Unclaimed bank, post office money to fund job training for those with disabilities

€2.3m in dormant funds allocated to carers, agencies for vision, hearing impairment

Dormant funds worth €2.3m will be provided to 17 agencies. Photograph: iStock

Dormant funds worth €2.3m will be provided to 17 agencies. Photograph: iStock

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Dormant funds worth €2.3 million will be provided to 17 agencies to support programmes to improve the employment prospects for those with disabilities.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys announced the grants of between just under €50,000 and €200,000 to charities and agencies working with people with disabilities and includes supports for self-employment projects.

The funding will be awarded over six months starting on January 1st and will be administered through Pobal, an intermediary agency that manages government and EU funding programmes.

A number of the awards are to agencies assisting people with vision and hearing impairment including ChildVision. It will receive €196,955 to fund a “pathways to employment” project providing specialist supports for young adults aged between 18 and 25. The Irish Deaf Society has been awarded €199,941 for a similar project.

A significant amount of funding will go to carers including Family Carers Ireland, which has been awarded €199,815 to identify and support current and former family carers engaging in employment activation and education including digital supports for young carers.

Care Alliance Ireland will receive €163,479 for an “intensive online course” for family carers not currently in paid employment. HR professionals will also engage with carers to “improve employability” and with employers to raise awareness of the issues facing carers.

NCBI (National Council for the Blind) Group will receive €200,000 for its VisAble education, training and employment project, while the Open Doors Initiative receives €200,000 to support employment and entrepreneurship for those with disabilities.

Ms Humphreys said the impact of Covid-19 “this year has made it one of the most challenging for everyone and I know it has been particularly tough on carers and people with disabilities.

“The call-out for a request for funding resulted in high quality projects and initiatives being submitted by organisations around the country with a proven track record of providing services to carers and people with a disability.”

Under dormant accounts legislation unclaimed bank, building society and post office funds along with unclaimed life assurance policy monies are used to assist the socially and educationally disadvantaged and those with a disability.