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£950,000 scheme launched to support smaller charities and community groups


Deirdre Hargey

Deirdre Hargey

Deirdre Hargey

A new fund to help support smaller charities and community groups as a result of the impact of lockdown has been announced by the communities minister.

Sinn Fein’s Deirdre Hargey launched the £950,000 fund for the voluntary and community sector on Tuesday, with the scheme delivered by the Belfast-based peace-building organisation, Co-operation Ireland.

The Small Capital Grants Programme will assist those organisations and groups with purchasing equipment to support activities and services in the local community.

The minister said grants of up to £5,000 can be awarded towards the purchase of equipment for sporting activities.

“I am very aware of the difficulties the sector has faced over the last year and now, as we emerge from lockdown and venues begin to re-open, funding from this programme is more important than ever in helping groups to purchase much needed items of equipment that will help to minimise any disruption to the services that people rely so heavily upon,” she said.

“These grants can make a difference and they help to support voluntary and community organisations to provide vital services to local communities. I am pleased that this funding is reaching those most in need.”

Applications for the new fund are limited to those organisations that have an annual unrestricted income of no more than £100,000.

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Charities and community groups in Northern Ireland have previously expressed concern at the impact of Covid-19 on their ability to support people.

Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland, added: “We are delighted to assist in the delivery of the Small Capital Grants Programme which is in keeping with Co-operation Ireland’s ethos of encouraging partnership and collaboration.

“We thank the Minister for her commitment to the programme and look forward to building relationships with the hundreds of community groups who will benefit from this much needed programme”.

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