Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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23. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the resources that have been allocated to support an organisation (details supplied) throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43166/20]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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Men’s and Women’s Sheds make an invaluable contribution to community life in Ireland. My Department provides a range of supports which Men's/Women's Sheds can avail of, some of which provide specifically for costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, I launched the 2020 Community Enhancement Programmewith funding of €2m. In August, the Department launched a separate €5m fund under the same Programme. These provided capital grants to community groups, and the Sheds were eligible to apply. While these are now closed it is planned to run the programme again in 2021.

My Department also recently launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which Sheds and other community groups can apply for. Further details are available from the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) that administer this fund locally.

Men's and Women's Shed Groups could also potentially be eligible for funding under the LEADER Programme.Relevant details are available on the National Rural Network website.

My Department also has responsibility for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).This programme has provided support to a total of 2,533 local community groups to date in 2020. This includes 146 Men’s Sheds and 10 Women’s Sheds. This support will continue to be available throughout the current iteration of SICAP which runs until 2022.

The Scheme to Support National Organisations(SSNO) provides multiannual core funding to national organisations in the Community and Voluntary sector.The Irish Men’s Sheds Association has been allocated €270,000 over the 36 month period of the scheme, which commenced in July 2019 and which will run to July 2022.

The Community and Voluntary Sector COVID-19 Stability Fund was a targeted once-off cash injection for organisations and groups currently delivering critical front-line services to the most at need in our society and in danger of imminent closure due to lost fund-raised or traded income as a direct result of restrictions to counter the spread of COVID-19. To date, funding of €31m has been allocated to close to 600 organisations. I was pleased to allocate €48,485 to the Men'/Women's Sheds organisation under this Fund to support them in their work.


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