The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien, have announced over €1.5 million in funding to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Protestant Aid.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is to receive funding of €1.41 million, while Protestant Aid will receive €180,000.
Minister Humphreys said, “this funding is in recognition of the contribution that SVP and Protestant Aid make to the alleviation of poverty in Ireland. It will help both organisations to continue to work with and support some of the most vulnerable people in society. This funding is particularly important given current cost of living increases and will help SVP and Protestant Aid with, for example, the provision of food support, household and education support, as well as addressing energy and fuel poverty. I want to acknowledge and thank both organisations for the fantastic work they do, ensuring families who find themselves in hard times are supported in every way possible.”
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 2 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.”
Rose McGowan, National President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, said, “the continuing support from the Department of Rural and Community Development is a very welcome and an extremely important contribution to our work in assisting struggling individuals and families throughout Ireland. This is especially important given the current impact of the cost of living increases on the people we support. It is a challenging time for those people with imminent back-to-school costs and the prospect of further energy increases. The 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, “due an unprecedented number of requests for assistance, we are more grateful than ever to the Department of Rural and Community Development (Social Inclusion and Communities Fund) for their vital contribution to our work. At the time of writing, expenditure on General Grants via Social Workers is up 41% year on year and shows no sign of slowing. As always, 100% of the funds we receive from the department are granted to those most in need without any deduction for overhead or administration costs. Whether it is with utilities, food expenses, back-to-school expenses, medical costs etc, Protestant Aid brings help regardless of denomination or ethnicity. None of this would be possible without the ongoing support and interest of the department and we would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for all they do in helping us to reach those in need within our community.”