Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today met with a range of groups and representatives from the voluntary and community sector as the cost of living crisis continues.
The Minister visited Armagh where she met a range of groups who sit on the Armagh Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership (NRP) followed by a visit to Portadown where she met with representatives from the Community Intercultural Programme and Scotch Street Youth & Community Centre.
The Minister heard about the important services they provide in the local community and how the cost of living crisis has affected their organisations and the communities they serve.
The Minister said:
"I really value the vital services and support these groups provide to so many and my Department is working to identify opportunities to provide additional support for groups, families and individuals to get through this difficult period.
"However, this remains a serious challenge in the coming months as we move into the autumn and winter months and in the absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place.
"As I continue my engagement with groups from across the voluntary and community sector I continue to hear about the challenges they are faced with as a result of the on-going cost of living crisis and the negative impact this is having on the groups and communities they serve.
"I want to assure these groups I am listening to the concerns raised and I am committed to doing everything I can to support the delivery of vital services to those in need."