Fine Gael Longford-Westmeath Minister of State, Deputy Peter Burke has confirmed the allocation of €57,983 in funding towards refurbishment and upgrade work at St Hilda’s in Athlone.
The funding announcement is part of a €20 million Strengthening Disability Fund announced by the Government in recent times. This new funding stream, announced as part of Budget 2021, is made up of one-off grants to reform disability services, build the capacity of disability organisations and to improve the quality of life of those who rely on these services.
Minister Burke stated that projects were sought that help further embed a culture of person-centred practice, which is key to how disability services operate.
“I am delighted that St. Hilda’s will benefit from this fund, and I know the money will be very well spent for refurbishing and upgrading works.
“The Strengthening Disability Services Fund is on top of the additional €100 million delivered in Budget 2021 and highlights this government’s commitment to enhance supports for people with disabilities. These grants will further bolster our voluntary disability service providers and help them meet the challenges they may face in delivering services. Further grants are being assessed at present and will be announced later in the month.
“Some grants were provided for organisations that are operational across all of CHO8, that is Louth Meath Midlands Area. These include €20,000 for the Catholic Institute for Deaf People, €87,000 for the Disability Federation of Ireland, €25,000 for Gheel Autism, €220,000 for KARE, €535,000 for the Muiriosa Foundation and €23,000 for MS Ireland.
“Disability services have continued to operate during the current Level 5 restrictions, and this is credit to the staff and service providers. Our communities owe a debt of gratitude to workers active in this sector and government must continue to provide investment where it is needed, in both capital work and staff costs.
“We saw the impact the closure of Day Services had last year but we have collectively worked together to keep them open, ensuring support for service users and their families, while all the while operating safely within public health guidance. This funding will help improve services being offered during these difficult times,” Minister Burke stated.