45 projects to receive funding benefiting almost 2,300 participants, including 27 former Ability Programme providers
Grants of up to €200,000 to improve employment skills and provide educational opportunities
Focus on providing supports to people with disabilities to start their own business
Package is a key part of Government’s new ‘Pathways to Work’ Strategy
Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced over €7.5 million in funding to support and improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
The funding package for 45 projects nationwide is designed to support people with disabilities to improve their employment skills, advance their education or start their own business.
The package is a key part of Pathways to Work commitments in relation to supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities – the Government’s national employment services strategy.
The successful projects will receive grants of up to €200,000 from the Department of Social Protection.
Funding will be provided to the successful projects from 1st September 2021 to 30th December 2022.
Over this period the various projects aim to work directly with approximately 2,284 participants.
The primary purpose of the funding is to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to gain and sustain employment/self-employment or access education and training to improve their employment prospects.
On approving the recommended 45 projects, Minister Humphreys commented:
“I am delighted to announce this new package of funding which is designed to support people with disabilities into employment or self-employment.
“The past 17 months have been very challenging for so many of our citizens, no more than people with disabilities.
“As Minister, I am determined to support people with disabilities in every way I can – whether it’s helping them upskill or arming them with the supports necessary to achieve their ambition to set up their own business or social enterprise.
“I know that this funding will be very important in supporting people with disabilities right across the country to avail of employment opportunities that they have always aspired to reach.”
The Minister added:
“As Minister for Social Protection I have seen first-hand what people with disabilities can achieve in a work environment and the positive impact that this has had on them and their co-workers.
“I am particularly delighted that the 27 organisations funded under the 3-year Ability Programme, which was funded by my Department and the European Social Fund, were successful under this measure. This funding gives certainty to these providers to continue their innovative and valuable work.
“The new funding being provided by my Department will give an opportunity to many voluntary and community groups to deliver initiatives that will focus on people with disabilities living in communities the length and breadth of the country.”
The funding is part of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2021 and is administered by the Department of Social Protection in conjunction with Pobal. The 45 successful projects will support people with disabilities to access employment/self-employment, improve their career progression opportunities “in work” and improve their employment outcomes through education and training which will contribute to participants being “work ready”. Projects will also support potential employers to provide employment for people with a disability.
Pobal will manage the process on behalf of the Department, including payment, contract management, performance monitoring, and beneficiary support and auditing.
Notes for Editor
List of Projects to receive funding (further detail set out in table below)
1. Ak Inspired Ability Company Limited by Guarantee, Kerry
2. Blossom Ireland Community Inclusion, Dublin
3. Bluestack Special Needs Foundation Company, Limited By Guarantee Donegal
4. Bray Area Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Wicklow
5. Breffni Integrated Company Limited By Guarantee, Cavan
6. Brothers of Charity Services Ireland (Limerick), Galway
7. Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin
8. Co Wexford Community Workshop (New Ross) Company Limited By Guarantee, Wexford
9. County Kildare Leader Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Kildare
10. COPE Foundation, Cork
11. Down Syndrome Ireland, Dublin
12. Disability Federation of Ireland, Dublin
13. Dublin City University, Dublin
14. Dublin South City Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
15. Empower Local Development Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
16. Fingal Leader Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
17. Forum Connemara Company Limited By Guarantee, Galway
18. Galway City Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Galway
19. Gheel Autism Services Company Limited By Guarantee, Kildare
20. IRD Duhallow Company Limited By Guarantee, Cork
21. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Cork
22. I.W.A. Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
23. KARE, Promoting Inclusion For People with Intellectual Disabilities, Kildare
24. Knockanrawley Resource Centre Company Limited By Guarantee, Tipperary
25. Leitrim Integrated Development Company Limited By Guarantee, Leitrim
26. Limerick Youth Service, Limerick
27. National Association For Spina Bifida And Hydrocephalus Ireland Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
28. Not So Different Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
29. Offaly Integrated Local Development Company Limited By Guarantee, Offaly
30. Peter Bradley Foundation Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
31. Roscommon Integrated Development Company Limited By Guarantee, Roscommon
32. SOS Kilkenny CLG, Kilkenny
33. Specialisterne Ireland Company Limited, By Guarantee Dublin
34. St. Michael's House, Dublin
35. St. Cronans Association Company Limited By Guarantee, Tipperary
36. St Christopher's Services Company Limited By Guarantee, Longford
37. The Rehab Group, Dublin
38. The Organic Centre Company Limited By Guarantee, Leitrim
39. Tipperary Regional Youth Service Company Limited By Guarantee, Tipperary
40. Triest Press Company Limited By Guarantee, Roscommon
41. The Down Syndrome Centre Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
42. Walkinstown Association For People With An Intellectual Disability Company Limited By Guarantee, Dublin
43. Walkinstown Green Social Enterprises Limited, Dublin
44. West Cork Development Partnership Company Limited By Guarantee, Cork
Pobal is a not-for-profit intermediary organisation that manages various funding programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU.
The Dormant Accounts Acts 2001-2012, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.
The main purpose of the legislation is to reunite account or policy holders with their funds in credit institutions or insurance undertakings and in this regard, these bodies are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.
In order to utilise the unused funds in dormant accounts and unclaimed policies to best use, the legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed from dormant accounts and unclaimed policies for the purposes of measures to assist:
the personal and social development of people who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
the educational development of people who are educationally disadvantaged; or