Ministers Humphreys, O’Brien, Chambers and Rabbitte announce €54.5 million package to support disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups

The government has published the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2023 – a €54.5 million package aimed at disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups across the country.

The Action Plan sets out 44 initiatives across 9 government departments, all of which are designed to support communities at a grassroots level.

From providing sporting and educational opportunities to young people, to delivering projects for our elderly, disabled, marginalised and disadvantaged – the Action Plan aims to support those who need it most.

Funding for the Action Plan comes from unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e., banks, building societies and An Post), as well as unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.

The Action Plan was launched on Tuesday, 8th November 2022 at the Cherry Orchard Equine Centre by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, Minister of State at the Department of Rural Community Development, Joe O’Brien, Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, and Minister for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte.

The Equine Centre is to receive €123,200 under the Action Plan, which will support Garda Youth Diversion Projects and initiatives to help young people find employment.

The projects that will be supported under the Action Plan include:

  • cross-government: €3.8 million for Traveller initiatives and services across 5 departments.
  • Rural and community development: €3 million to provide older people with personal safety alarms under the Senior Alerts Scheme.
  • Social protection: €5 million to deliver employment and educational support programmes for people with disabilities and family carers.
  • Defence: €50,000 to provide sailing opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
  • Justice: €1.4 million for initiatives that protect young people from the influence of adult crime networks.
  • Sport: €12 million for Sport Ireland to increase participation, particularly for young people who need extra encouragement to take up a sport.
  • Housing: €3 million to tackle homelessness through the Housing First initiative.
  • Education: €20,000 to cover transport costs associated with school visits to the Glasnevin Trust in Dublin.
  • Higher education: €450,000 for the Traveller Apprenticeship Incentivisation Programme.
  • Rural and community development: €550,000 to fund initiatives in our public libraries, with a particular focus on disadvantaged groups and people with disabilities.
  • Defence: €400,000 to upgrade the Civil Defence Fleet and €200,000 to support Veterans’ Organisations.

Launching the Action Plan today, Minister Humphreys said:

“The Dormant Accounts Action Plan is a major initiative that aims to support communities at a grassroots level. The €54.5 million funding we are announcing today will benefit and support our young people, our elderly, people with disabilities, carers, as well as our marginalised and disadvantaged groups. The 44 projects that make up the plan have been put forward by 9 different government departments. These projects will help communities that suffer from disadvantage to overcome the challenges they face. And they will also provide great opportunities for people of all ages in terms of education, health and employment.”

Minister O’Brien stated:

“The 2023 Action Plan provides funding of €54.5 million to help address disadvantage right across Ireland. The 44 measures approved for funding will help to address a diverse range of issues such as Traveller equality, youth disadvantage, migrant integration and probation supports to prevent re-offending. Dormant Accounts funding makes a real difference to individuals and communities right across the country. The 2023 Action Plan being published today will help ensure that we can continue to support those who need it most during these challenging times. I had written to all Ministers asking that they give specific consideration to measures that would support Travellers therefore I am particularly pleased to see that €3.8 million is allocated for Traveller initiatives and services across five departments.”

Also speaking today, Minister Chambers said:

“The €12 million allocation for sports measures enables us to implement a Sport for All approach for people in disadvantaged communities and for those with a disability. Sport has the power to improve and change people’s lives for the better. The health benefits of an active lifestyle are beyond dispute and everybody, irrespective of their socio-economic status, should have the opportunity to reap those benefits. That is why increasing the level of sports and physical activity participation in these marginalised communities is a top priority. We can continue to make real progress next year with the help of this Dormant Accounts funding being announced today.”

Minister Rabbitte concluded:

“I’m glad to see such a big investment in supports for people with disabilities and family carers in the distribution of Dormant Accounts Funding announced today. It is another example of how we are working across Government to ensure people with disabilities are supported in their communities, particularly on their journey toward employment, self-employment, or further education. I think it is clear from the initiatives detailed in the Action Plan 2023, that there is a focus on empowering some of our most vulnerable, helping them achieve their goals, bolstering both their confidence and their skillset.”

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