My Department supports local self-help and community development initiatives through a range of grant schemes, as follows: scheme of grants to locally based community and family support groups; scheme of grants to voluntary organisations and community development education and training grants scheme.
The scheme of grants to locally based community and family support groups responds to the needs of local community development groups that focus on helping individuals and communities in the family context, as well as marginalised groups such as travellers groups, self-help groups of people with disabilities and others that target sectoral disadvantage.
The group referred to by the Deputy was successful in obtaining a grant of £300 from my Department in 1997 under the scheme of grants to locally-based men's groups. In 1998 the group applied for a grant of £5,350 towards the cost of producing an information leaflet and the purchase of a computer and photocopier. However, due to the large number of applications received under the scheme of grants to voluntary organisations, it was not possible to award a grant to this group in 1998.
Details of the 1999 schemes of grants will be advertised in the national press tomorrow, 28 January 1999, and it open to the group to apply again to my Department for funding for a suitable project. An application form and an information booklet covering the schemes are being forwarded to the group to facilitate an application for funding from them.