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Mason Hayes & Curran and Social Innovation Fund Ireland announce 2018 Engage & Educate Fund Awardees

27 June 2018

Pictured: Richard Woulfe, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran with Minister Seán Kyne and the awardees 

Education Projects focused on people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, people with disabilities and people with migrant status are among the successful projects selected by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and law firm Mason Hayes & Curran to receive funding from the Engage & Educate Fund.

The €450,000 Engage & Educate Fund was set up in 2017 as a partnership between Mason Hayes and Curran and Social Innovation Fund Ireland supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.   The Fund provides support to projects that empower people through education to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their communities.  

The 2018 Engage & Educate Fund Awardees are:

  • Blue Diamond Drama Academy, a project that addresses the lack of 3rd level education and employment opportunities available to adults with intellectual disabilities;
  • Deaf Education Online, a project that looks at the barriers that deaf adults face when it comes to accessing education; 
  • Suas Ireland Education Programme, a project that looks at tackling the educational disadvantage for children aged 8-14 years in DEIS schools;
  • Teen Turn, a programme that  provides role models and hands-on experience to teenage girls from disadvantaged communities; and
  • Intercultural Language Service, a flexible language learning experience that promotes social inclusion amongst migrants within their communities and a previous awardee of this particular fund in 2017.

The awardees will share €150,000 to develop their projects as well as access to an Accelerator programme which provides supports similar to those provided by venture capital companies to commercial enterprises.

Announcing the 2018 Engage & Educate Fund Awardees today, Seán Kyne, T.D, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, said:  “I’m delighted to announce the second group of recipients to receive funding from the Engage & Educate Fund and I am particularly pleased to see the diversity of the winning projects, which work with disadvantaged children, members of the deaf community and adults, including migrants and people, with disabilities.  Each of the Awardees are playing an important role both in supporting people in mainstream education and in providing access to educational opportunities for those who may be struggling to enter or remain in the education system. 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.”

Richard Woulfe, Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran said: “We passionately believe that education opens a world of opportunity for citizens and by providing access through many routes to education, we are creating a more just and fair society.  The ability of each of these projects to expand and grow to benefit more people who have difficulty accessing education was an important consideration in selecting our Awardees. We look forward to seeing the outcomes that will be achieved as a result of this funding.  We share Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s belief that, just as business entrepreneurship is critical to innovating in our economy, social entrepreneurs are critical to innovating in our society and we are delighted to support the fantastic Engage & Educate Fund awardees announced today. Our aim is to ensure that everyone can have an education and reach their potential and contribute fully to society.”

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said: “Each of the 2018 awardees are very inspiring in their creativity, innovation and determination to make a difference and to meet a social need.  Many of us have the privilege of a good education but it is easy to forget that not everyone has that privilege. 3,300 people leave school every year without a qualification which is not acceptable.  The Engage & Educate Fund supports social entrepreneurs providing access to education and supporting young people to stay in education longer. For this year’s awardees, we have found 5 truly incredible projects that are already changing people’s lives and we look forward to working with them to help them achieve their goals”.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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