Three projects promoting sustainability in Cork through environmental awareness, community inclusion and employment have been awarded supports to the value of €200,000 from a fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Cork Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Sustainable Cork Fund recipients include Nasc’s Gateway to Inclusion project, which provides supports for female migrants and refugees to pursue education and employment opportunities; NCE Outreach, which offers further education, training and employment for people engaged in post-addiction treatment programmes and probation services; and Refill.ie which will provide innovative initiatives to help eradicate single use plastic water bottles in Cork City and County.
The not-for-profit organisations were among 66 who applied for the Sustainable Cork Fund, which was created to commemorate Cork Chamber of Commerce’s 200-year anniversary. Following an extensive fundraising campaign, philanthropic donations from Cork Chamber and its members were matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. This brought the combined figure to €200,000, creating the year-long Sustainable Cork Fund.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the three awardees of the Sustainable Cork Fund. It is so important that we celebrate those organisations and projects that share our commitment to sustainability through environmental, social and economic resilience. The outstanding projects showcase the ways that communities are making a difference. This funding, as well as other supports, will assist them even further with their sustainability plans.”
Caroline O’Driscoll, Board Director at Rethink Ireland, added: “We are delighted to announce our three awardees, all of whom exemplify how you can meaningfully shape a more inclusive future. It has never been more important for us all to think and act sustainably and inclusively, and Nasc, Refill.ie and NCE Outreach are making great strides in this area. This much-deserved recognition will allow them to continue their innovative work, building to a better future.”
Commending Chamber members for their donations to the Fund, Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber, said: “When we initiated the call-to-action across the business community as part of the Chamber 200 celebrations in 2019 we never expected such a response. Individuals and businesses across Cork pledged to the Fund, showing what a strong business community can achieve together.
“This fund was the cornerstone of our anniversary programme, as we were determined to create a legacy for Cork. We believe it will have a lasting impact on our community and it will be truly transformational for the awardees. Their work shows us all what fresh thinking, creativity, and resilience can achieve and what is being done to make Cork a better place to live and work.”
For more information on the Awardee projects, visit: www.rethinkireland.ie/awarded_fund/sustainable-cork-fund-2019-2020
The Winning Projects
The Gateway to Inclusion project by Nasc provides free English language classes and other training and employment-related supports, in a women-only, supportive environment. It assists refugee women — at risk of geographical or social isolation — to accomplish education and employment goals.
Sustainable Futures provides training, personal development, and employment in the area of sustainability for NCE Outreach participants. The project also feeds into the development of a community-based Living Lab for Sustainability in Cork city at Farranferris Education & Training Campus and the establishment of the first zero-waste shop on Cork city’s northside.
Refill.ie, which is leading the way to make Ireland a tap water refilling country, plans to introduce a zero-waste mobile drinking water service for Cork events; an extended ‘Tap Map’ service to show people where to find free tap water for refills; installation of a free to use Community Refill Hub; and the building of advocacy and education in this area.
About Rethink Ireland
Rethink Ireland is a national organisation supporting innovative charities, social enterprises, and community organisations with cash grants and business supports. Every euro raised in philanthropy is matched by the Department of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands (and more recently additional Departments) via the Dormant Accounts Fund. Since their first year of operations in 2016, they have raised over €26 million in philanthropic funding to support over 130 of the best social innovations across Ireland, when matched this has created a Fund of €52 million-plus.
About the Department of Rural and Community Development
The Department of Rural and Community Development was established in 2017 to provide a renewed and consolidated focus on rural and community development in Ireland. The consolidation into a new Department of both policy and supports in respect of community and rural development provides the means for a greater focus on creating vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities. The Department has responsibility for ensuring arrangements for strong oversight of the charities sector through facilitating the Charities Regulatory Authority in carrying-out its independent statutory role. In July, 2019 the Department also published Ireland’s first National Policy on Social Enterprise. The Policy is the Government’s framework to develop the sector in the years ahead both in terms of scale and impact.
About Cork Chamber of Commerce
Cork Chamber is the leading business organisation in Cork supporting and representing 1,200 businesses employing over 100,000 people in the region. www.corkchamber.ie. Cork Chamber, Chambers Ireland, ICC Ireland and Chambers nationwide have signed up to support the Sustainable Development Goals throughout their ongoing work. Five specific goals have been identified which Cork Chamber will advocate for on an ongoing basis.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities
Goal 13: Climate Action
3 Nov 2022