£250k Innovation Fund now open for applications from sector

14 Jul 2011     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

Voluntary and community organisations from across Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to bid for funding as part of the Innovation Fund aimed at increasing the uptake of benefits.

The £250k Innovation Fund, announced by Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, is the first of its kind for the Social Security Agency.  It aims to work with partners from the voluntary and community sector to identify and test new benefit uptake approaches which will encourage customers to claim their full benefit entitlement.

Minister McCausland said,

This is a new way of working for the Agency.  It is trying, through further partnership working, to test new and innovative ways of reaching people who may not be claiming their full benefit entitlement”. 

“I would encourage organisations with knowledge of customers’ unclaimed benefit entitlement, barriers to claiming benefit, and ideas of how the barriers can be overcome for their customer group, to apply for this funding”.

“With the continued increase in household bills, there is no better time for this type of partnership working to explore new and additional services that may be successful in further increasing benefit uptake thus ensuring we reach those people who are entitled”.

Seamus McAleavey, Chief Executive of NICVA said,

NICVA welcomes this new partnership working approach with the Social Security Agency and the voluntary and community sector to help reach the most vulnerable in our society.  We would encourage all organisations to bring forward their best ideas and plans to maximise benefit uptake”.

Details of how to apply for this funding will be made available on the eSourcing NI Portal www.e-sourcingni.bravosolution.co.uk Successful awards will be made from September 2011.

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