€69,000 for Institute of Technology Tralee to support students’ mental health and wellbeing – Griffin €69,000 has been allocated by the Government to the Institute of Technology Tralee to support students’ mental health and wellbeing, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said. Deputy Griffin was speaking after Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Simon Harris, announced a national package of €5 million to support students’ wellbeing and mental health. Deputy Griffin said: “This significant funding for IT Tralee confirmed to me today by Minister Harris, comes at a time of great urgency around student support and re-opening planning for the next academic year.” The funding will be used to • Recruit additional Student Counsellors; • Recruit additional Assistant Psychologists; • Implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions; • Implementation of the soon to be published National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework. Deputy Griffin continued: “Mental health is probably the number one health issue for young people in Ireland today. The concerns and worries of young people around their mental health have been compounded by the isolation and uncertainly brought forward by the COVID-19 Pandemic. “For students, the college experience has been different this year from ever before. Students have had to adjust to remote learning and carried out without face to face support from their college or their peers. “For these reasons, Minister Harris has prioritised funding to support student counselling services, key mental health interventions and the provision of a safe, respectful, supportive and positive environment in our higher education institutions. “This important funding for Tralee IT will really help support students as they return to college in this Covid world.” Commenting on the announcement, Minister Harris said: “This additional support is a welcome boost to a higher education sector that enrols in the region of 55,000 new students each year. These young and not-so-young students engage in higher education at a sometimes-challenging time of change and progression in their lives. This is a sizeable proportion of our population, and while our health and community services work to support everyone, there can be environmentally specific or transitional issues that arise for both current and new students in higher education.” ENDS For further details please contact Brendan on 087-6528841

14th August 2020 Sole traders in Kerry urged to apply for Enterprise Support Grant – Griffin Self-employed people in Kerry should apply for the newly-revamped Enterprise Support Grant to help them get back on their feet after Covid-19, Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said. The grant, worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, taxi drivers etc, who do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme. Deputy Griffin said, “My colleague, Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys, has today opened applications to people who need assistance in getting back on their feet and their businesses back up and running. “The Enterprise Support Grant previously supported entrepreneurs who were setting up new enterprises. But it has now been revamped to specifically provide once-off supports for self-employed people who have been severely impacted and have had to cease operations as a result of the pandemic. “I would strongly encourage self-employed people in Kerry to apply for this grant, whether it’s to assist with operating costs or salaries for their staff, so that they continue to provide the crucial services that our communities in Kerry depend upon. “Anyone wishing to apply for the grant can download the application form on www.welfare.ie and, when completed should be sent to their local Intreo Centre. “Many sole traders and small business owners in Kerry have in recent months been in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). “The PUP has been a crucial support for people who, through no fault of their own, found themselves out of work and that is why Minister Humphreys decided to extend the payment until April next year,” Deputy Griffin concluded. The Department of Social Protection has stated that this Grant will assist those people who transitioned from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into self-employment since May 18th, which marked Phase One of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Once-off funding of up to a maximum €1,000 will be available to assist them with re-opening their business. The support is available to small business owners who employ fewer than 10 people, are not liable for commercial rates and have an annual turnover of less than €1 million – providing kick-start funding to those enterprises that do not have an entitlement to other business re-start grants. Announcing details of the grant, Minister Humphreys said, “Whether it’s paying wages, fuel costs, purchasing PPE or signage – this is an important grant to assist the self-employed to reopen their business and get back doing what they do best: Providing crucial and essential services in their communities. “So if you’re a plumber, carpenter, beautician, gardener or electrician who is transitioning back to work, or the taxi driver getting your car back on the road – this grant may be of interest to you.” ENDS Notes to Editors: The Enterprise Support Grant will be available to tax and PRSI compliant self-employed individuals who: • Have been in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a Jobseekers payment and have closed their claim on or after 18th May 2020; • Have been operating a business prior to March 2020; • Have reopened their business which was closed due to Covid; • Are not liable for commercial rates; and • Employ fewer than 10 people & have an annual turnover of less than €1 million; Funding may be sought for a range of costs incurred in reopening a business including: • Purchase of equipment including signage and personal protective equipment; • Repairs, maintenance and installation of safety measures; • Salaries; and • Vehicle running costs including fuel. For further information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841