24th June 2021 | Green Gazette

Green Ministers announce funding for LGBTI+ Community Services, youth services, safe routes to school and cross-border cultural projects

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Minister O’Gorman announces 2021 LGBTI+ Community Services Fund

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth Roderic O’Gorman TD, today announced that the application process for funding under the LGBTI+ Community Services fund will open shortly. €700,000 is to be made available to applicant groups, operating at national, regional and local level, to support community services and promote visibility and inclusion of LGBTI+ people.

Announcing the imminent launch of the fund, Minister O’Gorman said,

“It is a priority for the Government to build a safer, fairer, more inclusive Ireland. The National LGBTI+ inclusion strategy has been a major step forward for the LGBTI+ community – and we want to reach people in every corner of the country. This year’s funding will continue to improve access to services for LGBTI+ people, irrespective of their age or where they live.”

“The funding announced coincides with Pride celebrations and recognises the need for access to LGBTI+ services right across Ireland. Last year’s funding call provided vital funding to many organisations across the county and I am pleased to see this continue. It will help improve quality of life for LGBTI+ people and ensure they are supported in realising their rights.”

Minister O’Gorman announces International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) to develop new LGBTI+ Resident Policy.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman has announced that the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) is to develop an IPAS LGBTI+ Resident Policy, which will include transgender accommodation provisions. The new policy will form part of an ongoing reform of IPAS operations.

The new policy will aim to ensure that LGBTI+ applicants enjoy a safe and welcoming environment wherever they are staying within the IPAS accommodation network. The policy will seek to promote equality, taking account of individual needs, and ensure that the safety and wellbeing of all residents is promoted within the service.

Announcing the changes, Minister O’Gorman said:

“During the White Paper consultation, I met and heard from LGBTI+ people about the specific difficulties that they had experienced in Direct Provision.

“As we work to end Direct Provision, it is vital that the dignity, safety and wellbeing of all International Protection applicants is upheld, particularly where they may have unique vulnerabilities. A new policy for LGBTI+ applicants will help to ensure that they are supported while applying for International Protection, that no person will ever need to feel in any way isolated, and that their accommodation will always be a safe space.

“Central to the development of the new policy will be a listening phase – we need to hear from LGBTI+ applicants themselves, their advocates and the NGOs working in the field, on how best to develop this new policy.”

Minister O’Gorman announces €1.4 million for youth services to assist with re-opening

Minister O’Gorman announced that €1.4 million is to be provided to frontline youth services and clubs nationally to support them as Covid-19 restrictions are being eased. The re-engagement and support of volunteers who are the backbone of youth services nationally is a key focus in providing these additional funds in 2021. The one off grants are aimed at supporting services to open as fully as is possible in line with the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions.  The Department has recently updated its guidance to youth services on this.

“I am pleased to be able support frontline youth services and clubs in this way,” Minister O’Gorman. “Youth services have worked hard to engage with young people during these restrictions. I encourage all services, volunteers and young people to take these first step towards the full range of activities.”

“As we move forward with re-opening our social and economic life, young people need to have avenues open to them. I am confident that youth services have played and will continue to play this vital role in young person’s lives.”

Minister Martin awards over €147k in funding for cross-border cultural projects

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, this week announced funding of €147,500 for 13 projects to support cultural projects with significant cross-border elements under the Cooperation with Northern Ireland Scheme 2021.

The Cooperation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme is a scheme of funding support, for small self-contained projects which seek to enhance, celebrate or commemorate the artistic, cultural, musical, film or heritage of the island of Ireland on a North/South basis.

“I am delighted to announce the allocations under the Cooperation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme for 2021”, Minister Martin said. “The scheme provides a platform for cultural exchanges and joint projects from organisations on both sides of the border and has produced some fascinating and valuable projects over the years.  This year’s allocations cover everything from photography to art to music and will be well received across the island of Ireland.  I wish all of those who participate as part of these projects the best and I thank those whose ingenuity and creativity have made these projects possible.”

Safe routes to school projects to progress in 170 schools across the country

170 schools have today been notified that they have been selected for inclusion in the first round of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Programme to support walking and cycling infrastructure for primary and post-primary schools. The Safe Routes to School programme aims to create safer walking and cycling routes within communities, alleviate congestion at the school gates and increase the number of students who walk or cycle to school by providing walking and cycling facilities.

“Walking, scooting and cycling to school fosters independence, and is a healthy way for our young people to get around as well as helping us all to cut emissions and air pollution,” Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said. “We want to ensure they can do this in a safe way, through providing additional facilities in and close to schools. This is the first phase of the Safe Routes to School Programme which I look forward to expanding in the years ahead.”

Government to research the potential and impacts of a four-day working week

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment intend to seek proposals from the research community on the social, economic and environmental implications of reduced working time.

“As we recover from the Covid pandemic, we have a chance to improve and reimagine our working lives in a way that benefits people and the environment”, Minister Ryan said. “We’ve seen how adaptable and flexible people can be even in difficult circumstances, and we want to find out more about how we can keep some of the gains that have been made in terms of less commuting and more family time.  A four day week could help us cut carbon emissions and air pollution, improve people’s work-life balance and support gender equality.  We need to look at the potential and assess the impacts of such a change, and this research will help us figure that out”. 

Minister Martin welcomes launch of the EU Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 with a budget of €2.44 billion to support the Culture, Audiovisual and Media Sectors

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., welcomes the launch of the EU Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 with a budget of €2.44 billion to support the culture, audiovisual and media sectors. Irish organisations can apply to avail of the €300 million funding which is to be allocated in 2021 to schemes across the cultural, audiovisual and news media sectors with EU co-financing rates for some schemes as high as 80%.

“I encourage the culture, audiovisual and media sectors in Ireland to fully engage with the funding, partnership, training and networking opportunities presented by the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027. The Programme offers not alone funding to support the recovery and sustainability of these vital sectors of our society but also the important opportunities to achieve closer co-operation with partner organisations across Europe. I am also pleased to see the inclusion of schemes to support a free and pluralistic media environment and the emphasis placed on cross cutting objectives to support gender equality, greening, inclusivity and diversity.”