Seven Irish not-for-profit organisations have been given the green light to launch projects in communities across the country, thanks to their success in the second round of the Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund 2018.

The Fund has awarded grants totalling €150,000 to be shared between the winning projects. These will help people to access financial capability and enterprise skills and opportunities, in order to gain qualifications, get into employment or start their own business – ultimately strengthening local communities.

The winning community organisations have been chosen following a public vote online. Of the ten #skillsandopportunities projects shortlisted, the winners are:

· Dress for Success, Dublin.

· Grow It Yourself (GIY).

· Longford Women’s Link.

· St John of God School – Islandbridge, Dublin.

· Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.

· Irish Girl Guides.

· NCAD Access Programme, Dublin.

Find out more about the inspiring projects they have planned at skillsandopportunitiesfund.ulsterbank.com/winners.

Sonya Lennon, Founder of Dress for Success, Dublin, one of the winning organisations, shares what winning means to them:

“We’re thrilled to secure funding for our Sense about Cents programme, as we can’t wait to help more women get back to work and gain financial independence. Sense about Cents is designed to work with skills women already have in managing household budgets and help them plan for longterm security.”

Dress for Success Dublin offers suiting services, recruitment clinics, mentoring and employment workshops to women who have been out of work, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to present their most confident selves to employers. Their programme, Sense about Cents, will use the funding to provide a strong foundation in financial management to some of the 350 women they supported back to work in 2018, helping them to take control of their future finances, including how to plan their pension.

The latest and final funding award takes the total issued by the Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Fund to Irish-based organisations over its four year life-span to more than €650,000.

Commenting on the announcement Tony Boylan, Head of Marketing at Ulster Bank said:

“At Ulster Bank, it’s important to us to stay closely linked to the communities in which we operate so we are delighted to support these fantastic organisations. This is the fourth year of our Skills & Opportunities Fund, and we have had wonderful feedback and tremendous success stories in that time. We know that the winning projects will have a tangible, positive impact on the people and communities involved and we wish them all success in the future.”

 

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