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Seven Covid-related deaths as Minister confirms £500 support bonus imminent

The £500 recognition payment for Supporting People and Homelessness workers who supported some of the most vulnerable in society will start to issue in the coming weeks

Covid safe hands Craigavon Hospital

There have been seven further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,827.

The ABC Borough accounts for 384 – up one – fatalities. There have been 211 – the same number of deaths – in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 263 – up one.

There have been a further 1,690 – up nine – cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update.

There were 168 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – up 28 on Thursday. There were 165 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down – up 25 – while Mid-Ulster recorded 159 – down 51. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 299 positive cases, which is up 39.

There are 408 – down 11 – people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 33 –  down one – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are 13 ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 103% – the same as yesterday (Thursday).

The figures come as Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey confirmed today (Friday) that the £500 recognition payment for Supporting People and Homelessness workers who supported some of the most vulnerable in society will start to issue in the coming weeks.

Minister Hargey said: “Earlier in the year I announced that I would make a payment to workers in Supporting People (SP) and homelessness schemes in recognition of their contribution to supporting the delivery of vital services to some of the most vulnerable in our community.  We should see the first payments being made in the coming weeks.

“These workers provide vital support all year round and are valued for all that they do.  This payment is in recognition of their hard work through very challenging months to continue to provide the support through the pandemic that many vulnerable people rely on.

“The Housing Executive is working with the sector to make these payments happen. ”

The Minister announced earlier this year that she was making a one-off payment in recognition for the role those employed through the Supporting People (SP) Programme and those in the Homelessness sector have played in delivering critical services during a pandemic.

The payment is being administered by the Housing Executive to eligible organisations.

The recognition payment will be available to over 4,000 SP and homelessness staff. The SP programme supports around 20,000 vulnerable people including homeless people, older people, young people, people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health issues.

Through activities such as developing domestic or life skills, developing social skills/behaviour management, finding other accommodation establishing social contacts and activities or gaining access to other services.



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