Minister provides £3.3m to Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector

Date published: 12 November 2020

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has launched the £3.3million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund to continue her Department’s support of this vital Sector.

Minister provides £3.3m to Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector
Minister provides £3.3m to Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector

This fund will help to safely deliver essential services during the Covid-19 crisis, with an allocation of £2.5m to assist with the safe reopening of the VCSE sector and additional funds of £800,000 to provide IT and digital devices to VCSE groups which need to move services to an online platform.

The Minister said:  “I am delighted to be able to release a further £3.3m of funding today to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector.  I see the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector as our first responders within communities in our fight against this pandemic.

“I want to provide the sector with whatever support I can to ensure they can deliver services to the most vulnerable in our communities. The digital device fund will help lay the foundations to allow the sector to deliver their much needed services via online platforms which will assist in addressing the needs of those whom have been isolated within our communities as a result of Covid-19.”

The fund opens for applications on Thursday 12 November 2020 and will be distributed by Co-operation Ireland in partnership with Rural Community Network.

Groups can apply for awards up to £5,000 for purchase of PPE and IT and digital devices. Further information is available at

Peter Sheridan, Co-operation Ireland Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be working with the Department to deliver this exciting new fund which builds on our previous support in response to Covid-19. We look forward to receiving applications which we will start assessing straight away to get money out to groups as quickly as possible and enable them to plan for the months ahead.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The programme will be delivered through an external provider. A partnership of Co-operation Ireland and Rural Community Network have been appointed by DfC. Co-operation Ireland will be the lead partner within the partnership.
  2. Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on email:
  3. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  4. Follow us on twitter @CommunitiesNI

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