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Matthews encourages all Wicklow volunteer groups to apply for new grant funding

Date: 6 May 2021

Green Party TD, Deputy Steven Matthews was speaking following the funding announcement by his Green Party colleague, Minister Joe O’Brien. The €10 million - Covid Stability Fund 2021 is designed to support community and voluntary groups, charities, and social enterprises, which have suffered as a result of the pandemic. This funding will be allocated in conjunction with another scheme under the Community Enhancement Programme which will be more targeted at small community groups. Discussing the funding, Deputy Matthews said:

“The work that charity and volunteer organisations do has always played an invaluable role in our communities across the country. Our reliance on the generosity and selflessness of those involved has only become further evident throughout the pandemic and I cannot begin to thank them enough for their continued efforts.

“The new funding stream is targeted at organisations which deliver critical services to vulnerable people within their community, but which now face closure or a loss of service due to the impact of the pandemic. Priority will be given to organisations that have not previously received State support since the onset of the pandemic. The objective of the Stability fund is to provide an immediate, targeted cash injection that will not have to be repaid. This money will help stabilise the position of these organisations by assisting them to meet their immediate costs.

The fundraising events that these groups usually rely on for a significant part of their funding have not been possible. While I know that many of these events have gone online, many groups haven’t been able to replicate their usual annual funding that helps support their community efforts.

Examples of the organisations that can apply include those that provide:

· Family supports and supports for the elderly

· Domestic Abuse and addiction services

· Mental health and disability supports

· Education supports in disadvantaged communities

· Community centres that provide social services

For any smaller local groups who are afraid of missing out on funding or feel that this round of funding wont suit them, I would encourage them to apply for the Community Enhancement Programme that is more targeted to their needs post pandemic. For any group seeking assistance with applications or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me. As our society reopens, the volunteer and charity organisations will once again be called upon to assist the most vulnerable in our communities to readjust and this funding will assist them in being in a position to do so, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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