruments and bubble machines for the Songs & Smiles group which is open to parents and children across the borough.

The Changemaker Fund is part of Santander’s programme The Discovery Project which offers assistance to community organisations that build skills, grow knowledge and support innovation.

In addition to the funding, The Together Project will benefit from education, enterprise and coaching support from crowdfunding specialists.

Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business Banking, said: “Loneliness is a very real issue for many older people across the UK, and we are delighted to be able to help The Together Project integrate communities and bring younger generations and the elderly together.

“We hope this funding will help expand this much-needed programme to additional care homes making a real difference to local communities across the UK.”