Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Ceisteanna (325)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

325. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans regarding the 12 volunteer centres for 2019 for which the allocations were significantly below an amount in a particular centre (details supplied); the options under consideration to ensure these centres are sufficiently funded; if the necessary funding will be granted; and the timeframe in which a decision may be reached. [12609/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department's community and voluntary supports and programmes unit provide a cohesive framework of support for the community and voluntary sector. €3.5 million is being provided in 2019 under this programme to support 21 volunteer centres, eight volunteering information services and a number of volunteer-supporting organisations, such as Volunteer Ireland.

Following the publication of the 2017 Dermot McLaughlin report "Developing Funding Criteria for Volunteer Centres in Ireland", my Department secured additional funding of €300,000 which was allocated to all Volunteer Centres in 2017 on a proportionate basis. This increased funding level has been maintained in 2018 and 2019.

The Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2018 included the provision of €1.2 million to upgrade the eight Volunteer Information Services to full Volunteer Centres in order to provide a consistent level of volunteering service nationwide. My Department is currently engaging with stakeholders in the roll-out of this initiative. As part of this exercise, my Department is also examining options with regard to a number of existing Volunteer Centres which are currently receiving less funding than the minimum amount recommended in the McLaughlin report.

My Department is also currently collating information received from a recent call for input exercise that was designed as a first step towards developing a draft national volunteering strategy. Among the topics under consideration in this context is the issue of volunteering support infrastructure and how best this can be structured to support volunteering.