Three Galway social enterprises have been awarded funding by Rethink Ireland under its Social Enterprise Development Fund.
A total of €400,000 was awarded to 34 social enterprises across Ireland including Athchursail Arann CGA, which governs all waste management systems for the three Aran Islands.
Helplink Mental Health, which provides accessible mental health counselling, information and education services for all ages, will also receive funding through the fund.
Recycle your Cycle was awarded a place on Rethink Ireland’s Genesis Programme – an intensive two-day workshop that will focus on building the skills needed to develop a sustainable social enterprise and to be successful in future funding opportunities.
The Recycle your Cycle project addresses the need for retraining for those left unemployed after COVID-19.
Each week, around 20 old bikes are discarded in Galway City alone – but with the right parts and skills, these can be repaired and sold as an affordable and sustainable means of transport.
ReCycle teaches hands-on skills in cycle mechanics and offer on-the-job training in our bike shop, while reducing waste and producing a valuable end-product.
Chief Executive of Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly congratulated Athchursail Arann CGA, Helplink Mental Health and Recycle your Cycle on their success in receiving a Social Enterprise Development Fund Award from Rethink Ireland.
“Coming out of an extremely challenging period for Irish society – and Irish businesses – we’re delighted with this good news story for Galway,” he said.
“Social enterprises have an important role to play in guiding Ireland to be come a more inclusive and equal society.
“Organisations like the Athchursail Arann CGA, Helplink Mental Health and Recycle your Cycle, are leading the charge by not only creating jobs but working towards bringing about positive social change.”
The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund being delivered from 2018 – 2022.
The fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Commenting on the funding announcement, CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell added: “Just a few weeks ago, Rethink Ireland set out our Manifesto for 2030, detailing the Ireland we want – a fair, inclusive and sustainable Ireland.
“Today, I’m delighted that Rethink Ireland is awarding both funding and business support to 34 organisations who are actively working to achieve this vision.
“Social enterprises are already living our Manifesto by actively working to tackle the greatest social challenges in Ireland.
“Whether they are knitting groups working to bring together marginalised members of society, innovative therapy practices using the power and beauty of our coastlines, or innovative ideas to strengthen safety in rural communities, they are the heart of our communities, and we’re delighted to be able to support them.”