Funding of €14,430 has been announced for libraries in Clare to help them support marginalised groups during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Older people, families with low literacy skills and disadvantaged groups are among those to benefit from a funding package of €713,500 that will be channelled through the country’s libraries.
In Clare, five separate projects have been allocated grants through this programme.
Clare Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe said: “This kind of funding will allow the Clare Library Service to target groups that otherwise may have been out of their reach due to circumstances beyond either party’s control.”
“The biggest allocation in Clare of €4,800 will be used to roll out a four-week programme of daytime classes in digital smartphone technology in the county’s libraries, teaching older people how to use WhatsApp and Zoom and so on, which will really help with the isolation of cocooning or just being able to keep in touch with family when physical distance is between them.
“As a primary school teacher, I’m also thrilled to see that €2,200 will be used to roll out a programme at Scoil Chríost Rí in Cloughleigh to help alleviate anxiety among children after such a long school absence.
“€2,190 has also earmarked for those with sensory needs, while €1,370 will go towards a literacy and numeracy programme in Kilrush.
“The final allocation of €3,870 will see Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS) licences purchased by the library service to help those with low literacy levels of learning differences.
“It’s extremely important that we, as a society, target these groups that are sadly so often left out of the loop.
“This can be so isolating for them and as a result, damages development in younger people and for the elderly, leaves them feeling isolated and abandoned. I welcome this funding and look forward to seeing its rollout around the county,” Deputy Crowe said.
Also welcoming the funding, Clare Fine Gael Deputy Joe Carey said: “The funding has a specific focus and is aimed at groups such as the elderly, the Traveller Community, those with disabilities and people living in Direct Provision.
“Part of the funding will be used to purchase literacy/numeracy digital skills licences/apps to assist people with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments.
“This funding will have real positive benefits for so many people. I am delighted that this funding has been allocated to libraries here in Clare and across the country. The last few months have been very difficult and any funding which helps our libraries to reach out and engage with communities is most welcome,” Mr Carey added.