19/04/2021

New Grant Schemes For Cancer And Mental Health Charities Established

New grant schemes for cancer and mental health charities and a Carers Support Fund have been established.

The Cancer Charities Support Fund and Mental Health Support Fund will each receive £10million, while £4m has been allocated to the Carers Support Fund.

Health Minister Robin Swann has also allocated £15m to Health Trusts to boost the support available for healthcare workers across Northern Ireland.

The allocations have been funded from one-off Covid emergency monies made available to the Department of Health.

"I would of course love to be able to allocate further funding, on a recurrent basis, to all these areas. But as ever, available recurrent funding is not keeping up with levels of demand and need," the Minister said.

The Cancer Charities Support Fund will enable charities to access funding to support cancer services in the community.
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Mr Swann continued: "I acknowledge that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on cancer services and expect that this funding will provide and expand much need support for patients and families including, psychological support and counselling; improved access to support services; and delivery of cancer rehabilitation programmes and enhanced palliative care.

"I will shortly be publishing a Cancer Recovery Plan to stabilise cancer services as we continue to emerge from the most recent surge period. Cancer services were already worryingly stretched before Covid so the plan will also set key actions needed to put them on a long-term sustainable footing."

The Mental Health Support Fund will provide grants to charity organisations who provide interventions to improve the population’s mental health.

The new Carers Support Fund will provide support for charities working for and with carers.

In addition to the new funds, a further allocation of £15 million has also been made available to support staff within Trusts. This funding is intended to provide both general support and specific support to nursing staff.

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