Minister of State Humphreys announces awarding of contracts worth €19.5m for Community Services


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The Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection with Special Responsibility for Activation, Kevin Humphreys TD, today (Monday, 22 December 2014) announced that contracts to support the provision of community services valued at just over €19.5 million per annum have been offered to 160 not-for-profit companies nationally. This will support social enterprises providing a range of services that strengthen our communities.

The contracts will enable the provision of a broad range of services to improve the well-being of children, older people and families in disadvantaged areas or where essential services are lacking. The contracts represent the renewal of 155 existing contracts and the award of five new contracts.

Announcing the funding the Minister of State said: "The Community Services Programme promotes and supports the provision of vital services all over the country. The contracts I am announcing today will be for durations of up to three years and follow an extensive process of business planning undertaken by the companies involved.

"This programme provides a vital subsidy to community companies that helps build, sustain and develop community infrastructure and social enterprise.

"The investments we make through this programme pay long term dividends by making sure community companies can make the best use of the facilities and skills available in their areas."

Each year around one third of contracts are renewed following an extensive business planning process. These services supported by the Community Services Programme include transport, retail, the management and use of community facilities, horticulture, tourism and heritage, recycling and environmental, care of support for older people, and childcare. The initiatives are derived from needs identified locally and are delivered under local ownership.

The Community Services Programme provides employment opportunities for people from disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities, long-term unemployed, travellers, lone parents and rehabilitated drug misusers. The programme directly supports approximately 2,700 people in employment and a further 500 employees indirectly.

Minister Humphreys added: "In the current challenging economic climate, these organisations are helping, not only to maintain basic service provision, but also leading the revitalisation of communities. Communities, county councils and the State invested significant sums in facilities in the past decade and we need to ensure that these community assets are fully utilised for the community as a whole but also for those most vulnerable."

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

To view list of contracts awarded, click here.

Last modified:22/12/2014