Cork-based projects The Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism and Field of Dreams - Down Syndrome Cork were announced as Awardees of the Children and Youth Education Fund 2019.
Social Innovation Fund Ireland announced the Awardees of their 2019 Children and Youth Funds at a special awards ceremony in Trinity Business School, Dublin held on Wednesday night.
Worth €9.5 million, the Fund is made up of 50% private philanthropic funding, self-raised by 14 Awardees. The other half is supported by the Government of Ireland, through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
The 2019 Children and Youth Funds, which includes the Children and Youth Education Fund and the Children and Youth Mental Health Fund, were designed to support projects addressing the most prevalent issues facing young people and children in Ireland today.
The Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism provides skills, support and a community hub for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families in order to promote inclusivity, education and career opportunities leading to a fulfilled lifestyle and participation in all aspects of society.
Field of Dreams’ purpose is to ensure that people with Down syndrome who require additional support in the areas of training and/or education post-second level receive the support they require.
With the support of the Social Innovation Fund Ireland, the Field of Dreams has added a Literacy and Technology programme and can now provide opportunities for adults with Down syndrome to achieve ongoing learning in the areas of literacy, numeracy and technology.
Social Innovation Fund Ireland CEO Deirdre Mortell said: “At Social Innovation Fund Ireland, we believe that good mental health and succeeding in education are a virtuous circle - they drive each other.
“We all know that good mental health enables us to learn, and succeeding at learning improves our mental health.
“The Awardees have developed innovations that support children and young people to make the most of the opportunities they have and increase opportunities for marginalised young people. We want to support them to scale and spread to other communities that need them.”