Community Services Programme

Print page


The Community Services Programme supports community businesses to provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. It provides funding support to community companies and co-operatives. It focuses on communities where public and private sector services are lacking, either through geographical or social isolation or because demand levels are not sufficient. The Programme also enables the benefit of other public investment to be realised (as in the case of investment in community centres and resources).

The Community Services Programme evolved from the Social Economy Programme and is managed for the Department of Social Protection by Pobal, a not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU.


Types of project

In general, applicants must be not-for-profit social enterprises or community businesses with sufficient capacity to undertake service delivery and the management of staff. They must also have sufficient financial resources and opportunity to generate revenue to maintain the proposed service, and where necessary, prepare a business plan acceptable to the Programme.

There are 3 main types of project funded under the Programme:

  • Community services for disadvantaged people, for example: home insulation; disability transport; meals-on-wheels and centre-based day care and social activities; personal security and visitation services; community radio and other forms of community media
  • Community enterprises employing people with disabilities, Travellers, recovering drug misusers and/or ex-prisoners. The employing company or co-op must operate as a social enterprise and demonstrate some form of progression of the workers
  • Community halls and facilities available for community use which enable the day-to-day operation of community infrastructure

Qualifying organisations

In order to qualify for funding under the Community Services Programme, organisations must operate on a not-for-profit basis. They must also recruit unemployed people to work in the projects. In general, 70% of employees in projects funded under the Programme must be from one of the following groups:

  • Unemployed people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
  • People in receipt of Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension or Blind Person’s Pension or other disability payment
  • Travellers in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
  • Ex-prisoners
  • Stabilised and recovering drug misusers
  • People employed from Tús, Community Employment (CE), Job Initiative schemes, as well as Rural Social Scheme workers who are former CE participants

Detailed information about the rules and conditions of the Community Services Programme (pdf) is available on the Pobal website.

How to apply

Access to the Programme is managed by public calls for proposals made by the Department of Social Protection from time to time. The Programme is not open to new applications.

Where to apply


Holbrook House
Holles Street
Dublin 2

Tel:+353 (0)1 511 7000
Fax:+353 (0)1 511 7981

Last modified:11/03/2014

 Find a job

Search for a job on img

 Intreo/Local Office Locator

Search for your local office

 Related Topics


 Application Forms