Communities Minister announces release of £7.5 million to support charities

10 Mar 2021 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 10 Mar 2021

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Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has announced the release of over £7.5 million of awards to support charities facing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

Over 300 charities are being offered the funding after successfully applying to Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund. The money is awarded to support unavoidable costs and eliminate deficits accumulated by charities from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, with individually tailored awards of up to a maximum of £75,000 per charity. 

Minister Hargey said: “This funding is vital for charities who have lost income from fundraising and trading activity as many are still facing unavoidable costs, even if they are not currently operating or have reduced services.

“Along with £8.8m awarded in Phase 1 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund, this will bring the total disbursed by my Department to support charities during 2020/2021 to £16.3million. The Executive allocated my Department with £15.5m in May 2020 and I secured additional funding to ensure that all local charities’ needs could be met in full.

“I want to thank Community Finance Ireland for helping my Department deliver the much needed Covid-19 Charities Fund. I also want to thank NICVA for promoting the Fund and the support they provided to applicants to ensure local charities had help to apply.”

Phase 2 of the Fund is being delivered by Community Finance Ireland, following successful delivery of Phase 1 by The National Lottery Community Fund who disbursed £8.8million to over 500 charities to support them in the period up to 30 September 2020.

Donal Traynor, Group Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland said: “We are delighted to help deliver Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities. We delivered £9.25m on behalf of the Department through the Covid Social Enterprise Fund last autumn and are well aware of the importance of this type of support to the sector.

“Our approach to the Fund has been to bring our team’s skills and sectoral knowledge to aid a fair and swift assessment of a charity’s specific needs and make an award which meets those needs in full.

“We encourage all applicants, who receive a letter of offer over the coming weeks, to return their acceptance note as soon as possible so that our team can move to payment stage”.

NICVA Chief Executive Seamus McAleavey speaking about the Minister’s announcement said “It is a very welcome boost to a large number of organisations who have had a very turbulent financial year.  The pandemic has challenged many organisations; damaged their income yet in turn raised the need for their services.  They have responded magnificently. 

We appreciate the significant financial support the Minister has secured and deployed to help.  These organisations will look into the next financial year with hope but also with the realisation that the financial challenges wrought by COVID-19 to charities will linger for months to come."
 

Notes to editors:

A total of 358 charities were assessed as in need of £7.54million support from Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund. Some of these applicants are also eligible to receive other emerging support, for example from DoF’s Localised Restrictions Support Scheme and therefore, some awards may need to be adjusted which could reduce the total awards. Final checking is underway and is due to be completed in the coming weeks before all Letters of Offer are issued. A total of 62 applications were deemed ineligible for support.

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Information Officer

[email protected]

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