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Press Release

Minister Daly announces €1 million for community and voluntary organisations to improve community services for older persons

Published: 4 November 2019
From: Department of Health

Jim Daly TD, Minister for Mental Health and Older People, has today announced the approval of €1 million in grant funding for community and voluntary groups under the Community and Voluntary Supports Grant Scheme launched earlier this year.

The Community and Voluntary Supports Grant Scheme is a joint initiative of the Minister and the HSE providing an extra €1 million funding to community and voluntary groups to continue to support older people, family carers and significant others to stay well and remain connected with their local community.

Approximately €250,000 of the funding will be dedicated to dementia related initiatives.

Community and voluntary groups, through their Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO), were asked to submit projects that were in line with key government strategies:

  • National Positive Ageing
  • National Dementia Strategy
  • Carers' Strategy
  • Task force on Loneliness

Announcing the recipients of the support grants the Minister said:

"This grant scheme recognises the valuable services that community and voluntary agencies provide to support older people to continue living in their communities and maintain their social connections. They contribute significantly to positive ageing and better overall health for the older population. It is not enough to simply applaud the valuable service provided by community and voluntary agencies; that is why I was delighted to offer support to expand and develop their existing services."

Projects approved for grant funding were selected based on their sustainability, and where a need for new or additional services had been clearly demonstrated.

Noting that many of the successful proposals were aimed at older adults who are not engaged in their community, the Minister said:

"I am pleased to see that a number of Befriending projects that focus on social connectedness and companionship, thereby helping to alleviate loneliness will benefit from the grant. Of course, our more traditional models including Day Centres and Meals-on-Wheels, as well as providing health and social care services and nutritious meals are also a valuable source of social contact to our older population, and these services are very much in demand across the country, in both urban and rural areas. The outcome of this funding will provide tangible benefits to communities and older people such as supporting an additional 20,000 meals per annum and 90 day care places per week.
As I am fond of saying, we should focus on adding life to our years, not just adding years to our life; and on that basis, it is particularly important that older adults keep as fit and active as possible. Additional funding, secured by my department through the Dormant Accounts initiative also assisted in supporting some projects with a physical activity aspect to them."

The Minister concluded by saying that improving and developing community supports is in line with the vision outlined in Sláintecare, which supports a shift in our delivery of care to a model that will focus on prevention and early intervention, and that will provide most of the care in the community.


Notes to the Editor:

The grant scheme, details of which were announced in July was open to community and voluntary agencies that currently hold a Service Arrangement or Grant Aid agreement with the HSE, or non-statutory agencies who aim to provide health and personal social services similar or ancillary to services that the HSE may provide. Details of the successful projects will be advised directly by the individual Community Health Organisations from today.

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