• Fingal County Council launches grants to fight digital poverty under the Covid-19 Emergency Fund Scheme

    Fingal County Council has launched a new initiative under the Covid-19 Emergency Fund Scheme aimed at addressing digital poverty by awarding grants of up to €3,000 to enable local groups and organisations provide access to digital technology for the most vulnerable in the community.

    Covid-19 has seen services, goods and social contacts increasingly move online, and the need for vital equipment such as laptops, dongles and online technology has highlighted issues of digital poverty and access among all ages and groups.

    The grant scheme has been initiated after the Fingal Community Call Forum agreed to allocate funding from the Covid-19 Emergency Fund Scheme to the area of digital poverty. 

    The Fingal Community Call Forum was established at the start of the pandemic and is comprised of statutory, voluntary & community organisations and local development companies.

    The Covid-19 Emergency Fund Scheme was established by the Department of Rural & Community Development to ensure that crucial services are delivered to the more vulnerable and cocooning members of society during the pandemic. 

    Mayor of Fingal Cllr David Healy said: “Covid-19 means that keeping connected with family and friends, accessing services and finding information have never been more dependent on digital technology.

    “I commend this grant scheme which aims to help people stay connected, stay engaged and stay informed”.

    Chief Executive of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly said: “The grant scheme launched today aims to assist local groups and organisations in efforts to bridge the digital divide.

    “Digital poverty is an especially urgent issue during Covid-19, as lack of access to technology limits the ability of individuals and communities to connect with each other, access services, and discover opportunities.”

    The grant application must achieve an impact in one or more of the following:

    • Enabling on-line education, reskilling or training for disadvantaged groups
    • Enabling online education and training for young people in post primary schools
    • Combating isolation 

    Eligible technology includes:

    • Laptops – new or refurbished
    • Tablets – new or refurbished
    • Phones
    • Smart Phones
    • Wifi devices
    • Creation of online platforms
    • Access to online platforms

    Eligibility for Funding

    • Organisations with a track record in delivering services to those most vulnerable in our community (young people, older people, disadvantaged, marginalised) where those services have identified a need for digital technology/equipment to enable access to their digital services
    • Eligible organisations include local development companies, youth services, family support services and services for older people
    • Organisations must be able to demonstrate suitable governance and a financial management structure
    • Organisations must demonstrate adherence to public health guidelines
    • Proposals from individuals will not qualify

    Appraisal and Decision Process - Key criteria in assessing applications will include:

    • The project addresses digital exclusion as a result of poverty
    • The strength of the application and the information supplied
    • Social inclusion target
    • The ability of the group to carry out the project
    • The impact of the project to be clearly demonstrated
    • Sustainability of the project
    • Group must be a member of the Fingal Public Participation Network (PPN)
    • An evaluation committee will consider all applications made under this scheme.   The maximum grant available is €3,000 per organisation/group but the amount awarded will depend on the response to this funding call and is at the discretion of Fingal County Council. Priority will be given to those groups which demonstrate the ability to provide matched funding.

    Closing Date

    • The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 27th November 2020.
    • All applications must be submitted online.
    • Please click “next” to commence your application.