Clúid Stepping Stones programme FAQ

17.07.19

  1. What is Stepping Stones?

Stepping Stones is an annual grant scheme run by Clúid Housing for tenants who are planning to attend a training or education course. Clúid supports tenants with this ‘stepping stone’ to a new direction in life.

  1. Who can apply for Stepping Stones?

The Stepping Stones grant is for Clúid tenants and authorised occupants living within Clúid homes.

  1. Are there any limitations on who can apply?

Stepping Stones is limited to people who are not receiving any other sources of funding. People who are receiving a Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant or grants from other sources, e.g. St Vincent de Paul, credit union etc., are not eligible to apply for funding.

  1. What kind of courses does Stepping Stones provide support for?

Stepping Stones is for all kinds of training and education courses – short and long. For example, you can apply for Stepping Stones if you are going into your first year of a three year university degree course or you can apply for Stepping Stones for a weekend course in makeup artistry.

  1. What kind of courses does Stepping Stones not provide support for?

Stepping Stones supports courses in which the student will develop new skills and learning. It doesn’t support courses in which you receive a service, e.g. acupuncture, reflexology etc.

For example, we once received an application from someone who wanted to receive attend message therapy sessions over a six week period. This kind of application would not be successful because the applicant is not developing new skills or learning as a result of attending the course.

  1. How much funding does Stepping Stones grant successful applicants?

Stepping Stones awards usually range from €250 for shorter courses up to €750 for longer courses, e.g. university.

  1. What do I need to do to apply for Stepping Stones?

There is a link to an application form at the bottom of this page on the Clúid Housing website: https://www.cluid.ie/applications-open-for-cluid-stepping-stones-programme/.

The application form is a Word document which you can download, save and complete by typing. Alternatively, you can download and print the form and send it to us in the post.

  1. When will I know if I’ve been successful?

The closing date to apply for Stepping Stones is 5pm on Monday, 16th September. You will be informed of the result of your application (whether you are successful or unsuccessful) about two – three weeks after that.

  1. How are Stepping Stones application forms assessed?

A panel of three Clúid staff read the applications forms and then meet to discuss them and decide who should receive a Stepping Stones award.

  1. How can I increase my chances of being successful?

There are two questions on the application form which ask why you are looking for financial support and how Stepping Stones will help you in terms of your future. Successful applications usually provide a good picture of the personal circumstances of the applicant and why those circumstances are deserving of financial support.

For example, you may be a single parent who has decided to start a part-time college course in order to improve your family’s circumstances. However, this may mean that you will have to make personal sacrifices to achieve your goal – you may have to start part-time work instead of full-time because of the course, or you may have to spend a lot of time commuting.

If you don’t provide much information in your form we won’t know how deserving you are of receiving Stepping Stones, so it’s worth spending the time to write a good application!

  1. How are Stepping Stones payments made to successful applicants?

Stepping Stones payments are made by bank transfer. Successful applicants should supply their bank details (BIC and IBAN).

Awardees will also be requested to provide proof of registration to their course to Clúid in order to support the payment being made. This proof of registration can range from a letter of acceptance from a college or an email from a course provider confirming your booking on a course.

Clúid makes all of its payments on the 2nd last Friday of every month and any requests for payments must be made one week before that. Please note that payments are only made once a month, so you may need to be patient about receiving your award if you have just missed a payment date.

  1. Is Stepping Stones available all year round?

No. The Stepping Stones awards scheme is applicable for every academic year, i.e. from September / October each year to June each year. If you are told that you are successful in September but your course isn’t starting until February, don’t worry – we will hold the funding for you until your course is starting and you are able to provide proof of registration.

  1. Do I need to be already signed up to a course?

You don’t need to be signed up to a course yet but you will need to let us know what course you are planning to attend on your application form. As above, the course must take place in the coming academic year, i.e. between Sept / Oct 2019 – June 2020.

  1. I got the award last year. Can I apply again this year?

You can apply for Stepping Stones for every year of a course if the course takes more than one year. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive Stepping Stones funding every time you apply.

Some past applicants have been successful in getting funding over three years, but some have only received funding for one year. So it’s important not to presume that you will always be successful, but it’s still worth applying!