Minister Ring announces funding award of €815,000 under the Community Services Programme

Published 20 February 2018

Minister Ring announces funding award of €815,000 under the Community Services Programme

 Michael Ring T.D., the Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (Tuesday) announced funding of €815,000 for 12 new social enterprises under Strand 3 of the Community Services Programme.

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports local community based organisations and activities to deliver a diverse range of services in the community while providing employment opportunities for people from specific target groups.  Organisations funded by the programme are encouraged to develop and deliver good quality services and provide good quality employment opportunities to their employees.

The funding announced today will support services under Strand 3 of the Community Services Programme. This strand focuses on services that meet two core objectives – namely developing and providing social enterprise through the funded organisation’s offering to the community, while also creating employment and career progression opportunities for members from the CSP target groups.

Announcing the funding, Minister Ring said “I am delighted to be able to award funding to these organisations under the Community Services Programme.  It is the first time we have had an open call for proposals under the programme in more than a decade.  The funding will support social enterprises that provide employment opportunities for specific disadvantaged groups and categories of people, such as the long-term unemployed, Travellers, those recovering from drug addiction and people with convictions, to name but a few.

“The funding I am announcing today is an excellent investment by Government.  It’s a substantial contribution towards the cost of 36 full-time equivalent posts in the 12 successful organisations.  It will help job-seekers return to employment and, importantly, will support the delivery of valuable services in communities.”

Acknowledging those applicants that were not successful under the recent call, Minister Ring stressed that there would be other opportunities for many of these applicants under the programme in the future.  The Minister said: “A number of applicants have not been successful.  But this may not be the end of the road for them; many may be a better fit under one of the other strands of the programme.  I have asked Pobal to work with these organisations in the coming months and, subject to meeting programme criteria and funding availability, they could be considered for support under the CSP in the not too distant future.”


The below table lists successful applicants to Strand 3 of the 2017 Community Services Programme:

Minister Ring announces funding award of €815,000 under the Community Services Programme

The Community Service Programme (CSP)

The CSP supports community organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model. It focuses on service delivery to disadvantaged communities and target groups, helping to address disadvantage and long term unemployment.

The Programme targets communities where public and private sector services are lacking, either through geographical or social isolation or because demand levels are not sufficient.  It also enables the benefit of other public investment to be realised as in the case of investment in community centres and resources.

Service providers are required to generate non-public revenue from their operations by charging fees for services delivered or by fundraising. CSP-funded organisations must be not-for-profit, social enterprise or community business in nature.

The annual budget of €46.2m supports some 425 community organisations with a funding contribution to the cost of employing a manager (€32,000) and/or a specified number of FTEs (€19,033).  Support is provided on the basis of a 39-hour working week.

At 31 December 2017, the CSP supported almost 3,000 individual employees, including 290 managers and 1617.5 FTEs.

Employees are recruited from the labour market subject to the community organisation meeting programme criteria. The CSP supports paid employment positions; it is not a welfare payment or an add-on to a welfare payment. This sets the Programme apart from other public funding sources and reflects the social enterprise ethos of the programme.

The programme is managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.  While the Department approves applicants for funding all other processes are managed by Pobal including funding administration, monitoring, reporting, oversight and beneficiary support service to the programme.

Programme Funding Strands

CSP supports organisations under three strands –

Strand 1:  Community owned/managed buildings and facilities that are used for community benefit.  This strand can include theatres and arts centres, enterprise centres, gyms and sports clubs, various open spaces, heritage centres and visitor attractions, family resource centres, community development project, hostels, community cafes, and community halls and facilities.

Strand 2:  Community Services – especially for disadvantaged.  Examples include: community radio; “care and repair” / home insulation and environmental maintenance; social and other activities for people with disabilities; childcare; multitude of services for the elderly & housebound people with disabilities e.g. meals on wheels, laundry, visitation, personal security, centre based services & social events.

Strand 3:  Community Social Enterprises tend to have an emphasis on employing people far from labour market, including for example people with disabilities, Travellers and some instances of recovering drug misusers.  The enterprises typically involve craft, recycling, horticulture and environmental maintenance.

 Strand 3 Targeted Call in 2017

Additional funding was secured through the Estimates Process in 2016 to support new entrants to the CSP and a call for expressions of interest issued under Strand 3 of the Programme in 2017.  The call focused on services that met two core objectives –

  • Development and provision of the social enterprise through its offering to communities, and
  • Employment creation and progression for members from the specified CSP target groups.

Target Groups under Strand 3 include –

  • Persons in receipt of disability allowance, invalidity pension or blind person’s pension;
  • Travellers in receipt of jobseeker’s payments or One Parent Family Payment;
  • Stabilised and recovering drug misusers;
  • People with convictions who are in contact with the Probation Service;
  • People who are homeless;
  • Immigrants, legally allowed to work in Ireland, who are in receipt of jobseeker’s payments or One Parent Family Payment;
  • Long-term unemployed.