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Declan Black, Managing Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran (left) with Minister for Education & Skills Richard Bruton, and Deirdre Mortell, Social Innovation Fund Ireland (right)

As part of our partnership with Social Innovation Fund Ireland, we were delighted to host the Engage and Educate Awards on Tuesday 27 June. Successful applicants to the 2017 Engage and Educate Fund were presented with their awards by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton.

The Engage and Educate Fund is a €450,000 fund and is a three-year commitment between Mason Hayes & Curran, Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Irish Government. The Fund was set up to support local projects that empower people through education. The awardees were selected based on their commitment to these values and will share €150,000 to develop their community projects.

The 2017 awardees are Ready Steady Circus, a ten-week programme that uses circus arts as an alternative method of education for students in DEIS schools; Pieta House Resilience Academy, a six-week school-based programme that builds skills in resilience with second year students at secondary school; Intercultural Language Service, a flexible language learning experience that promotes social inclusion amongst migrants within their communities; and Blossom Gateway, a programme that supports people with intellectual disabilities to transition from second level education to the workplace or third level education.

Speaking at the Awards, Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton, TD said “My Department is delighted to support this initiative which seeks to support innovation and growth in access to education. I am especially pleased to see the diversity of the winning projects, which work with primary school pupils, second level students, and adults, including migrants and people with disabilities. I congratulate Mason Hayes & Curran and Social Innovation Fund Ireland, which was established by the government in 2013 to support projects that improve life outcomes, on their visionary support for these impactful projects.”

Speaking about the Fund and the partnership with SIFI, our Managing Partner Declan Black said: “We were inspired to create the Engage and Educate Fund by our shared belief that improved access to education can have a positive impact on life outcomes. We have seen first-hand the difference that access to support and resources can make in local communities. The calibre of applications from projects around the country this year was outstanding and I would like to congratulate all of the applicants, as well as our four award winners, for the ongoing work that they are doing in their own communities to empower people through education.

Speaking on the awardees, Deirdre Mortell CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) added: “We believe that we have found four outstanding projects that are going to create real change in their local communities and, most importantly, improve the lives of those who participate in them. I’d like to congratulate our four award winners, who will each spend the next three months working with the SIFI team and our expert network, to develop their skills and position their projects for growth.”

Applications for the next Fund will open in January 2018. For more information on the Engage and Educate Fund, please click here.

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