ESB awards funding for Donegal Foróige IT initiative

Fund supports project to provide young people and families impacted by Covid-19 with IT equipment

ESB awards funding for Donegal Foróige IT initiative

ESB has awarded funding of more than €8,000 to Donegal Foróige to help finance the purchase of IT equipment and deliver online programmes to support vulnerable young people and their families who have been impacted by Covid-19.

This support is part of ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund which provides more than €1m annually in direct assistance through a quarterly fund to organisations working in the areas of homelessness, suicide prevention, educational access and support.

As part of a range of Covid-19 initiatives, ESB also brought forward its funding to provide emergency support to organisations around the country.

Donegal Foróige, in partnership with the Alcohol Forum (a registered charity in Donegal), has identified 120 families that need IT equipment and support during Covid-19, and beyond.

Their research has shown that online engagement remains a barrier to participate in online education, prevention and support programmes.

Young people involved in Donegal Foróige will, in advance of receiving the IT equipment, participate in an internet safety programme to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help them stay safe online.

The overall cost of this ambitious project is €36,000 with Donegal Foróige seeking further support to help those most vulnerable in society.

Welcoming the funding, Susan McLoughlin from Donegal Foróige said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding from ESB. This will enable us and our partners in the Alcohol Forum to provide much needed equipment to our young people and families who are most in need, and whom will benefit hugely from engaging in our extensive range of online programmes.

"This funding comes at a critical time when young people and families are experiencing significant challenges in their lives and need our support more than ever.”

Donna Butler from the Alcohol Forum added: “While working directly with families, we have found that online support is very dependent on them having a suitable device to access and engage with our whole family programmes.

"Outcomes are significantly better for families who have access to a laptop or tablet in comparison to those using smartphones, and while there may be multiple reasons for this, the ability to see, share and connect with all participants at the same time, on a larger screen, allows for better therapeutic relationships and better non-verbal communication which is essential when working online.

"We are very grateful to ESB’s Energy for Generations fund for their support, this investment will make a big difference in the lives of families in our community."

Pat Naughton, ESB executive director, People and Organisation Development, said: “Through our Energy for Generations Fund, ESB’s objective is to support organisations such as Donegal Foróige and its partner the Alcohol Forum to deliver real change, both operationally and for their community.

"Now, more than ever, organisations need support to continue providing essential services and that is why we increased our funding round during these challenging times. We applaud and appreciate the work of Donegal Foróige and the support they offer to their community.”
ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund is open for applications four times per year, in March, June, September and November.

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