Begin Together Fund

Begin Together Fund

The Begin Together Community Fund, in partnership with The Community Foundation for Ireland, supports charities and not for profit groups working to make things better for everyone by improving financial, physical, or mental wellbeing among vulnerable groups in our communities.

The 2022 round of grants has now been awarded to 68 initiatives that will make a real difference to people across Ireland.

One such group is Together-Razem in Cork. Their main objective is to improve the quality of life of the migrant community in Ireland by providing essential support services for those who are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. This year’s project, DEBTDUCTION, aims to educate people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds who struggle financially and to provide financial wellbeing support in 3 languages – Polish, Romanian, and Ukrainian.

Laura Lynch (Chief Marketing Officer, Bank of Ireland) is pictured attending an English class at the Together-Razem Centre in Cork, where Agnieszka Wozniak (Together-Razem), Olha Davydenko and Oleksandra Avtomieienko explained how the Centre supports Ukrainians who recently arrived in Ireland.

Details of all the successful 2022 projects can be found below:

  • Advice NI - Digi Money

    Advice NI’s vision is of a society of confident, active and informed citizens who know how to access their rights and entitlements. Together with our members, we provide free independent advice on social security benefits, debt, housing, immigration, etc. We support our members by offering training, social policy co-ordination and a case-management system and we support excluded and marginalised people by offering them digital skills training so they can access services and by doing so access their rights and entitlements.

    The Digi Money project trains up Digital Money Champions from migrant and refugee communities who speak a language in addition to English. The training covers topics such as the ‘Role of a Digital Champion’, ‘Staying Safe Online’, ‘Engaging & Inspiring learners’, ‘Financial Wellbeing and Planning Delivery in your Community’. Upon completion, each participant commits to delivering 5 hours of digital skills training to their local community on a volunteer basis.

    Funding enables us to gain accreditation for the Digital Champion course and deliver it to a further 12 participants. This will have a twofold impact. Firstly, migrant and refugee communities experiencing language barriers and lack of digital and money skills will be better able to get online services, supported by accredited volunteer Digital Money Champions. Secondly, those completing the Digital Champion course will gain accreditation and therefore better access to employment opportunities.

  • Age NI - Check in and Chat

    Age NI is the leading charity for older people in Northern Ireland. The charity’s mission is to help older people to live a healthy, active, and fulfilling later life – to enjoy later life. We deliver care and wellbeing services, provide advice and advocacy, support older people through difficult life transitions, and campaign and influence decision-makers to create a society that truly values, supports, and welcomes older people.

    Our Age NI Check in and Chat provides weekly phone friendship calls to older people (60+) from a dedicated, trained volunteer to reduce isolation and loneliness. The older person is assessed and matched with a suitable volunteer, who then receives ongoing training and support through an Age NI Coordinator. The service has established new friendships to around 350 older people, and often provides signposting to other Age NI health and wellbeing services.

    Funding from the 2022 Begin Together Fund, enables us to provide weekly connection phone friendship calls to support 25 older people for 1 year. This funding will also enable us to recruit, train and support a further 25 volunteers.

  • AkiDwA - Akina Dada wa Afrika (Swahili for ‘Sisters from Africa’) – Let’s Talk

    AkiDwA’s mission is to promote equality and justice for migrant women living in Ireland. Our vision is of a just society where there is equal opportunity and equal access to social, cultural, economic, civic and political resources. We aim to promote the equality of migrant women in Irish society free of gender and racial stereotyping. We achieve this through our strategic objectives of voice, community and organisational development.

    AkIDwA’s Let’s Talk Project is as a result of our Let’s Talk research, which was carried out in Direct Provision in late 2019, and launched in January 2020. This research exposed the mental health crisis which migrant women trapped in Direct Provision are living with, misconceptions around mental health and myths and, most importantly, the urgent need for culturally appropriate conversation starters and interventions when dealing with people from diverse backgrounds.

