An innovative service that brings information to doorsteps in the rural area of south west Donegal was presented with a grant for €25,000 by the Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Coughlan TD today.
Describing the information project as "innovative" the Minister praised the initiative and the eighteen volunteers running the service.
"The South West Donegal Communities Partnership Ltd will be providing an important and professionally delivered information service on an outreach basis throughout the south west Donegal area, " said Minister Coughlan.
"This service which will be offered by small teams of two volunteers from a pool of eighteen who will address the lack of information that many groups such as the elderly, infirm, unemployed, parents of young families.
"I am delighted to be able to provide a significant grant to help fund this worthy project. I have asked staff at the Department of Social and Family Affairs to monitor this project as the possible model and pilot programme of a national outreach information service, " said Minister Coughlan.
Based in unit 8 at the Carpet Factory, Killybegs the partnership identified the lack of information about social services and social welfare entitlements throughout the area –and addressed this need by establishing a pool of eighteen committed volunteers willing to provide the information by travelling around the six parishes here in south west Donegal providing an outreach service.
"The grant I have provided will go towards the rent of premises around the county, the purchase of computer equipment and travel expenses for the volunteer team.
"The service will be of particular benefit to people who are elderly, infirm, unemployed or the parents of young families.
"I would like to pay particular tribute to the visionary group in the partnership who identified this need and worked to see it come into effect-and to the team of volunteers who will be crucial to the success of this project who have already shown their commitment by undergoing an extensive training programme. I congratulate everyone involved and hope the scheme can pioneer further development throughout the rest of the country in delivering information to specifically tackle problems of social inclusion, " said Minister Coughlan.
th February 2003