Members of Inishowen Rivers Trust Picture: Clive Wasson
€1.3 million has been announced in the second round of funds to 20 projects in the community and social enterprise sector, for their innovative response to Covid-19.
Inishowen Rivers Trust is receiving over €59,000 under the sustainable Ireland tranche of funding.
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 nationally cover areas of social innovation including Sustainable Ireland, Economic Recovery, and Community Outreach.
The Inishowen Rivers Trust is an environmental charity that engages communities in protecting and enhancing the rivers and natural water bodies of the Inishowen peninsula, Co Donegal.
The 'Inishowen River Guardians Programme' provides specialised training to volunteers, increasing their understanding of the challenges our waters are facing and providing them with the skills to monitor and restore the rivers.
Dr Trish Murphy from Inishowen Rivers Trust said they are thrilled to be a recipient of the Innovate Together Fund for 2020/21.
"Our preliminary educational programme, ‘Inishowen River Guardians’, was very well received when it ran in 2019. With this new funding we intend to expand the programme engaging more volunteers and providing a richer and more effective training experience."
She added: "The support provided also gives us the opportunity to identify a sustainable approach to delivering a programme that will have long term benefits for our rivers and our communities.”
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.
Minister of State O’Brien said this fund is part of a suite of measures supported by his 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 added 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 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.’’
Anthony Brennan, CEO of Zurich Ireland pointed out that the innovation displayed by the projects awarded funding shows once again the positive attitude and incredible resilience that community and social enterprises in Ireland have demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
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