Ministers Humphreys and O’Brien, announcing over €1.5 million in funding, with Trevor Watkins, Chairman and David Webb, CEO of Protestant Aid and with Martin Tierney, Chief Financial Officer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have today 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.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“This funding will enable St. Vincent de Paul and Protestant Aid to expand and enhance their services, which do so much in terms of supporting families and individuals right across the country.
“At a time where economic pressures are causing financial hardships for many families, the government acknowledges the importance role played by SVP and Protestant Aid at a local and community level.
“By providing this funding, the Government is working to ensure that these organisations can address critical areas such as food support, household and education assistance, and tackling energy and fuel poverty.
“The Government very much recognises the role that SVP and Protestant Aid play in our communities and we are committed to supporting them into the future.”
Minister O’Brien added:
“It is vital for society as a whole to recognise the significance of organisations like SVP and Protestant Aid in supporting our communities.
“By actively engaging with these organisations, the state gains valuable insights into the real-world challenges faced by families and individuals.
“This knowledge directly feeds into the formulation and implementation of effective policies that address the root causes of poverty and exclusion.
“By acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of these organisations, I am committed to addressing the pressing issue of poverty and exclusion in society.”
Rose McGowan, National President of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, said:
“The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s use of the Grant from the Department or Rural and Community Development gives testament for the importance of collaboration between Government and the Society to meet the most immediate needs facing households.
“This collaboration recognises that on occasion the volunteers of the SVP are best equipped to meet local needs. It is the volunteers of the Society who ensure these funds get to those who need them most. The Society would like to reiterate its respect and thanks to those people who have sought our support.
“The Government grant has enabled us to help them in their time of need, but it is they who had the courage to seek our help and are the people who are helping their households the most. Our volunteers speak of the fortitude, resilience and hopes of the people the Society is privileged to assist and how they are inspired by them.”
Also welcoming the funding, David Webb, the CEO of Protestant Aid, said:
“We are extremely grateful to the Department of Rural and Community Development (Social Inclusion and Communities Fund) for their vital contribution to our work. The importance of the Department’s funding cannot be overstated as applications for assistance to date in 2023 are already 10% ahead of the same period last year.
“The applications we receive are nothing short of heart-breaking with many struggling to manage due to ill health and poor living conditions. Rising inflation, particularly with energy and food costs is putting huge pressure on those with lower incomes.
“With the assistance of the Department, we can provide that glimmer of hope by helping with medical costs, back-to-school costs, an overdue utility bill etc. 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.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Department for their continued support.”