12/11/2020

New Fund Launches To Help Voluntary Sector Safely Reopen

A £3.3 million fund to help the voluntary, community and social economy sectors safely deliver essential services during the Covid-19 crisis has been announced by Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.

From the the £3.3million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund, includes an allocation of £2.5m to assist with the safe reopening of the VCSE sector and additional funds of £800,000 to provide IT and digital devices to VCSE groups, which need to move services to an online platform.

Minister Ní Chuilín said: "I am delighted to be able to release a further £3.3m of funding today to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector. I see the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector as our first responders within communities in our fight against this pandemic.
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"I want to provide the sector with whatever support I can to ensure they can deliver services to the most vulnerable in our communities. The digital device fund will help lay the foundations to allow the sector to deliver their much needed services via online platforms which will assist in addressing the needs of those whom have been isolated within our communities as a result of Covid-19."

The fund opens for applications today, Thursday 12 November 2020 and will be distributed by Co-operation Ireland in partnership with Rural Community Network.

Peter Sheridan, Co-operation Ireland Chief Executive concluded: "We are delighted to be working with the Department to deliver this exciting new fund which builds on our previous support in response to Covid-19. We look forward to receiving applications which we will start assessing straight away to get money out to groups as quickly as possible and enable them to plan for the months ahead."

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