Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

McCausland announces £1.2million funding for local volunteers

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Social Development

Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland has launched a £1.2million Volunteering Small Grants Programme.

Aimed at helping organisations throughout Northern Ireland recruit and support volunteers, this new programme is a key part of Northern Ireland’s first ever volunteering strategy “Join in, Get involved: Build a Better Future”. 

Speaking about the innovative programme Minister McCausland said: “The Small Grants Programme will increase and develop local volunteer involvement and give more support to front line volunteers. With some £600,000 available each year for the next two years my Department expects to issue over 600 grants. 

“Increasing the amount of government funding going out in small grants and centralising the administration of this new programme will have a great impact and allow many more volunteering organisations to benefit from existing government funding.”

Grants of £200 - £1,500 will be available to organisations working with volunteers throughout Northern Ireland. The contract to deliver the Volunteering Small Grants scheme has been awarded to Limavady Community Development Initiative LTD (LCDI) acting as lead partner for the Association of Independent Volunteer Centres (AIVC). 

LCDI General Manager, Damien Corr said: “This is a really positive initiative to promote volunteering in Northern Ireland. And I would encourage all organisations that work with volunteers to apply.”

The overall aim of the scheme is to increase diversity within volunteering in Northern Ireland. There are four key objectives:

· to increase volunteer activity by groups under-represented in the volunteering population, including people not in paid work; 
· to increase numbers of new volunteers; 
· to promote innovative methods of recruiting new volunteers, and 
· to promote innovative methods of engaging with and supporting both new and existing volunteers.

To be eligible organisations must be constituted and must not have an annual income exceeding £100,000 per year. For more details and an application pack go tohttp://www.aivcni.co.uk