Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Epilepsy Ireland have been continuing our services for people with epilepsy and their families across the country through our team of Community Resource Officers. Like the virus, we have not gone away. However what has gone away is the traditional fundraising income we require for our services - such as church gate collections and events organised by our dedicated members & volunteers.
As we learn to live with COVID and the associated economic impacts, our colleagues in The Wheel have been highlighting the impact of non-proft and community organisations - seeking assurances from the Government and elected representatives that the services provided by the Community & Voluntary sector will be protected and strengthened in Budget 2021.
Epilepsy Ireland is a member of The Wheel and we support the objectives outlined in their pre-budget submission; the key points of which are outlined below:
1. Provide adequate and sustainable funding for the sector.
2. Streamline regulatory and funding-related compliance requirements and provide for the costs of compliance.
3. Bring down the cost of insurance.
4. Comprehensively resource the new strategies for the community and voluntary sector and social enterprise.
5. Implement the recommendations of the Report of the Independent Review Group on the Role of Voluntary Providers in Publicly Funded Services (IRG Report).
6. Develop a framework for collaborative working and provide resources and supports for mergers.
7. Increase budget allocations for the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The submisson in full can be accessed here.
Epilepsy Ireland and hundreds of other non-profit & community organisations are providing a critical service that the State depends on, and at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible. We hope that Budget 2021 will recognise and protect the work which continues to be carried out by the sector.
If you would like to add your voice to The Wheel's #FundCommunity campaign, you can contact your local TD by clicking here.
As noted, we are experiencing a significant financial shortfall due to the ongoing pandemic. While the State must protect our services through the actions highlighted by the Wheel above, now more than ever, we still need your support. If you can support our upcoming national fundraising week Rose Week in any way, please consider doing so.