Written answers

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Department of Rural and Community Development

Voluntary Sector Funding

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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458. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the option under consideration regarding underfunded volunteer centres in County Monaghan (details supplied); when a decision will be reached on same; if the necessary funding will be granted; if his attention has been drawn to the concern this uncertainty is causing locally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20340/19]

Photo of Seán CanneySeán Canney (Galway East, Independent)
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My Department's community and voluntary supports and programmes unit provides 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 in 2017 of a report by Dermot McLaughlin entitled "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. Monaghan Volunteer Centre was allocated funding of €95,000 in 2019.

The Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2018 included the provision of €1.2 million to upgrade the eight Volunteering Information Services to full Volunteer Centres in order to provide a consistent level of volunteering service nationwide. My Department has been 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 following 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.

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