Cork enterprises to receive support from Rethink Ireland

Cork enterprises to receive support from Rethink Ireland

Hugh Morley, Head Of Business; Laura Maybury, Head Of Clinical, and Karen Walsh, Head Of Training at Cork Counselling Services.

NOW in its third year, the €3.2 million Social Enterprise Development (SED) Fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland.

It is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund and IPB Insurance, an Irish-owned general insurance company protecting local authority members and their communities the length and breadth of Ireland.

Having supported some of Ireland’s most innovative social enterprises, the sector is experiencing unprecedented turmoil due to the Covid-19 pandemic which, in itself, calls for real social innovation to respond so that Ireland’s most vulnerable people can stay safe and recover. With that in mind, four Cork-based social enterprises have received funding and support from Rethink Ireland through the SED Fund.

A social enterprise providing counselling and psychotherapy to all members of society, regardless of financial means, religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or educational background, Cork Counselling Services has received €10,000 and a place on Rethink Ireland’s prestigious Accelerator Programme.

Also in receipt of €10,000 and a place on the Accelerator Programme is the Together Razem Centre, which offers advocacy, social and legal advice, mental health support and educational programmes to those in the Polish and Eastern European migrant community who face problems related to marginalisation, exclusion and isolation.

The Genesis Programme, developed by Rethink Ireland, is an intensive two-day workshop designed to focus on building the skills and knowledge needed to develop a sustainable social enterprise and to secure future funding.

Two Cork groups have been awarded places on this programme.

Graffiti is a creative centre for children in Cork city that, through theatre productions, drama skills workshops, creative writing sessions and more, benefits the personal development, wellbeing and happiness of children, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

While SiSi (Survivors Informing Services and Institutions) brings isolated survivors of intimate partner abuse together to create a powerful voice for change, raising awareness and putting abuse survivors and their ideas at the heart of its policy to eliminate violence against women.

These 2020 awardees join an array of Cork-based groups who have won funding and support from the SED Fund in previous years.

These include Deaf Enterprises and Active Connections, as well as Sailing into Wellness, who have gone on to receive a €137,250 grant and a place on Rethink Ireland’s Sports to Impact Fund. Another Cork organisation scaling up as a result of support from the SED Fund is Sensational Kids, now a recipient of the Rethink Ireland Growth Fund, which supports social innovations with the proven potential to achieve widespread impact and transformative change in Ireland.

Commenting on the announcement of the awardees, CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell, said: “The pandemic has reminded us all of the value of supporting one another. These social enterprises are at the forefront of achieving positive social change for communities across Ireland. Rethink Ireland was founded to support these organisations, and our Social Enterprise Development Fund will enable them to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of their communities.”

Speaking on the ongoing partnership with Rethink Ireland and the SED Fund, George Jones, chairman of IPB Insurance, said: “Supporting communities to achieve resilient and sustainable solutions to the problems they face has been part of our company’s DNA since our founding. That’s why we believe so strongly in the investment we are making through this fund. When you invest in a social enterprise, you know that it’s a sustainable investment that will be used wisely to reach all those in society who need their help.”

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