New £3m COVID-19 recovery fund for VCSE sector Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has launched the £3.3 million Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector (VCSE) Covid Recovery Fund to continue her Department’s support of this vital sector. This fund will help to safely deliver essential services during the Covid-19 crisis, with an allocation of £2.5m to assist with the safe reopening of the VCSE sector and additional funds of £800,000 to provide IT and digital devices to VCSE groups which need to move services to an online platform. The Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to release a further £3.3m of funding today to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector. I see the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy Sector as our first responders within communities in our fight against this pandemic. “I want to provide the sector with whatever support I can to ensure they can deliver services to the most vulnerable in our communities. The digital device fund will help lay the foundations to allow the sector to deliver their much needed services via online platforms which will assist in addressing the needs of those whom have been isolated within our communities as a result of Covid-19.” The fund opened for applications on Thursday 12 November 2020 and will be distributed by Co-operation Ireland in partnership with Rural Community Network. Groups can apply for awards up to £5,000 for purchase of PPE and IT and digital devices. Peter Sheridan, Co-operation Ireland Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be working with the Department to deliver this exciting new fund which builds on our previous support in response to Covid-19. We look forward to receiving applications which we will start assessing straight away to get money out to groups as quickly as possible and enable them to plan for the months ahead.” Further information and application form Related story: 'Charities to be offered extra £6.2m Covid support'