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Bonuses for NI staff who care for most vulnerable  


Payments: Deirdre Hargey will decide on how the extra money will be paid

Payments: Deirdre Hargey will decide on how the extra money will be paid

Payments: Deirdre Hargey will decide on how the extra money will be paid

Staff who helped some of Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people through the pandemic are to receive a special recognition payment.

A bonus of up to £500 is to be paid to employees of the Supporting People Programme, with final details of the £3.5m scheme, including how and when the money will be paid, currently being finalised.

The Supporting People Programme provides housing support to help about 19,000 vulnerable people live independently each year.

These include migrant workers, elderly people, teenage parents, people at risk of domestic violence, homeless or rough sleepers, and people with drug or alcohol problems.

Typically services delivered under the Supporting People Programme will include help with developing domestic and life skills, developing social skills and behaviour management, finding other accommodation establishing social contacts and activities or gaining access to other services.

Announcing the payment scheme yesterday, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said as many as 4,500 workers from 85 provider organisations are eligible to receive the special recognition payment.

“I am developing a scheme that ensures Supporting People staff receive a recognition payment of up to £500 for their part in delivering critical services over the last year, including supporting homeless people, older people, young people, those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and those with mental health issues,” she said.

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“Staff employed through the programme have faced many challenges throughout this pandemic, and will most likely continue to do so for some time to come.

“They deserve to be recognised for their hard work in supporting vulnerable people in the same as health and social care staff have been.

“I was also able to secure additional funds for the Supporting People programme to sustain services throughout the pandemic and to include staff in priority vaccination and testing groups.”

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