Galway Contact, FORUM Connemara and Down Syndrome Galway are among the local organisations that will benefit from €1 million in grant funding for community voluntary groups announced this week.
The allocation was welcomed by Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton, who said that the funding would support projects related to government strategies in areas such as positive ageing, the taskforce on loneliness, and the National Dementia Strategy.
FORUM Connemara was awarded a total of over €14,000, while Down Syndrome Galway will receive around €11,300. Galway Contact, which helps older people who may feel lonely or isolated, was allocated almost €6,000.
“I’m particularly pleased to have been able to secure support for Galway Contact, which I have been working closely with,” said Deputy Naughton.
“They are an entirely voluntary group that makes an enormous positive difference to the lives of so many older people in the Galway area, enabling them to remain an important part of their communities.”
The grant funding was announced by Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly this week. It will see a large number of organisations nationwide benefit from around €1 million under the scheme.
The government strategy to improve and develop community supports follows the recommendations contained in Sláintecare, the long-term healthcare plan developed by Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare.
Deputy Naughton was the only member of that committee from Connacht. She said the Government’s focus on prevention and early prevention, as recommended by Sláintecare, will ensure that most care is provided in the community.
“This grant funding allocation is part of that move to ensure that older people can continue to live in their communities and maintain their social connections,” she explained.
“The groups that have succeeded in securing funding contribute significantly to positive ageing and better overall health for the older population. It accords with the Government’s strategy to help them expand and develop their services.”
Many of the successful projects include befriending initiatives to encourage social connections and alleviate loneliness, as well as more established models such as meals-on-wheels and day centres.
Deputy Naughton said that the funding would provide tangible benefits to communities, supporting the provision of an additional 20,000 meals per year and 90 extra day-care places per week.