Combatting Isolation at centre of new post-Covid funding boost

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The Community Foundation for Ireland inviting applications for €580,000 in grants

Statement by The Community Foundation for Ireland

Communities and local groups are being invited to apply for grants which can help them ‘Recover Better’ as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Community Foundation for Ireland has re-opened its Covid-19 Recovery Fund in response to research which shows that voluntary, community and charitable groups are struggling to meet demand for lifeline supports and services.

According to the Charities Regulator, 74% of charities reported a severe impact on their organisation’s income for 2020. The Wheel, the national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises, has published that 82% of charities are very concerned about whether they will have sufficient funds to provide their services in 2021.

The Community Foundation, which is providing the support from private donations, says its aim is to ensure Ireland recovers better than the pre-pandemic status quo. To achieve this ambitious goal there are two areas which have been identified as needing immediate support:

· Community Recovery and Resilience: Overcoming Isolation

· Sector Recovery and Resilience: Building Capacity

A total of €580,000 is being made available.

Overcoming Isolation

Isolation and the impact on health and wellbeing is affecting people of all ages. Through this funding we will support social prescribing initiatives in outdoor spaces and online. This will encourage peer support, a sense of community and improved mental wellbeing. Communities and organisations working with them have especially highlighted the need to develop outdoor opportunities for those they work with, as they grapple with living with Covid-19.

Grants of up to €3,000 will be available for grassroots and community development organisations for projects that encourage communities to overcome the isolation of the last year and a half. The key outcome of your project should be building a sense community that encourages socialising, peer support and improved wellbeing.

Building Capacity

In order to recover stronger from the uncertainty of the pandemic, space to think, plan and strategize is crucial. Furthermore, with the uncertainty and even greater marginalisation created by the pandemic, research and advocacy is essential for creating a more equal and resilient society. This open grant round aims to build capacity, strength and resilience within the sector to build a more equal and empowered society.

Grants of up to €20,000 are available to organisations that have been deeply affected by the pandemic.

Applying

Applications are now open and can be made through www.communityfoundation.ie

Announcing the re-opening of the Covid-19 Fund, Denise Charlton of The Community Foundation for Ireland said:

“Over the past 18-months we have seen the very best in people, as communities came together to over-come an un-precedented challenge. Our donors have been to the fore in offering support with our grant-making this year alone set to exceed €20 million. However, it is also true that lifeline services and supports in communities have been deeply scarred while the recovery is also presenting new challenges. Our approach is a partnership one working hand in hand with those on the ground, listening to their emerging needs and responding to them.

As the recovery unfolds we remain committed to working with advocates, community volunteers and workers, our donors as well as Government to ensure that together we can truly Recover Better.”

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