Local charities invited to apply for Comic Relief funding

(Above) Denise Charlton, CEO, of The Community Foundation for Ireland which is now accepting applications for funding from RTÉ Does Comic Relief.

Westmeath charities and not for profit organisations supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic can apply now to get support from almost €6m raised during RTÉ Does Comic Relief.

The Community Foundation for Ireland is opening the application process for not for profit organisations of all sizes meeting the challenges caused by Covid on the ground in local communities.

Westmeath groups are being advised that they have just over eight weeks to make their application, with the 30th September set as the closing date.

Announcing the commencement of applications Denise Charlton, Chief Executive Officer of The Community Foundation for Ireland, said:

“RTÉ Does Comic Relief was not only a unique night on Irish broadcasting, it also brought us together as a country as one to support people hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. We have seen extraordinary generosity from 1.4m viewers, corporate supporters as well as significant matching support from Government.

The process of converting that generosity into support and actions on the ground in communities in Westmeath and across the country is now underway. The opening of applications is a big moment for charities who are helping vulnerable people during these difficult days and in many cases providing a vital lifeline.

We are ready to support groups of all sizes, big and small, those in urban and rural areas as well as those cut off from loved ones by Covid-19.

Local groups should be advised that funding will be provided under two strands, which recognise that the way not for profits have had to adapt and change their work under HSE restrictions and guidelines. Groups expected to benefit will include those working with older people, people medically at risk of Covid-19, people with disabilities and those in unsuitable accommodation.

Under ‘Demand for Digital’ groups can seek support for investment in software and hardware to improve their ability to continue to work while keeping their staff, volunteers and people they support safe. An ‘Adapt and Respond’ strand will allow groups to seek funding to ensure their work remains effective and continues to deliver for those who need support.

In Westmeath there is a strong not for profit network. However, it is facing unprecedented demand at a time when donations are also down. This is why the RTE Does Comic Relief funding is particularly important.”

Deirdre O'Kane, Steering Group, Comic Relief in Ireland.

"I'm so pleased we're now at the point of opening applications to charities and organisations, small and large. It's another key step for the project and brings us closer again to delivering help to where it's needed - with those most impacted by the pandemic in Ireland."

Full details of the strands as well as other information and support is being placed on www.communityfoundation.ie.

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