Strategic Support Funding
Originally Government allocated £3.3 million to a Core Funding Scheme for groups working with victims and survivors over the period 2003‐2005. Funding for this scheme was extended on a yearly basis for the past 5 years and in 2009/2010 financial year £2.3m was administered to groups. In addition, Government allocated £750,000 over the 2002‐2004 period for a Development Grant Scheme which was extended on a yearly basis for activities, services and projects undertaken by groups working with victims and survivors. In 2009/2010 financial year £2.3 million was allocated to this scheme. The Community Relations Council was responsible for the administration and accountability for both the Core Funding Scheme and the Development Grant Scheme.
In 2009, Government released a consultation paper on a Victims & Survivors Service, which will replace all current arrangements in relation to funding for groups (and individuals). Preparations are underway by OFMDFM to plan next steps for the establishment of the Victims & Survivors Service from April 2012.
Between 2010 and 2012, the Community Relations Council has been requested to manage the transitional funding arrangements for groups working with individual victims and survivors, until the establishment of the Victims & Survivors Service.
The transitional arrangements include a merger of the Core and Development Grant Schemes to form the Strategic Support Fund for groups delivering services to victims and survivors and a separate Development Grant Scheme for volunteer based groups providing services to individual victims (who do not require staffing and running costs).
The introduction of the Strategic Support Fund provides the opportunity for groups who work with and deliver services to victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland Troubles to make a more strategic application for their core running costs and their service delivery costs.