UNISON Northern Ireland

UNISON Welcomes Additional Covid-19 Funding for Community and Voluntary Sector but warns long term funding is needed

UNISON, the largest trade union representing workers in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland is calling for sustained and continued funding to be secured by the Communities Minister to assist the sector with the long term effects of the covid pandemic

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today announced a further £2.75 million for councils under the Covid-19 Community Support Fund to allow them to support the voluntary and community sector response to the continuing hardship created by the pandemic.

The funding boost will support local grassroots community and voluntary organisations across council areas working with individuals and communities during the pandemic to target need and alleviate poverty by:

  • providing assistance to those on low income and at risk due to financial stress
  • supporting access to food for those most in need
  • helping to connect those living alone or in a rural and border area that are likely to experience challenges in accessing services

Joe McCusker, UNISON Regional Organiser, says: “ While we welcome the announcement from the Communities Minister on the additional funding for community and voluntary sector organisations, the effects of covid on the sector and those they provide assistance to will last for many years to come and this will require sustained additional funding over the years to come.  Funding must also be provided to support the workers in the sector who have been heroic and selfless in providing frontline services in their local communities from the start of the pandemic.”