    Begin Together funding will enable us to reach 90 women in 6 counties; identify, recruit and train 15 mental health champions; and set up a weekly Let’s Talk podcast where migrants with lived experiences of mental health will be interviewed about their journeys in a safe space. We will also convene a conference at the end of the project with representation from the government, NGOs, academia, service providers and the migrant community.

  • Amal Women's Association - Muslim Women's Mental Health Project

    Muslim Women in Ireland face huge barriers to accessing the services they need when they are in crisis. Amal works to address this by supporting women in culturally appropriate ways to access the help they need, while educating service providers, so that they can have better lives for themselves and their community. We work toward an Ireland where all women, particularly Muslim women, can access the services they need and fully participate in society, free from the threat of violence, from poverty, racism, discrimination and stigma.

    The Muslim Women’s Mental Health Advocacy Programme will address the prevalence of mental ill-health within our communities through a holistic and peer-led programme. This will include a weekly coffee morning to develop a peer support network and deepen relationships throughout the community, as well as the development and launch of a culturally appropriate mental health awareness programme. We will also provide advocacy, translation and support to Muslim women navigating the Irish mental health system, and training to local mental health providers and HSE workers on delivering culturally appropriate mental health care for Muslim women. In addition, we will provide free and subsidised therapy with a culturally appropriate therapist through the Amal women’s services.

    This project will directly improve the mental health of Muslim women living in Ireland, by connecting Muslim women directly to culturally appropriate support services and improving existing services with training and cultural translation, so that Muslim women are better cared for by the mainstream mental health services.

  • Amber Women's Refuge - The delivery of specialist, trauma informed therapeutic services to women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse.

    Amber Women’s Refuge provides emergency refuge accommodation and a 24-hour helpline offering compassionate, non-judgmental support and information to women and children in Kilkenny and Carlow who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. We deliver safe, inclusive, client-centred services both at our refuge and in the community.
    Our community-based outreach services, court support and accompaniment service and our Domestic Abuse Group Support Work programmes are available in Kilkenny city and county, and throughout county Carlow.

    Collectively, Amber’s specialist team has over 200 years’ experience working with and advocating for victims of domestic violence and abuse. We provide on the ground, practical support to women and children living with or fleeing the serious crime of domestic abuse. To support the ‘from crisis to recovery’ model – the basis for service provision in the domestic violence and abuse sector – access to specialist, trauma-informed counselling and therapeutic support services is essential to support women’s recovery and healing, while improving their mental and emotional wellbeing.

    An award from the Begin Together Fund will ensure that we can continue to provide our trauma-informed counselling and therapeutic services, in 2022, while increasing the number of sessions we can make available to women in need.

  • ARD Family Resource Centre - ARD Parents’ Wellbeing group

    ARD Family Resource Centre (FRC) is a busy centre based in Doughiska in East Galway city. We provide a range of universal, targeted services and development opportunities that address the needs of families and individuals in the local area. We aim to support adults and children in the community to get equal access to resources, and to link in with the supports and services that they need, in an open and friendly environment.

    Our Parents’ Support & Wellbeing group brings parents from different backgrounds together, weekly, in a safe and welcoming environment. Parents who are isolated in the community come together for tea, get to know one another and build connections. They learn about local supports and decide on what speakers they would like to come in to speak about topics such as, cyberbullying, challenging behaviour, domestic violence and how to look after their own wellbeing.

    Parents from migrant and disadvantaged communities come together to build connections and to realise that they are not alone. The desired outcome of this project is for parents to make friends and to learn invaluable life skills, such as how to deal with stress, challenging behaviour and more, in a warm and friendly environment. These skills will have a lasting impact on the lives of these families and the communities around them.

  • Autism Support Louth & Meath - Fitness for All

    Autism Support Louth & Meath is a self-help support and activity group formed by parents of autistic children which aims to support families and autistic individuals.

