The Department of Rural and Community Development: Press Statement – Thursday, 9 April 2020
Minister Ring announces €2.5 million fund for community groups involved in Community Call response to Covid-19
Fund will prioritise organisations delivering frontline services such as Meals on Wheels
Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural & Community Development, has today (Thursday 9th of April) launched a €2.5 million fund to support community and voluntary groups involved in the delivery of COVID-19 community response efforts.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund will provide immediate and urgently needed funding totaling €2.5 million. This will be available to groups that are participating in the Government’s “Community Call” initiative which is being led by the Local Authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Minister Ring said:
“Local community and voluntary groups are supporting significant numbers of vulnerable people, many of whom are self-isolating, to get through this crisis. This Fund will help these groups to cover the costs of their work.
“This is a response to support immediate and emergency efforts by community and voluntary groups in assisting people locally. It is recognised that there are wider challenges and impacts facing the community and voluntary sector as a whole, but this initiative will help to provide support to community groups that are delivering services at the frontline.’’
The Department has allocated a total of €2.5 million funding to Local Authorities, and Local Authorities will now administer the funding to groups involved in the Community Call effort. Local Authorities will be making contact with those groups participating in Community Call in the very near future with further details. The need for funding assistance will be kept under review.
Priority will be provided to organisations which incur costs on direct delivery of frontline services to people, such as Meals on Wheels and other similar activities. These individual grants will generally be modest in nature however it is expected that higher amounts will provided where the need is greatest.
Minister Ring concluded:
“Collaboration and partnership between the community and voluntary sector and the State are key to coordinating and responding to the needs of our communities and supporting people at this time. These groups are making a real difference to help individuals at this unprecedented time.”
Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of Government, Local Authority and voluntary resources to provide help to those in our communities that need it during this crisis.
There is a Community Call Forum in each county to coordinate and connect the wide range of services and supports that are available. A dedicated phone helpline is operational in every county and the national number, 0818 222 024, is also in operation. You can find your local helpline number on www.gov.ie/communitycall. In the week since Community Call was launched, over 5,000 calls have been received from members of the public.