Minister O’Brien Announces Distribution of the Additional €10 Million Allocated to COVID-19 Stability Fund
Addition brings total available under the COVID-19 Stability Fund to €45 million
Joe O’Brien, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, today (Friday 11th December 2020) announced the distribution of the additional €10 million funding allocated to the COVID-19 Stability Fund for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises.
An additional €10 million was provided for the COVID-19 Stability Fund, which was announced during Budget 2021, for distribution in 2020. This brought the total available under the Fund to €45 million.
The Covid-19 Stability Fund was established in May 2020 to provide immediate, short term cash flow to qualifying organisations which provide critical services to those most vulnerable in society.
The funding was intended for organisations in danger of imminent closure due to a in reduction funds-raised or traded income because of COVID-19 restrictions.
To date, just under €31 million has been allocated to 590 organisations. This funding is now supporting the delivery of many critical front line services.
When the Stability Fund was initially established, it was envisaged that restrictions would be in place for a limited period and grant levels allocated were based on this assumption.
It was subsequently necessary to reintroduce restrictions and in this context many organisations have been unable to undertake normal fundraising activities recently.
As a result, the majority of organisations that were approved for funding under the Stability Fund will now receive a top-up grant. This is intended to support them as they continue to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on their ability to trade and fundraise normally.
The Minister said:
“I am very happy to be able to provide some additional funding to organisations approved for funding under the COVID-19 Stability Fund. The previous funding is supporting a diverse range of organisations providing critical services to communities all over the country and I hope that this additional funding will provide them with the resources they need to continue this work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank organisations in the community and voluntary sector, charities and social enterprises for the support they are providing to the most vulnerable in our communities during this pandemic”.
Additional Info On COVID-19 Stability Fund
Just under €31 million of the previously announced €35 million has been allocated and the outstanding balance of approx. €4 million will be distributed as part of this process and used to address any outstanding appeals.
COVID 19 Stability Fund
The Stability Fund was developed to provide support to qualifying organisations who find themselves in particular difficulty and have seen their trading and/or fundraising income drop significantly during the crisis. The Fund focused on organisations providing supports and services in the following sectors.
- Health and Social Care (including addiction, disability and mental health)
- Child and Family Services (including counselling/therapies)
- Domestic/Sexual/Gender based violence
- Community Services (e.g. meals on wheels/befriending services/old age supports/vulnerable people’s support groups etc.)
- Community Education Sector.
With funding being provided from the Dormant Accounts Fund the Stability Fund provided a targeted cash grant to qualifying organisations that are providing critical services to those most vulnerable in society. Organisations were required to demonstrate the impact that the crisis has had on their services and applications were to be prioritised according to need.
Pobal. which works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development, administer the Stability Fund on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Stability Fund will opened for applications in two phases, in May and August 2020.
The Dormant Accounts Fund
The main purpose of the Dormant Accounts legislation is to reunite account or policyholders with their funds; and relevant institutions are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies. Under the legislation, the rightful owners can reclaim their funds at any time.
In order to utilise funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed, the legislation introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed for the purposes of measures to assist those who are economically, socially or educationally disadvantaged, or persons with a disability.
Annual Dormant Accounts Action Plans are published each year, and generally provide funding of €35-40 million per annum for measures aimed at addressing disadvantage. This funding package is in addition to those annual action plans, and is made possible through a build-up in the funds available over the last number of years.
Pobal is an organisation that works on behalf of the Government of Ireland and in collaboration with international partners, to support communities and local agencies towards achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal operates under the aegis of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Pobal is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by Government, on the nomination of the Minister for Rural and Community Development, in line with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards. The company operates on the basis of a framework agreement with the Department of Rural and Community Development and programme-specific service level agreements with individual Departments.
Pobal administers related programmes on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Department of Social Protection (DSP), as well as the Department of Health (DoH) /HSE and a number of EU bodies.
Pobal works in the areas of social inclusion, early childhood care and education, local and community development, peace and reconciliation, equality, labour market supports, and education and training.