Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced over €1.5 million of funding to St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Protestant Aid.
St Vincent de Paul is to receive funding of €1.41 million, while Protestant Aid is receiving €180,000 over the course of 2021.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said, “this funding is in recognition of the contribution that SVP and Protestant Aid make to the alleviation of poverty in Ireland. They use this funding to help some of our most vulnerable in society and I am delighted that my Department can provide assistance in this way, as we have done for many years.”
“The Department’s funding helps with, for example, the provision of food support, household and education support, as well as addressing energy and fuel poverty. I want to pay credit to both organisations for the work they do, ensuring families who find themselves on hard times are supported in every way possible.”
Also announcing the funding, Minister O’Brien added, “SVP and Protestant Aid do vital work in terms of reaching people in poverty and exclusion that many may not always be aware of, or accessing, the relevant anti-poverty mechanisms of the State in terms of our local Social Protection offices and our Social Inclusion & Community Activation programmes across the country.”
“Our collaboration with these two organisations is vital in terms of reaching people most in need but also in terms of informing our policy decisions in the area of anti-poverty.”
Andy Heffernan, National Secretary of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, stated, “the continuing support from the Department of Rural and Community Development is absolutely vital in enabling the Society to continue with their work in assisting individuals and families throughout Ireland.”
“This is especially important this year given the impact of the Global Pandemic on the people we support, many of whom would have being contacting the Society for the first time. As we approach the winter, increase in fuel prices announced earlier in the year will hit hard whilst food poverty continues to be an issue for many families. Support from the Department is allocated throughout the country ensuring we are able to assist where the need is greatest.”
Also welcoming the funding, David Webb, the CEO of Protestant Aid, said, “at Protestant Aid we are most grateful to the Department for Rural and Community Development for their approval of an €180,000 grant in 2021. Protestant Aid distributes every cent of this grant to those in need regardless of denomination or ethnicity and without any deductions for administration or other expenses.”
“These funds are needed more than ever in what has been a challenging year for many families, perhaps best demonstrated by the 39% increase in funding granted by Protestant Aid to Social Worker clients to date in 2021. We are very grateful to the Department for their continued support in our work as together, we endeavour to tackle deprivation, reaching out with compassion to those in need.”