Michael Ring T.D., the Minister for Rural and Community Development, announced on Tuesday 20th February, funding of €815,000 for 12 new social enterprises under Strand 3 of the Community Services Programme.
The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports local community based organisations and activities to deliver a diverse range of services in the community while providing employment opportunities for people from specific target groups. Organisations funded by the programme are encouraged to develop and deliver good quality services and provide good quality employment opportunities to their employees.
The funding announced today will support services under Strand 3 of the Community Services Programme. This strand focuses on services that meet two core objectives – namely developing and providing social enterprise through the funded organisation’s offering to the community, while also creating employment and career progression opportunities for members from the CSP target groups.
Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said “I am delighted to be able to award funding to these organisations under the Community Services Programme. It is the first time we have had an open call for proposals under the programme in more than a decade. The funding will support social enterprises that provide employment opportunities for specific disadvantaged groups and categories of people, such as the long-term unemployed, Travellers, those recovering from drug addiction and people with convictions, to name but a few.
“The funding I am announcing today is an excellent investment by Government. It’s a substantial contribution towards the cost of 36 full-time equivalent posts in the 12 successful organisations. It will help job-seekers return to employment and, importantly, will support the delivery of valuable services in communities.”
Acknowledging those applicants that were not successful under the recent call, Minister Ring stressed that there would be other opportunities for many of these applicants under the programme in the future. The Minister said: “A number of applicants have not been successful. But this may not be the end of the road for them; many may be a better fit under one of the other strands of the programme. I have asked Pobal to work with these organisations in the coming months and, subject to meeting programme criteria and funding availability, they could be considered for support under the CSP in the not too distant future.”