Ireland’s population is ageing and more people are living longer. Supporting older people to remain in their own homes and communities, live with dignity and independence and be engaged in their local communities is a core aim of Irish social policy.
The Department of Health (DoH) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) recognise that community and voluntary agencies provide a wide range of services to support older people to continue living in their communities and maintain their social connections. These services, which contribute to positive ageing and better overall health, include befriending, daycare, social centres, meals on wheels etc. Improving and developing community supports is in line with the vision outlined in Sláintecare which supports a shift to providing the majority of care in the community and a focus on prevention and early intervention.
As part of a joint initiative by the Minister for Older People and the HSE, an extra €1 million funding is being made available to community and voluntary groups to continue to support older people, family carers and significant others stay well and remain connected with their local community. Approximately €250,000 of this funding will be dedicated to dementia-related intiaitives.
This information sets out the submission process to apply for funding to either provide new services or extend existing services e.g. opening a service for extra days, extending a befriending service over weekends, etc. Submissions should clearly outline the benefits for service users that the additional funding would bring.
Funding Allocation for 2019
Community and voluntary groups are encouraged to submit ‘Older Persons’ Friendly’ projects that are in line with the;
- National Positive Ageing Strategy.
- Irish National Dementia Strategy.
- Carers’ Strategy.
- Task Force on Loneliness.
The emphasis should be on sustainability and/or some additionality of service. The funding will be prioritised for projects where:
- The need for additional or new services has been clearly identified – projects and initiatives should fit with locally identified priorities or plans.
- Reasons are clearly stated as to how the proposed service addresses the need.
- Projects are aimed at those who are not already engaged in their community.
- The benefits of the project for the older person are demonstrated and measurable.
- A focus on integration/cohesion across geographic areas is incorporated.
- Achievable timelines are put forward to start the service.
The funding is open to community and voluntary agencies that currently hold a Service Arrangement or Grant Aid agreement with the HSE.
Non-statutory agencies who aim to provide health and personal social services similar or ancillary to services that the HSE may provide.
- The project must commence in 2019
- Actions must align with the National Positive Ageing Strategy and/or The Irish National Dementia Strategy and/or Carers’ Strategy and/or Loneliness Task Force (see links below).
- One grant per organisation per CHO
Categories of Support
The focus is on the Social model of Health & Social services, with the following categories:
- Be-friending services including dementia specific initiatives.
- Meals on wheels.
- Social/ Satellite centres.
- Day Centres.
- Local liaison to signpost/access services.
- Transport for older people to health and social services.
- Monitoring & Technology.
- Support for family carers.
Outside of Scope of this Grant
- Projects or developments that are the responsibility of other Government Departments.
- Projects that duplicate services or activities in an area.
- Servicing of debt.
Applications for funding must be made on the Community & Voluntary Support Grant Application form and accompanied by all requested supporting documentation. Applications will be coordinated and assessed at Community Healthcare organisation (CHO) level.
Level of Funding
The level of contribution under the fund will depend on a range of factors including the type of project, availability of other sources of funding, and the overall number of applications seeking funding under the Scheme. It is envisaged that grants will range from €5,000 – €20,000.
The closing date for receipt of applications for the Community & Voluntary Support grant is 15th August 2019 with funding allocated in September 2019.