Local Fine Gael Senator welcomes funding for community groups

Local Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan has welcomed €319,066 in digital access funding for community groups in South Roscommon.

Monksland Active Retirement, Monksland Community Group and Moore Community Council received notable digital access funding allocations which will enhance the relevant service provided to local community members in due course.

“This fund is a fantastic support for community groups all over the country who have felt the impacts of the digital divide over the past year and nine months. Today so much more of our day-to-day activity, engagement with State agencies, even shopping and banking has moved online and it can be a more challenging place without the know-how & devices to access these services.

“The ‘Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage’ fund in 2021 will deliver 1,000 community projects such as laptop & device loan schemes to build capacity for community groups and centres. It is also to provide furniture to develop learning spaces with social distancing. It encourages more local participation in learning through mentorship and outreach as well as building awareness of supports available. I have worked with Minister Harris and his team on the promotion of this programme.

“As Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Education, I am an advocate of lifelong learning and this fund will support adult and community education in South Roscommon through GRETB.

“Friends or someone in our family could have had poor experiences in school, or perhaps didn’t get the learning support needed at the right time and left school without all the skills we need today.

“Close to 20 percent of people in Ireland have literacy difficulties, not being able to read a prescription or difficulty filling in an application form for a medical card, or not being able to read texts on a phone. This means that a lot of people can’t access their full supports, or might not be able to take the best care of themselves or loved ones when ill.

“Low literacy levels are proven to show a huge impact on health outcomes, social disadvantage and lead to exclusion”

“The first step might be help to improve reading, writing or language skills to find out more Freephone 1800 20 20 65 or text LEARN to 50050 and the great team at National Adult Literacy Association (NALA ) can give you all the options on adult literacy for life and computer skills, speak to those who have completed such courses and become more confident in their reading and writing.

“We have so much more opportunity for lifelong learning in a really flexible online way. There is great choice of courses now available to learn about community and social work or to discover new careers. Find out more at www.fetchcourses.ie or www.gretb.ie,” Senator Dolan commented.


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