24 Aug 2022
The Carers Support Fund, managed by the Community Foundation supported by the Department of Health, has announced the allocation of nearly £900,000 in the third round of grants.
27 organisations and charities providing vital support for carers across Northern Ireland are receiving £897,221 to help with a range of projects which will directly support individual carers on the ground.
Róisín Wood, Chief Executive at the Community Foundation said: “Carers provide such an important role in society, but it often goes unnoticed but remains invaluable. Carers range from children and young people, to those caring for parents of every age, partners and sometimes friends. All of these carers have different needs and often have to balance their caring duties with school or work. We are proud to be working with the Department of Health to administer the Carers Support Fund, enabling groups to offer support and respite to these carers who contribute such a huge amount to society.”
The Community Foundation along with the Health Minister, today visited two of the organisations that are set to benefit from this latest round of funding. Speaking after visiting Advice NI and Newington Day Centre, Minister Swann said: “I appreciate that the role of unpaid carers can be very challenging and that this was particularly the case during the pandemic. That’s why establishing this fund and providing much needed help and support for carers was a priority for me. The Support for Carers Fund has now awarded around £2.5m in funding which should help make a real and practical difference to people’s lives.”
The Minister continued: “It is my hope that projects such as the ones I’ve had the privilege of visiting today will help to bring about a sustained improvement in the lives and experiences of individual carers.”
The funding was made available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support carers, cancer charities and mental health organisations.
Advice NI, headquartered in South Belfast but with services across Northern Ireland will receive £74,858 for their ‘Rights for Carers – Digital’ project. Advice NI, in partnership with the Special Education Needs Authority (SENAC), plan to support carers of children with learning difficulties to become more digitally included enabling them to engage with policy and decision makers and to access their rights and entitlements.
Bob Stronge, CEO at Advice NI said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with SENAC to support carers to learn the digital skills to go online safely and to access their rights and entitlements. And particularly during a cost of living crisis – it’s important that carers are accessing all the support that’s available to them.”
Newington Day Centre, based in North Belfast has provided care to older people in the local community for over 30 years. The day centre has been awarded £70,470 towards the development of a Carers Respite service. The funding will support Saturday day care twice a month, provide a new community ‘meet and eat’ group and additional drop-in support for carers in Belfast.
Margaret McCrudden, Manager at Newington Day Centre said: “I would like to thank Minister Swann for visiting our day centre today. This grant will enable us to provide much needed respite at the weekend for carers in our local community.”