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Wednesday, 9th January 2019

Social Innovation Fund - breaking barriers with education

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Pictured at the announcement of the Engage & Educate Fund 2019 are Michael Doran, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran, Kate Sheridan, CEO, Blue Diamond Drama Academy, Anneke Walsh, Previous Graduate of Blue Diamond Drama Academy and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland. Photo: Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography.

Call for Louth education projects to apply to the €450,000 Engage & Educate Fund 

 Social Innovation Fund Ireland have put out a call for Louth-based education projects to apply to the €450,000 Engage & Educate Fund.

The fund will distribute €150,000 to successful applicants from community projects that empower people through education to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their communities. 

Now in its third year, the €450,000 Engage & Educate Fund was set up in 2017 by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and law firm Mason Hayes and Curran, is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

To date the fund has supported eight inspiring projects across Ireland awarding over €300,000 in financial and mentoring supports.

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The 2019 grants will be awarded to successful projects that can demonstrate positive impact, the potential to scale and have clear targets which can be supported by the Engage & Educate Fund.    

Projects that focus on people experiencing disadvantage, people with disabilities or migrants are encouraged to apply. Each successful applicant will receive a share of the €150,000 fund, including a cash grant and access to an Accelerator Programme that provides mentoring, tailored training, bespoke business supports, and access to a peer network.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said: “We’re excited to announce the launch of the Engage and Educate Fund 2019. Having worked with Mason Hayes & Curran over the last two years and supported eight incredible projects to date, I’m really looking forward to seeing what inspiring educational organisations and projects step forward to be part of the fund this year.” 

Kate Sheridan, CEO, Blue Diamond Academy which addresses the lack of third-level education and employment opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities, said: 

"Since being announced as an awardee of the Engage & Educate Fund in 2018, we've received invaluable support on Social Innovation Ireland's Accelerator Programme. It's given us access to bespoke training, strategic consultants and access to a peer network which we simply wouldn't have access to if we weren't part of this fantastic fund. 

Receiving this vital support will also allow us to continue our growth and address the needs of students with intellectual disabilities who also have a talent and a passion for performance. Blue Diamond Drama Academy is all about including adults with disabilities in employment through the arts and there is no reason why they cannot achieve this." 

The closing date for funding applications to The Engage and Educate Fund is 19th February 2019. 

For more information, see:


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