    Initially, we set up the Drogheda ABACAS Special School and went on to run support groups, training and information, weekly youth clubs for children, teenagers and young adults with autism, music, drama and fitness clubs, sibling workshops, family meetups and an eight-week summer camp for 60 autistic children.
    There are two elements to our project. Fitness Friends is social fitness classes for groups of autistic children of different age groups. We support individuals with autism and ID to access physical activity in a fun, interactive, age-appropriate way, while also teaching social strategies. The Gym Buddy programme pairs a staff member with an older teenager or young adult, supporting them to attend their local gym in a peer support model.

    Fitness for All provides an opportunity to participate in fun fitness activities which are often not accessible to autistic people so that they can increase their fitness and their enjoyment of being active, while getting the social benefits of engaging in group activities. The Gym Buddy programme supports young adults to attend their local gym in the community with peer support, which may be reduced over time as they attend independently, leading to improved physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Ava Housing CLG - Expanded Pilot Scheme

    Ava Housing is a not-for-profit initiative that works with older homeowners on low incomes who live alone. We help the homeowners to upgrade and adapt their homes for the future, so that they can also create a rental upstairs. This not only provides extra income, but also peace of mind.

    Having completed our first two demonstrator houses, we have now received crucial government support for an expanded pilot scheme, which involves adapting another 20 houses over the next 18 months.

    Through the Begin Together Fund, we have asked for support to help run an awareness campaign, so that they can reach the next group of homeowners who will embark on the process to adapt and rent out part of their homes. Funding from the Begin Together Fund will allow us to run an awareness campaign to connect with those older homeowners who would benefit most from upgrading and adapting their homes.

  • Back To Work Connect - Fostering Financial Wellbeing

    Back To Work Connect’s mission is to give people the supports, skills and opportunities they need to return to the workforce. We understand the unique set of challenges that people, predominantly women, face when re-entering the workforce after an extended period. We provide a dedicated returner support career hub, identify educational opportunities to bridge skills’ shortages and provide practical and tangible career supports. We also connect with employers who are open to returners, promoting companies that are open to age and gender diversity.

    Our ‘Fostering Financial Wellbeing’ is a free, 6-week financial wellbeing programme designed to give participants the tools, resources and information they need to make informed decisions, feel empowered through knowledge and reach the best money mind set possible to achieve financial wellbeing and independence. When it comes to financial security, many women can find themselves in a vulnerable position. Maternity leave, career breaks, working part-time and a lack of financial awareness can all contribute to women becoming financially dependent on their partner and, therefore, more likely to encounter financial hardship later in life. Begin Together funding will enable us to build on last year’s work and incorporate all our learnings into the next iteration of the program and widen our reach to include other demographics.

  • Bluebell Community Development Project - Bluebell Sensory Room

    The Bluebell Community Development Project (CDP) promotes a vibrant, inclusive community by offering educational, health, recreational and cultural programs and services to all members of the community including marginalised groups, older men and women, people with disabilities, and long-term unemployed people. Our services include daily outreach, a music group, an older women’s coffee morning, a men’s group, baking, art, chair aerobics, fishing, care & repair services and English language classes, with our huge community breakfast a Friday highlight.

    In response to the lack of suitable facilities and services available to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in our community, we plan to provide a safe space where children can have fun and relax through a multi-sensory room with a space for parents to unwind. For children on the autism spectrum, sensory rooms are designed to have a calming effect that reduces anxiety and improves focus.

    We will use the Begin Together funding to equip the multi-sensory room within the space. Along with providing a moment of comfort and calm for the children and adults who use this room, the benefits include sensory stimulation, enhanced learning through play, improved communication skills, and improved focus.

    For the parents and carers, having this space will allow them to unwind, socialize and receive support, which we believe will have a positive impact on mental health.

  • CareBright CLG - Yarn Social Day Club Movement Therapy and Dance

    The Yarn Social Day Club is a self-funding entity of CareBright CLG. We provide social day club services four days a week to those living with dementia or diagnosed with memory impairment, in Limerick and surrounding counties. The day club provides compassionate support enabling our members to actively participate in a variety of suitable chosen workshops, focusing on putting smiles on faces while stimulating the mind and body.

