Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

John Gormley


135 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will give a grant for capital equipment under the scheme of grants to voluntary organisations for a disability awareness programme run by a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10287/00]

My Department operates a range of grants schemes and programmes which concentrate on a wide range of support for local self-help groups, community development, welfare rights and information work, and on the provision of seed money to enable community groups to pilot initiatives identified as meeting new emerging community needs. To be eligible for funding, groups must subscribe to a self-help community development ethos and must involve intended beneficiaries in the management and design of the project. Grants are not available from my Department towards services that are deemed the responsibility of other Departments or statutory agencies.

The scheme of grants to voluntary organisations operated by my Department provides once-off grants to voluntary and community groups working with disadvantaged groups or in disadvantaged areas, towards renovation or acquisition of premises, the purchase of equipment or transport, once-off publications, research or other special projects. The types of groups eligible for funding under this scheme are community development and area development organisations, family support groups, welfare rights and information groups, mutual support and self-help organisations and co-ordinating and umbrella organisations.

All groups seeking funding under this and other grants schemes operated by my Department are required to have an anti-poverty focus and to promote the participation of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. In assessing applications received under the various schemes, my Department does not distinguish between disability groups and other groups but takes account of the extent to which each group, and the particular project for which funding is sought, addresses such poverty and exclusion. In allocating funding it is also necessary to take account of the overall demands under the schemes and the level of funding available to meet these demands.
I can confirm that the Dublin North regional office of my Department received two applications for funding from the group indicated in the Deputy's question. As a large number of applications have been received and will take time to process, it is not possible to indicate at this stage if funding can be allocated to the group under this year's schemes. However, my Department will be in touch with the group in due course regarding their applications.