8 Sep 2021
The Community Foundation Northern Ireland has this week allocated over £590k in funding from the Department of Health to support the community here in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Support for Carers Fund will provide grants to 16 local projects, a number of which are already underway or starting later this year/ month. The funds were announced by Health Minister, Robin Swann in May as part of a £24m funding package to support carers, cancer, and mental health organisations.
The Support for Carers Fund will provide grants ranging from £2,000 to £75,000 to groups working for and with carers, over the next three years. Those successful include Kinship Care, Action for Children and Sunflower Support NI. Organisations working with people and their carers will now deliver initiatives including supporting employment, research well being, care, and creative initiatives.
Welcoming the initial grant payments to Carer charities, amounting to over £590k, the Health Minister said:
“I want to pay tribute to the many thousands of people in Northern Ireland who help to look after a family member or friend without financial reward. Put simply, the health service could not cope without them, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when their role was absolutely vital.
“When I launched the Support for Carers Fund earlier this year my focus was to support projects delivering on the ground to make a real difference to individual carers. I have therefore been pleased to hear of some of the practical supports that the Fund will allow through this first set of awards.
“The awards that have been confirmed are only the first tranche of the overall funding pot of more than £4m. This represents a very significant financial investment and I look forward to seeing how it brings about a sustained improvement in the lives and experiences of individual carers in the coming months and years.”
Commenting on the success of the Carer Support Funds, Community Foundation Chief Executive, Roisin Wood said:
“The Foundation is thrilled to be granting these monies to projects here helping in the Care sector. Like the Cancer Fund, there was a massive response to the funding, which will provide over £590k to organisations supporting Care groups locally.
The funds will all be available for three years, making an impact over a longer period of time, which we know will create a meaningful difference in the lives of many. A second round of grants to support Carers, will open in the New Year.”
We realise some projects will be disappointed today, and we would encourage them to bid if they can for the new round of funding in the New Year, and to really think about how they undertake their applications to ensure they meet the criteria for funding.”
Richard Best, Deputy Chief Executive with Crossroads Care NI, who received over £70,000 to improve the overall health and wellbeing of Young Carers, added:
“This funding is a lifeline and will focus on supporting Young Carers aged between 5 and 23 years old. Young Carers provide significant care, assistance, or support to a family member with an illness, mental health problem, drug/alcohol addiction or disability. These young people have a level of responsibility well beyond that of their peers, which can negatively
impact many aspects of their life including their own mental health.”
Using this funding we will provide practical support for these young carers reducing the negative impact of caring. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on their mental health with many reporting that they are more worried than ever about the family member they care for. It is therefore crucial that supports are put in place to help our Young Carers balance their caring role alongside their educational and social needs.”
A full list of awards can be viewed here.