An additional £3million is to be made available to local communities through the Community Support Programme, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced.
Minister Hargey explained: “This funding distributed by the 11 councils will target local need by working in partnership with the local voluntary and community sector to ensure the delivery of better, more responsive services and better outcomes for communities.
“During the pandemic advice organisations on the ground have been crucial in providing emergency response to those struggling and their services will continue to be critical in assisting community recovery in the months ahead, particularly with the ending of Furlough and the £20 cut to Universal Credit.”
The funding will support council-managed community development and advice services.
The Community Support Programme currently supports the provision of community centres, local advice services, resource centres, grants to community groups and the employment of community support staff in councils.
The Minister continued “During 2020/21 my Department distributed almost £12m to councils through the Community Support Programme. These programmes included interventions relating to keeping people connected including digitally, wellbeing support such as befriending, providing access to food and support for families in financial hardship.
“I also want to thank the councils for maintaining this frontline support to communities, which for many people is a lifeline. The additional £3m support will ensure the increased delivery of independent, community based services to meet demand.”