A more equitable access to education helps to create a more just and fair society. The ripple effect benefits not just the individual learner, but their family and wider communities, reducing poverty, addressing inequity and opening up a world of opportunity.
Our MHC RISE (Responsible Investment in Social Engagement) Committee focuses our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities on education and access projects. We work with schools and community groups in our local area and beyond to reduce barriers and promote equity of access to education.
Investing in under-represented communities activates talent that is dormant or latent, making the communities in which we do business stronger. We do this in a number of ways:
- By providing funding, in-kind contributions, or other resources to causes which promote awareness about education for under-represented communities.
- Through direct contributions to charities or causes in the education field.
- By encouraging employees to volunteer their time to support related organisations and causes in our local community.
- By adopting and conducting business practices that support education for under-represented communities to improve community well-being and protect the environment.
- By providing immersive learning opportunities including internship and mentoring programmes.
- The Engage & Educate Fund: We created our €1.2 million Engage & Educate Fund with Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Government of Ireland. The Fund supports game-changing educational opportunities for under-represented communities. The projects we support include organisations that provide education opportunities to people experiencing marginalisation, young people from the Traveller community, young people with disabilities, and people with migrant status.
- UCD Sutherland Opportunity: We want to help ensure that members of all communities in Ireland can study law. We believe that social diversity in the legal professions will mean that lawyers can better represent clients and help all voices to be truly heard. Together with UCD Sutherland School of Law, we created the UCD Sutherland Opportunity. The programme provides financial resources for students from under-represented groups to pursue a career in law, thereby helping to realise that vision.
- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) Higher Education & Training Bursary Fund: Through this SVP fund we support students who may financially struggle to access or stay in third-level education and training programmes.
- The Ark Access for Schools Programme: We sponsor a class in our local primary school to attend events at The Ark, Dublin’s dedicated cultural centre for children.
- We are pleased to back the Breakthrough Project at Ringsend College, which mentors and supports fifth year students to encourage progression onto third level education.
- We sponsor Fighting Words, which provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing to children, young adults and adults with special needs.
Outside of our educational focus, we have historically supported several other charities through various initiatives:
- Support of UNICEF, including as a lead member of the Corporate Vaccine Alliance.
- We participate in the annual Calcutta Run in association with the Law Society of Ireland, in aid of The Hope Foundation and Peter McVerry Trust.
- Each year, staff are encouraged to participate in the St. Vincent de Paul Christmas ‘Giving Tree’ Appeal.
- We support ‘Ireland’s Greatest Coffee Morning’, the annual fundraiser for Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross.