On a visit to Derry today Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey met with a range of community organisations who provide vital support to individuals and families within their local community.
The Minister visited Aspace2, Creggan Pre-school and Training Trust, The Rainbow Project and ETHOS Family Support Hub, as part of her series of engagement with organisations providing support to the community as we continue to navigate the cost of living crisis.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: "I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contribution these groups continue to make through the delivery of vital services and programmes to those most in need within our communities during these challenging times.
"I have heard first hand of the vital support these groups deliver for their local community and talked with staff about the current pressures and issues they are facing. The rise in cost of living has been highlighted as a major issue and has negatively impacted upon the vital services our community groups can deliver to those most in need within our communities.
"I am committed to do all that I can to support and protect our community groups, support workers and families who are experiencing real hardship and my officials are exploring options on how best to support those in need. The absence of a functioning Executive and no agreed budget, makes the challenge all the greater.
She continued: "Earlier this month I reconvened the Emergencies Leadership Group as part of a strategic response to the cost of living crisis. This will be vital to lead and shape the way forward in terms of our policy and operational response to elevate pressures face by so many as the crisis deepens. My focus remains squarely on identifying and delivering means to support and help our citizens during this challenging time."