Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín is to make a further £10.8 million of funding available to the voluntary and community sector to assist recovery from, and prepare for any possible second wave of, Covid-19
The grant funding will be made available in October with £9.7 million to cover six months salaries up to March 2021 for groups and the remaining £1.1 million to cover running costs.
This follows previous payments totalling £13 million which were issued in early April to around 400 organisations to enable the continued delivery of key services to those most vulnerable and at risk within our communities.
The Minister said: “It is clear from evidence to date that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on the most vulnerable in our society. The support my department has provided has allowed the sector to focus on supporting many of those in our communities who most needed help, with many of our partner organisations adapting service delivery to meet the challenges arising from the pandemic.
“The flexibility measures introduced to date have been well received and have facilitated the sector in responding to Covid-19 but we know that challenges continue. The Department is continuing to work with organisations across the community and voluntary sector and we are determined to continue to provide vital support to communities across the North.
“It is clear as the pandemic remains there is a need to ensure that organisations have the capacity and support in the event of a second wave. As well as planning normal delivery alongside the challenges associated with social distancing, evidence to date shows that while many organisations can continue to provide services, capacity will be reduced but costs in terms of salaries and running cost will be broadly similar.”