Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Rural and Community Development
Voluntary Sector Funding
590. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to increase the funding allocation to the twelve volunteer centres that are funded below the minimum figure identified in the McLoughlin report; the expected timeline for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9089/19]
596. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to increase the funding allocation to twelve volunteer centres that are funded below the minimum figure identified in the McLoughlin report; the expected timeline for doing so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9710/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 590 and 596 together.
My Department's community and voluntary supports and programmes 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 was 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.