Engage and Educate Awardee - Blue Diamond Academy
08 August 2018
The awardees for the second year of Mason Hayes & Curran's Engage & Educate fund, in conjunction with Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Government, were recently announced by Minister Seán Kyne, Mason Hayes & Curran Partner Richard Woulfe and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland.
Blue Diamond Academy began when Dr Anthony and Mrs Susan Walsh witnessed first-hand the lack of opportunities for young adults with an intellectual disability and a talent and passion for drama. In 2016, they established the Academy to offer students their ‘big break’ and simultaneously change societal perceptions.
The project addresses the lack of 3rd level education and employment opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. The Academy provides a two year, third level drama training programme for adults, with the aim of facilitating the empowerment and development of talented individuals through the medium of drama and theatre. The project gives students the opportunity to develop their inherent talents, achieve their full potential and pave the way for a future career in drama and the arts.
Kate Sheridan, CEO, Blue Diamond Academy, commented "Blue Diamond Academy would like to be the best they can be and grow their offers for people with an intellectual disability in Ireland, however in order to do this we need funding support. Unlike other third level training programmes we do not receive any public money. Therefore organisations like Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Mason Hayes & Curran are critical and we are so grateful to them for supporting us."