Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (122)

Seán Kyne

Question:

122. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the Galway Volunteer Centre's funding will be maintained at the existing 2013 level for this year to enable the organisation to continue its effective work at promoting and facilitating voluntary work in Galway; and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the centre has facilitated over 208,000 volunteer-hours to various community programmes and initiatives in County Galway since 2006. [4931/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government continues to advance a range of measures that support volunteering and active citizenship and my Department funds a network of twenty one Volunteer Centres, including Galway Volunteer Centre. These Centres act as 'brokers' between potential volunteers and organisations seeking volunteers, and they are linked by a common database and a common best practice approach. They also work with organisations to develop their volunteer management capacity and facilitate Garda vetting for smaller organisations.

While there are encouraging signs of improvement in the economy, difficult decisions continue to be necessary and allocations in most expenditure programmes remain constrained for 2014. My primary concern has been to make every effort to ensure that the daily front-line services, including volunteer centres, provided with funding from my Department, are protected to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, I am currently considering options to minimise any reduction in the volunteering support budget to all volunteer centres.