    We will offer a weekly workshop on movement and dance therapy, facilitated by a certified specialist, to our club members living with dementia. This project will positively impact on memory and movement to improve physical and mental wellbeing for the participants. It will use music to prompt memories of life before dementia, and movement to support physical wellbeing.

    The Begin Together funding will allow us to engage a certified facilitator for this project without putting financial pressure on our members. Without this support, we would not be able to offer this workshop. We will be building on the activity supported by the Begin Together Fund 2021, and which has proved the most popular of our workshops, with interaction increased between those participating. As one member said, following this workshop, ‘I had a warm feeling inside’…

  • Carmona School - Nature Garden/Playground

    Carmona School caters to pupils, aged between four and eighteen years of age, with severe to profound general learning disabilities. Our mission is to create a space in which each pupil is happy and can flourish. We work each day to provide a safe, fun, pupil-centred learning environment.

    We aim to provide a space where each child feels good about themselves and are happy, are listened to and heard, and have access to the tools to have their communications understood. We want each child to feel safe and secure and be as active and healthy as possible.

    Carmona School is currently working on raising funds to transform the Nature Garden into an accessible sensory trail, play, and exploration area that is suitable for all pupils in our school. Having a Nature Garden/Playground helps the pupils of Carmona develop the skills necessary to enjoy all the positive paybacks that come with being in nature. The benefits of having the all-year-round Nature Garden will include improved motor skills, enhanced creativity, increased social skills, and improved self-confidence. It will also reduce stress and help the pupils to cope with anxiety and frustration. It will give all the pupils the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors safely and securely.

  • Citywise Education - Citywise Means Business

    At Citywise our mission is to improve communities by working with young people to develop the whole person through academic support and personal development.

    We seek to raise the personal and educational aspirations of young people, while supporting them to achieve their new goals. By supporting young people to develop personally and academically, we can increase their agency, self-efficacy, confidence, and skills so that they can become leaders in their community.

    Citywise Means Business seeks to empower people from an early age with the skills, competencies, and information necessary to take control of their own financial wellbeing. This programme will build on our earlier work, providing a variety of age-appropriate supports to over 120 underserved young people. The supports we deliver will have a transformative effect, preparing young people for the future.

    Begin Together funding will allow us to leverage our support to more students, while simultaneously responding to the demands of young people by introducing new supports such as advice clinics which are crucial to the development of younger people’s knowledge in business, and financial wellbeing.

  • Clan na Gael CLG - Out and About Re-Engage for All

    Clan na Gael promotes Gaelic games, Irish language, Irish dancing, and recreational games. We also deliver health and wellbeing programmes to our members and the wider community, including Gaelic football, culture and heritage activities; health and wellbeing programmes; an older people’s club for the over 50s; drug and alcohol programmes; healthy eating programmes; emergency response services; after schools and school holiday physical activities; and one-to-one health programmes.

    This project will address the post-pandemic gap in people participating in physical activity and re-connecting the wider community. We will reach out to the local community and bring young people and their families to connect with each other resulting in healthier and better connected families.

  • Clonaslee Wheelchair Basketball Club

    Clonaslee Wheelchair Basketball Club caters for people with physical disabilities to play wheelchair basketball in the midlands area. The club competes in the Irish Wheelchair Basketball league and cup competitions, annually. We require new basketball wheelchairs for members.

    The project will enable newer players to participate in the sport without having the added financial pressure of buying a specialised basketball chair. The chairs are required to play the sport but also aid in our members’ rehabilitation from serious injuries that they may have sustained.

    Funding will allow our players to participate in the sport to the best of their ability with the right equipment. Playing at a higher level will give them the opportunity to participate more actively and gain confidence, which in turn will improve their physical and mental well-being.

  • Coalisland Na Fianna GFC - Fianna Fit 4 Life

    Coalisland Na Fianna GFC is a not-for-profit sporting and cultural organisation that aims to promote GAA ideals through a wide range of activities. Since 1903, Na Fianna has played an integral part in the fabric of life in Coalisland. During this time, friends and members of our club have generously committed their time to provide the impressive facilities that all our teams and members avail of today.

