Rethink Ireland has announced the recipients of its Ignite Midwest Fund.
Seven innovative not-for-profit organisations in the Midwest region are to receive cash grants to the value of between €55,000 and €75,000.
Rethink Ireland provides financial and strategic support to charities and social enterprises working in Irish communities across the country. The Ignite Midwest Fund has been created to specifically support organisations in the counties of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary working to tackle poverty, social exclusion, and inequality.
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The seven awardees are:
Obair Meals on Wheels Service (Food4U) (awarded a €60,000 cash grant) addresses rural isolation experienced by older people through the means of technology. When Covid hit the country, Obair’s service and volunteers could not access the elderly clients because they were cocooning.
They had to find an alternative way to contact them and obtain their order details. In order to facilitate this virtual contact, Food4U have developed an app, empowering 180 elderly clients, aged between 65 and 95 to engage with Meal on Wheels digitally.
Cuimhneamh an Chláir (awarded a €60,000 cash grant) addresses the disempowerment and the marginalisation of older people in Co. Clare. They do this by gathering oral histories of older people, preserving them in a publicly accessible audio archive and presenting these stories to the broader community. Throughout the pandemic, older people have been seen as vulnerable and passive recipients of care. Cuimhneamh an Chláir oral histories counter that perception and give a true picture of older people as having agency in their lives by collecting and sharing their stories.
The Bedford Row Family Clare project (awarded a €60,000 cash grant) addresses the issue of recidivism (repeat crime) and the wider impact of imprisonment for prisoners and their families in Clare. They do this by providing emotional or counselling supports. Other times more practical requirements exist such as help accessing services (accommodation, housing, social welfare). They also provide support to the families of offenders through play therapy for children and practical support for the whole family.
The Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre (awarded a €60,000 cash grant) addresses the issue of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction for adults 18 years and over in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. This is offered through an outpatient treatment model providing harm reduction and recovery programmes, family programmes and individualised addiction counselling in relation to drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction. This confidential service is provided free of charge. Saoirse also supports and advocates on behalf of clients through their engagements with other services and referral agencies.
The Sanctuary Runners (awarded a €41,400 cash grant) was established in Cork in February 2018 by former feature writer and broadcaster Graham Clifford. This particular project uses running, jogging and walking to bring together asylum seekers and refugees with those in the local community in Tipperary, Clare and Limerick. The focus on solidarity and proactive communal activities helps to bridge the gaps which exist within communities, while promoting health and wellbeing. And all is done with the Sanctuary Runners’ three guiding principles to the forefront – Solidarity, Friendship and Respect.
The National Concert Hall’s Health & Harmony programme (awarded a €44,000 cash grant) addresses the increased isolation and quality of life challenges that people living with dementia across Ireland experience. The Health & Harmony programme provides connectivity, creativity and stimulation to people living with dementia, their carers and families through live music performances. The highly trained musicians visit dementia day and respite care centres twice per month over a 10-month period to perform popular tunes and invite participants to sing along, dance or just sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy the music.
The COPD Support Ireland SingStrong project (awarded a €43,995 cash grant) improves physical and psychosocial health for communities with chronic respiratory diseases, including COPD, asthma, Pulmonary Fibrosis, lung cancer and Long-Covid across Ireland. They do this by providing group-based breathing and singing interventions as well as educational sessions and informal break-out rooms to improve members’ respiratory health and address loneliness, anxiety and isolation. This project will facilitate the roll out of services across the Midwest region.