The announcement of an additional £7.5 million to help charities to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic has been welcomed by Newry and Armagh MLA Liz Kimmins.

Speaking about the funding Ms Kimmins said “Local charities have been among some of the hardest hit by the pandemic as it has hampered their usual ability to fundraise to support the good work they do.

Photo by James White from FreeImages

"The £7.5m funding announced by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today will help to support over 300 charities with unavoidable costs". 

She concluded “It’s that vital charities are supported as they continue to help those most in need in these very challenging times.”

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey announced the release of awards to support charities facing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

Over 300 charities are being offered the funding after successfully applying to Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund. The money is awarded to support unavoidable costs and eliminate deficits accumulated by charities from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, with individually tailored awards of up to a maximum of £75,000 per charity.

Minister Hargey said: “This funding is vital for charities who have lost income from fundraising and trading activity as many are still facing unavoidable costs, even if they are not currently operating or have reduced services. 

“Along with £8.8million awarded in Phase 1 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund, this will bring the total disbursed by my Department to support charities during 2020/2021 to £16.3million. The Executive allocated my Department with £15.5million in May 2020 and I secured additional funding to ensure that all local charities’ needs could be met in full. 

“I want to thank Community Finance Ireland for helping my Department deliver the much needed Covid-19 Charities Fund. I also want to thank NICVA for promoting the Fund and the support they provided to applicants to ensure local charities had help to apply.”

Phase 2 of the Fund is being delivered by Community Finance Ireland, following successful delivery of Phase 1 by The National Lottery Community Fund who disbursed £8.8million to over 500 charities to support them in the period up to 30 September 2020.

Donal Traynor, Group Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland said: “We are delighted to help deliver Phase 2 of the Covid-19 Charities Fund on behalf of the Department for Communities. We delivered £9.25million on behalf of the Department through the Covid Social Enterprise Fund last autumn and are well aware of the importance of this type of support to the sector.

“Our approach to the Fund has been to bring our team’s skills and sectoral knowledge to aid a fair and swift assessment of a charity’s specific needs and make an award which meets those needs in full.

“We encourage all applicants, who receive a letter of offer over the coming weeks,  to return their acceptance note as soon as possible so that our team can move to payment stage.”



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