Nearly a quarter of a million Euro awarded to Munster projects, including two in Co Clare.
€1.3 million announced in the second round of funds to 20 projects in the community and social enterprise sector, for their innovative response to COVID-19.
Over €200,000 is awarded to Munster projects, including over €68,000 to Raheen Wood ALFA and Clare Immigrant Support Centre.
This is the second round of awards in the Innovate Together Fund as a response to COVID-19 by Rethink Ireland and corporate partners which include the Z Zurich Foundation, Oakfield Trust, Medtronic and Twitter; bringing the total fund to a record €5.6 million in 2020.
The 20 projects awarded cover areas of social innovation including Sustainable Ireland, Economic Recovery, and Community Outreach.
Minister of State for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD, Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink lreland, Niamh McCarthy, Best Practice Manager at Barnardos, along with Anthony Brennan, CEO of Zurich Ireland met to announce the awards.
At the announcement, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD said, ‘’I am delighted to announce the Innovate Together Round 2 Awards today. This fund is part of a suite of measures supported by my Department in response to COVID-19. The fund focuses on supporting community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises as they adapt and innovate to provide their services to the most vulnerable in our communities. I would like to extend my congratulations and appreciation to all the awardees for their commitment and innovation in these challenging times.”
Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland said, “This is a record funding announcement by Rethink Ireland; as a nation we have reacted extraordinarily to the crisis of COVID-19. The 20 charities, community groups and social enterprises awarded today have pivoted incredibly to adapt and not only to maintain their services but to enhance them. Thousands could have slipped through the cracks were it not for the incredible, agile response by organisations like Barnardos, Down Syndrome Ireland, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and Inishowen River Guardians. Sustainable movements like Crann – Trees for Ireland and Cool Planet Experience are leading the way with their initiatives in the face of this year’s adversity. 2020 is ending, and we can now look optimistically toward a new year, and certainly an incredible future ahead for these innovative organisations.’’
Raheen Wood ALFA (Active Learning For Adolescents) is an award-winning social enterprise created by parents and educators in East Clare. It offers an educational alternative for secondary-age students in an area where one in ten fails to complete the Junior Cycle. ALFA has developed a style of online education which maintains its holistic, experiential, project-based approach.
Clare Immigrant Support Centre ensures access to appropriate state and community services and upholds the rights and entitlements of all immigrants living and working in County Clare. Clare Immigrant Support Project works especially with asylum seekers and refugees with a particular focus on vulnerable immigrant communities.