Carer’s Support Grant will be paid on Thursday

The Carer’s Support Grant for 2015 will be paid on Thursday 2 June.

The grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Social Protection. Carers can use the grant in whatever way they wish. You can use the grant to pay for respite care if you wish, but you do not have to do so.

In 2016 the grant will be €1,700 (increased from €1,300). The grant is paid automatically to carers getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Prescribed Relative’s Allowance. If you are not getting one of these payments and you did not get the grant last year, you should fill in an application form (pdf).

Read more about the Carer’s Support Grant.

What is a Blue Flag beach?

The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. To qualify for a Blue Flag a beach or marina must comply with strict criteria relating to water quality, safety, visitor facilities, beach management,  information provision and environmental education. Beaches that do not have the infrastructure required for a Blue Flag can be awarded a Green Coast Award.

The Blue Flag is operated in Ireland by An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland. The 2016 Blue Flag awards were announced recently – for 79 beaches and 6 marinas.

Visit blueflagireland.org to find your nearest Blue Flag beach and to find out more about the award. 

Information about Lyme disease from the HSE

During the summer, as people spend more time outdoors, the risk of tick bites increases. The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is urging people to protect themselves against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by infected biting ticks. Lyme disease can, in a small number of cases, cause severe debilitating heart and nervous system disease. However it is rare in Ireland.

The HPSC suggests that you prevent tick bites by:

  • Wearing long trousers, long sleeved shirt and shoes
  • Using an insect repellent, such as DEET (but use a low-strength DEET if you are pregnant – your local pharmacist can advise you)
  • Checking skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks, after a day out
  • Removing any ticks and consulting with a GP if symptoms develop
  • If you have been walking your dog, check him/her too

Read more on hse.ie. 

It’s National Volunteering Week

This year’s National Volunteering Week takes place from 16 to 22 May 2016. It is organised by Volunteer Ireland.  Volunteer Ireland develops and supports best practice in volunteering and also supports Volunteer Centres across Ireland.

The theme of the week in 2016 is ‘thinking differently about volunteering’. If you want to volunteer in your local area there are over 3,000 volunteering opportunities currently available on I-VOL, the national database of volunteering.

Find out more from Volunteer Ireland.

Springboard courses

Springboard+ offers 280 free courses at 42 higher education institutions across Ireland. They include part-time courses and full-time ICT skills conversion programmes.

Springboard aims to offer qualifications in areas where there are job opportunities – such as ICT and financial services. Courses are available at certificate, degree and masters level and are generally one year or less.

In general, to qualify for Springboard you must be unemployed, with a previous history of employment, and you must be actively seeking work and available to take up work.  Most courses are part-time, enabling you to keep social welfare payments. Successful applicants for full-time ICT skills conversion courses who are in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment can apply for the Back to Education Allowance.

Read about Springboard and eligibility criteria.

Warning: email scam

The Citizens Information Board has become aware of fraudulent emails purporting to come from Revenue and which use a fake “@citizensinformation.ie” email address.

These emails did not issue from the Citizens Information Board or from Revenue.

Anyone who receives an email purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it.

Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

Garda vetting

Since April 29 2016, it is mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016.

You can read frequently asked questions about Garda vetting on the National Vetting Bureau website.

If you are applying for a position that requires you to have Garda vetting, you will be sent a Garda vetting application form (electronic or paper). You apply to be vetted using e-Vetting but you may apply using a paper form instead.

Read more in our document.