My Department is responsible for a range of programmes to support communities, including the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO).
The SSNO in the Community and Voluntary sector provides multi-annual funding to national organisations towards core costs associated with the provision of services. Priority is given under the Scheme to supporting national organisations which provide coalface services to disadvantaged target groups. Core funding refers typically to operating costs that will always need to be met, and are fundamental to the organisation's survival. The funding normally covers basic organisational and administrative costs of an organisation, and may include items such as salaries, facilities, equipment, communications, and the direct expenses of day-to-day work. While there is no funding available from my Department for individual, locally-based active retirement groups, the Active Retirement Network Ireland and Age Action Ireland are two of the organisations which are funded under the current Scheme to Support National Organisations. The current Scheme will cease in June 2014, with a new Scheme commencing from 1 July 2014. Applications for this Scheme were received during February 2014 and the assessment process is currently ongoing.