    Without a doubt, we offer much more than Gaelic games and, collectively, we are helping to build the next generation of young men and women of our community by giving them the skills and tools to cope with the modern world. In fact, never before have we been able to offer so much for all the family.

    Fianna Fit for Life will provide two 10-week challenges targeting mums and dads who are either inactive or have been socially isolated during the pandemic. Each participant will undergo a health and wellbeing assessment at the beginning and end of the programme, and will get subsidised circuit classes, Pilates classes, a couch-to-5k programme, spin classes and walking sessions. All sessions will be geared to the abilities of the participants and supported throughout the 10-week programme.

  • COPE Galway – Embracing Ageing

    COPE Galway provides essential support services for people who are homeless, women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and older people.
    Our mission is to make a positive difference by empowering people to build their capacity and supporting them to lead full and dignified lives.

    Embracing Ageing takes a proactive and preventative approach to encourage people to act now to support a positive and healthy journey towards older age. It will work with pre-retirement groups and those who are retired to deliver workshops focused on the cornerstones of healthy ageing, providing guidance on: maintaining physical wellbeing; diet and nutrition; exercise; and building social connections.

  • Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre - Dealing with the Reality of Life after COVID

    CNG is a resource centre of the Saint Vincent de Paul. We provide a safe place for people to learn and grow, to develop new skills, to make new friends and to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

    We work with vulnerable groups such as migrants, asylum seekers and their children, elderly people living alone, adults with low education attainment. Core activities are our homework club and activities for children, asylum support, English language support, integration specific programmes and lunch clubs and classes.

    We are partnering with Ozanam House, Dublin on this proposal, which is designed to support both centres’ elderly members to rediscover their social and emotional connections and to address the issues of loss and grief which they experienced during the Covid 19 restrictions. They will meet to complete recovery workshops on zoom, with final workshop taking place in Galway. A trained life coach will facilitate the group.

  • Derrynoose GAC

    Derrynoose GAC was established in the early 1900s and is one of the few clubs across Ireland that participates in “All Codes of Gaelic Games (Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football)”. In recent years, we have developed a vibrant Health & Wellbeing committee that has been very successful in running several programmes for the youth and those over 50 years of age.

    The 2022 Begin Together grant will be used to deliver a range of activities for the benefit of the local community, including gym sessions for ladies (all ages) and men over 50, yoga, Pilates, boxercise, basketball, social dancing, a healthy eating workshop series and a grow-your-own project.

    We hope these activities will encourage further physical wellbeing in those who do not currently participate in our games, and across a wide demographic. Funding will allow for a range of additional activities, targeting those demographics that do not currently play our four codes. This will encourage others to become a part of the club, make use of our facilities, and benefit physically and mentally by engaging in local community activities.

  • Dignity Partnership Innovate '22

    The purpose of DiP is to integrate our members into the business community, so that they can meaningfully contribute their passions, talents, and interests using an entrepreneurial mind set, and break the barriers of social inclusion. We do this through personal and enterprise development programmes which provide support and space for DiP members to grow personally while growing their business ideas.

    Innovate ‘22 provides participants with personal finance management and knowledge on digital financial tools to help individuals take control of their finances. This will be achieved through conducting workshops on personal finance management, and by raising awareness on how individuals can make a financial plan, budget, and manage their finances regardless of how small their finances are.

    Our project will focus on financial wellbeing. It will be designed to give participants the tools, resources, and information they need to make informed decisions, feel empowered through knowledge, and reach the best money mind set possible to achieve financial wellbeing. Switching their money mind set from the fear of paying bills to having control of their finances, and most importantly empowering them to be fully financially included in society.

  • Doras - Community-Based Peer Support Initiative

    Doras is a human rights and migrant support organisation. Our direct support work covers immigration, international protection, access to public services, education, anti-racism, and anti human trafficking. We provide information, referral mechanisms, personal advocacy, and victim support services at our Limerick headquarters, in outreach clinics, through online platforms, and by phone. We also engage in strategic advocacy, liaising with government departments, engaging in participatory research, and using our evidence base to inform policy and practice.

