Approval of €1m in grant funding for community and voluntary groups under the Community & Voluntary Supports Grant Scheme launched earlier this year, have been announced by Mr. Jim Daly T.D., Minister for Mental Health and Older People.
The Community & Voluntary Sports Grant Scheme is a joint initiative of the Minister and the HSE, providing an extra €1 million funding to community and voluntary groups to continue to support older people, family carers and significant others to stay well and remain connected with their local community.
Approximately €250,000 of the funding will be dedicated to dementia related initiatives.
Community and voluntary groups, through their Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO), were asked to submit projects that were in line with key Government strategies – National Positive Ageing, National Dementia Strategy, Carers Strategy and the Task Force on Loneliness.
Projects approved for grant funding were selected based on their sustainability, and where a need for new or additional services had been clearly demonstrated.
Noting that many of the successful proposals were aimed at older adults who were not engaged in their community, the Minister said “I am pleased to see that a number of Befriending projects that focus on social connectedness and companionship, thereby helping to alleviate loneliness will benefit from the grant. Of course, our more traditional models including Day Centres and Meals-on-Wheels, as well as providing health and social care services and nutritious meals are also a valuable source of social contact to our older population, and these services are very much in demand across the country, in both urban and rural areas. The outcome of this funding will provide tangible benefits to communities and older people such as supporting an additional 20,000 meals per annum and 90 day care places per week.
“Additional funding, secured by my Department through the Dormant Accounts initiative also assisted in supporting some projects with a physical activity aspect to them.”
The grant scheme, details of which were announced in July, was open to community and voluntary agencies that currently hold a Service Arrangement or Grant Aid agreement with the HSE, or non-statutory agencies who aim to provide health and personal social services similar or ancillary to services that the HSE may provide.