RTÉ Does Comic Relief, 5.8 Million Euro in grants announced

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672 Grants from RTÉ Does Comic Relief Funding

Vulnerable people prioritised in grants of over €5.8 million

“Public support going directly to those most impacted by Covid-19”

Children with disabilities, people living with illness as well as victims of domestic violence are among the many vulnerable groups to benefit from €5.8 million in funding raised by RTÉ Does Comic Relief and distributed by The Community Foundation for Ireland today (16th December 2020).

Volunteers, community groups and charities are using the 672 grants to protect and support lifeline services which remain under severe pressure.

The Foundation says the huge generosity of television viewers, private and corporate donors as well as substantial match funding from Government will be used to ensure that no-one is left behind during a time of increased hope of a recovery.

Individual grants range from €900 to €180,000 are being distributed in across Ireland, including specific funding for Northern Ireland. They cover the full range of community frontline services including:

·       Therapeutic Horse riding for children with disabilities to improve their sensory skills at the Fettercairn Youth Horse Project, Dublin. Parents will also be provided with side-walking skills while adhering to a two-metre distance restriction. €2,925 will provide skilled professionals for these courses, including a therapeutic coach.

·       The Irish Heart Foundation is being receiving a total of €32,750. This will include a grant to provide 750 survivors of stroke with a four-week physical activity programme as part of a check-in service to help patients transition from hospital. In cooperation with Siel Bleu Ireland, workbooks and one to one consultations will be made available via phone and Zoom.

·       Drogheda River Rescue will receive new equipment including mobile phones and laptops to provide technical support for its voluntary services, which include search and rescue, suicide watch patrols as well as safety cover at events.

·       Sligo Social Service Council are in the frontline of combatting isolation. They are building up their on-line ability with new technology from funding of €7,388. This will provide new flexibility to reach out to and support people who feel left behind.

·       Jigsaw, the youth mental health service is using a grant of €53,000 to increase engagement through a video campaign, developed in partnership with young people. The 10-month campaign will be spread across multiple channels including YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat and websites plus television and more.

Pictured from left announcing €5.8 million in grants from money raised during RTÉ Does Comic Relief are Minister of State for Community Development and Charities , Joe O’Brien;Deirdre O’Kane, Steering Group, Comic Relief in Ireland; and The Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, Denise Charlton. 670 grants are now being issued as money raised during the June telethon is distributed throughout the country. Pic:Naoise Culhane

In addition national organisations combatting a range of issues such as domestic and gender based violence, the mental health and well-being of young people as well as providing social activities and friendship for those who would otherwise be alone are also receiving support.

Announcing the grants Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland said:

“What we are seeing through the grants and their impact is the result of a unique partnership with viewers, entertainers, private and corporate donors as well as Government coming together to show support for their neighbours in a time of crisis. The generosity shown was huge, now it is being translated into actions on the ground. This much needed funding brings some certainty to communities when it is needed most.

The grants are timely. They will allow volunteers, community groups and charities to act immediately to ensure at this crucial moment when there is hope that we have reached a tipping point on Covid-19 that no-one will be left behind in any recovery from the crisis.”

Deirdre O’Kane, Steering Group, Comic Relief in Ireland, added “It’s wonderful to be at the point whereby the funds raised will now have a tangible positive impact on communities, groups and charities across the country. It’s been an incredibly tough year for so many and we hope that these funds will now help to ease some of the burden.”

Minister of State for Community Development and Charities , Joe O’Brien in welcoming the funding said “the grants allocated through RTE Does Comic Relief have been made possible through the generosity of viewers, and donors, which the Government has also strongly supported. I congratulate the Community Foundation for their immense efforts in administering the funds. The range of organisations and people being supported is vital to assisting communities during these unprecedented times”.

Dee Forbes, Director General of RTÉ, concluded “RTÉ Does Comic Relief raised millions of smiles, but crucially it also raised millions in vital funds, funds which will now be directed where they are needed most. All who stepped up to the mark, inside and outside of RTÉ, should be justly proud today. And no one should be more proud than the people of Ireland: we have seen on many occasions this year a depth of empathy, of compassion, and of the can-do spirit that has always been a cornerstone of who we are as a people. I’m immensely grateful to The Community Foundation for Ireland who will now ensure that the monies so generously given, will get to where they will do the most good.” 

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