An additional €1.7 million is being provided by the Government to support community and voluntary groups to deal with COVID-19.
The funding, under the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, is in recognition of the important role played by community and voluntary organisations across the country as we head towards the Christmas period.
The additional investment was confirmed today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD.
The funding will enable groups to embrace the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign which focusses on the themes of staying connected, switching off and being creative, and minding your mood.
It brings the total funding provided under the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to €4.2 million in 2020.
The funding will be used to assist local community and voluntary groups to adapt to COVID-19, for example:
Allow for changes to premises to provide for social distancing;
Funding for on-line activities;
Provision of critical social supports.
Announcing the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Minister Humphreys said:
“COVID-19 has brought the term ‘Community’ to the fore. I want the community spirit that we have shown in recent months to remain post COVID.
“The little things like checking in on a neighbour makes such a difference. Our community and voluntary groups have played a crucial role during this Pandemic and it’s so important that we support them.
“That’s why I’m delighted we are providing this additional funding to support our community and voluntary groups who are in turn assisting significant numbers of vulnerable people to get through this crisis.”
Also welcoming the funding, Minister O’Brien said:
“2020 has been the most difficult year imaginable. And yet, every step of the way, our community and voluntary groups have gone above and beyond to show their true colours.
“These individual grants will generally be modest in nature, however it is expected that higher amounts will be provided where the need is greatest.’’
The Department of Rural and Community Development has allocated a total of €1.7 million in funding to Local Authority areas, and Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) will now administer the funding to groups in each area.
Groups should check with their LCDC or their Local Authority for further details.
This grant is funded through The Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015 – 17 and is funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative.