Non-profit organisations and social enterprises are the unsung heroes making Greater Dublin a better place for all its citizens, and last night Google recognised their contribution by awarding a total of €1 million in grants to 15 organisations who are making a difference and have ambitious plans to do more.

Last month 15 organisations were selected to receive €50,000 funding for their programmes (see Editors’ Note below for full list). A panel of judges was then tasked with choosing four recipients to have their funding doubled to €100,000, with a fifth organisation selected by an online public vote. The five winners were announced at a gala event held at The Foundry in Google last night.

The four organisations chosen by the panel of judges to receive €100,000 each from the Impact Challenge are:

– A Lust for Life, a new, innovative platform to share creative mental health content

– Citywise Education, which provides educational support to young people in underserved communities

– Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, which removes barriers to accessing support for those who have experienced sexual violence SeniorLine, a peer-to-peer IT education and drop-in facility for older people.

– Down Syndrome Ireland, which helps adults with Down Syndrome to secure meaningful paid employment, won the “People’s Choice Award” in a close-run online poll which saw a total of over 38,000 votes cast.

Fionnuala Meehan, Head of Google Ireland commented, “The five months since we launched the Impact Challenge Dublin have been really awe-inspiring. We received over 150 entries from all corners of the county and from every imaginable community initiative, and it was really heartening to see so much energy and enthusiasm being invested into local and grassroots projects.

“Dublin has been very good to us in the last 15 years, so we have been very mindful of supporting local projects as much as possible, and the Impact Challenge Dublin is the latest in a long line of these endeavours. We’re now looking forward to working with all of the winners and helping them use their funds in the best possible way to realise their goals.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said; “It has been wonderful to be part of the judging panel and to have the opportunity to recognise just some of the voluntary organisations and social enterprises who are contributing to our city. We had a tough time selecting the groups to receive double the funding, but the five charities named today – including one chosen by the general public – represent some of the most pressing issues and underserved communities in Ireland, covering mental health, disadvantaged community education, special needs and older people”.

The Impact Challenge Dublin judging panel included: The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring; Senator Lynn Ruane; Mary Rose Burke; CEO of Dublin Chamber of Commerce; Bernard Brogan, Dublin GAA legend; Roisin Ingle, Journalist; Tomás Sercovich, CEO, Business in the Community; and the Head of Google Ireland, Fionnuala Meehan.

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