Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today announced a further £2.75 million for councils under the Covid-19 Community Support Fund to allow them to support the voluntary and community sector response to the continuing hardship created by the pandemic.
The funding boost will support local grassroots community and voluntary organisations across council areas working with individuals and communities during the pandemic to target need and alleviate poverty by:
- providing assistance to those on low income and at risk due to financial stress
- supporting access to food for those most in need
- helping to connect those living alone or in a rural and border area that are likely to experience challenges in accessing services
Minister Hargey said: “This funding will provide essential continued support for voluntary and community sector groups, through local councils. Our local community sector continues to be at the frontline of the response to this pandemic. Councils, through their community development programmes, will work with the Department to direct the funding to those community sector organisations who are responding to need on the ground.”
NILGA President, Cllr Matt Garrett (Belfast City Council) said: “I welcome the announcement today by the Communities Minister and her Department concerning this funding. This is an exceptionally challenging time for everyone and every penny of support counts. Councils, as the hubs of all our communities, are actively working in partnership with the Department and our community partners to support those in most need across the 11 council areas; this vital, welcome funding supports this crucial work.”
The additional funding is part of a package of measures being provided by the Department for Communities (DfC) to support vulnerable people.