Mason Hayes & Curran and Social Innovation Fund Ireland are proud to announce the launch of the Engage & Educate Fund 2019. The fund, which is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts 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 and has supported eight inspiring projects across Ireland to date, awarding over €300,000 in financial and mentoring supports. (See Editor’s Note for projects supported to date). 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.

Seán Canney, T.D, Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources said: “Engage & Educate Fund has supported a diverse range of projects to empower people to reach their full potential through education. I congratulate Mason Hayes & Curran for their leadership with this multi-year impactful donation. I look forward to seeing more companies follow their example.”

?Michael Doran, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran said: “At Mason Hayes & Curran, we have long held the belief that education is one of the most powerful tools in tackling disadvantage. If members of our community are restricted from accessing education, they won’t reach their full potential or contribute fully to society. As a result, we focus our CSR activity on education projects, working with schools and community groups in our local area and beyond.”

?“Our partnership with Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) on this fund over the last two years has allowed us to support and fund educational projects that address critical social issues in Ireland and we can’t wait to see the innovative projects that apply in 2019.”

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 8 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, 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.

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