A county Clare organisation that played a vital role in helping the elderly and vulnerable during the Covid-19 lockdown has been awarded over €90,000 in funding.

Obair in Newmarket-on-Fergus will receive a total of €91,800 under Tranche One of the Covid-19 Stability Fund for community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises.

The funding was announced by local Fine Gael TD Joe Care. Deputy Carey has first-hand experience of the heroic work Obair does on behalf of the community after he helped deliver ‘meals-on-wheels’ with other volunteers during the lockdown (pictured above).

Deputy Carey said: “I’m delighted to confirm that Obair will receive this funding: their efforts during this great crisis have been nothing short of heroic. It was an honour to witness the selfless work its volunteers do in person and the vital role the organisation plays in helping the most vulnerable in our society.

“Obair and organisations like them have been at the heart of our country’s response to the challenges brought by Covid-19. In every corner of the country people have got behind their community and dug deep to help each other. But they needed help and extra resources to ensure they could continue to deliver the critical services and cope with the inability to generate traded or fundraised income due to social restrictions. In many cases, while the rest of the world shut down, these organisations kept going and I and my colleagues in Government and communities all over the country are extremely grateful for that.”

The funding is part of some €10.5 million approved for organisations across the country under Tranche One of the Covid-19 Stability Fund announced by outgoing Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring.

Some 179 organisations will benefit from this funding in the form of once-off cash injections of between €2,000 and €200,000. The funding will allow community and voluntary organisations to provide critical services to those most vulnerable in society to help with short term cash flow issues as a result of the pandemic.  

Minister Ring added: “The sector reached out and asked for help, which is why I, along with other Departments, committed up to €35 million of Dormant Accounts Funding to help these organisations to keep the lights on, and keep delivering those critical services to the people that depend on them.

“I am delighted to make the first tranche of payments available and hope to see many more funded in the coming days and weeks as my officials and Pobal complete final checks.”

The Covid-19 Stability Fund for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises is intended to be a targeted once-off cash injection for organisations and groups delivering critical front-line services to those most at need in our society and in danger of imminent closure as a direct result of restrictions to combat the spread of the virus.

Pobal, the not-for-profit company that manages programmes on behalf of the Government, will contact successful applicants in the coming days to finalise contracts and facilities for payment of funding. Additional checks are ongoing on remaining applicants to determine suitability for funding. Further funding announcements are expected over the coming weeks.