My Department is aware of the challenges facing community and voluntary organisations and is committed to working closely with the sector in managing through these, recognising that it will require a whole of Government approach.
The Community and Voluntary Sector Covid-19 Stability Fund was intended to be a targeted once-off cash injection for organisations and groups currently delivering critical front-line services to the most at need in our society and in danger of imminent closure due to lost fund-raised or traded income as a direct result of restrictions to counter the spread of COVID-19. The criteria of the scheme stated that any grants awarded would be dependent on the need identified and organisations approved for funding were prioritised on that basis.
My Department received 1,060 applications during the application periods. To date, four tranches of successful applications have been announced, allocating funding of over €30 million to 568 organisations. This funding is now supporting the delivery of many critical front line services in every part of the country.
Though the fund is currently closed to new applications, additional checks are continuing on a small number of applications and remaining outcomes will be communicated on an individual basis. Lists of successful applicants are available on my Department’s website at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/3957e-covid-19-stability-fund-successful-applicants/
My Department currently supports 418 community organisations under the Community Services Programme (CSP) to provide local services through a social enterprise model. €47m is available under the programme in 2020 including a Support Fund of €1m. Indecon Consultants carried out an independent review of the CSP and this was published in September last. Work has commenced on the restructuring of the Programme and it is expected that the Programme will open to targeted calls to address identified gaps in service delivery in 2021.
In April a €2.5 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund was introduced to provide funding to community and voluntary groups participating in the Government’s “Community Call” initiative. This is administered through local authorities.
In June the 2020 Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) was launched with funding of €2m for capital grants towards enhancing facilities available to communities. This funding was administered LCDCs. It is hoped to run the CEP programme again in 2021.
In August, with funding of €5m, the Department launched the Community Enhancement Programme 2020 Fund for Community Centres and Community Building. Further details are on this link - €5m-funding-for-community-centres-community-facilities. This €5m funding will provide capital grants towards the maintenance, improvement and upkeep of community centres and community buildings. This funding is allocated to local authorities and administered by LCDCs.
Community and voluntary organisations should liaise with their local authority and check the Department's website and social media for updates on funding streams and announcements.