    Our project will engage with refugee and migrant communities in Limerick to help them articulate their mental health and wellbeing needs and gain better access to appropriate services and supports. Drawing on research already undertaken, volunteers from the target communities will be trained to identify needs, organise events aimed at improving the wellbeing of community members, and make referrals. A Doras support worker will coordinate the entire process.

    Begin Together funding will allow us to deliver community-based awareness-raising and education about mental health and wellbeing. It will build capacity for the sustainable delivery of mental health interventions within migrant communities. The long-term impact will be to improve the effectiveness of community-based mental health supports for migrants in Limerick. Having a Doras support worker, with a background in mental health and/or social care, for the duration of the project and beyond, will help achieve this.

  • Dreamscheme Northern Ireland - Youth Wellbeing Hubs

    Dreamscheme Northern Ireland seeks to make a positive difference in the lives of at-risk young people. We support young people in local communities and in schools, providing long-term youth development programmes, 1-to-1 mentoring services and a wide range of community service and leadership opportunities.

    Through the Dreamscheme model of ‘WORK = POINTS = TRIPS’, we aim to equip and empower young people to make a positive contribution to their community and wider society. In response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young people, our ‘Youth Wellbeing Hubs’ will improve the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people, aged 13-18, by providing safe, supportive spaces in the community and in school, and both individual mentoring and group wellbeing activities.

    Begin Together funding will enable us to provide 12 weeks of mentoring support for 15 young people whose mental health or relationships have been most impacted by the pandemic. It will also allow us to deliver a 12-week wellbeing programme for 40 young people currently involved in Dreamscheme. As a result of the project, participants will improve their emotional and mental wellbeing and improve their relationships.

  • Dublin University Boat Club - Rowing Summer School

    Dublin University Boat Club (DUBC) is the rowing club of Trinity College Dublin, providing training, competition, and personal development opportunities for the students of the college across all levels of competency, from complete beginner to Olympic athletes.

    The Rowing Summer School is the flagship outreach initiative for sport in Trinity. DUBC and Trinity Access Programmes partner to provide an intimate view into the life of a university athlete for adolescents of under-represented backgrounds. Our programme seeks to vividly highlight to young people how sport can underpin academic accomplishment at the very highest level.

    The Begin Together Funding allows us to remove every financial barrier to entry for participants of the programme, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the activities on offer, free of cost to participants or their families.

  • Dundrum Arch Club - Working together digitally

    Dundrum Arch Club provides a safe and social environment for 100 members with an intellectual disability to meet new friends, while providing much needed respite for their families and carers, all on a voluntary basis. The team of over 20 volunteers encourage all members to develop their social and physical skills by offering a wide range of activities each week, such as bingo, dancing, arts and crafts, computers, photography, sports, and day trips.

    We would like to develop a ‘Working together digitally’ project, along with building a new digital marketing platform. Through a bespoke training programme, our volunteers will engage with members and offer weekly digital skills training. Training will ensure that our members become knowledgeable, competent, and confident in this field, and ultimately train others within Dundrum Arch Club.

    ‘Working together digitally’ will enhance the mental well-being of members with an intellectual disability by offering them the opportunity to develop their skills in the digital world. By building a more accessible platform for Dundrum Arch Club, it will extend the reach of the club and also open up the world to members and families, many of whom have felt isolated over the last 2 years.

  • Embrace FARM - FARM Accident Survivor Project - Phase 2

    Embrace FARM supports all those affected by sudden accidents and traumas on farms. We offer group therapeutic supports including an annual remembrance service, support groups and residential counselling weekends for those affected by someone who has died or been seriously injured in a farm accident.

    For 2022, we are developing individual supports to farm families to help them with practical and emotional issues following a farm accident or trauma. Our project will work on delivering several short and tailored programmes that can be used to encourage more confidence and self-help to make plans and goals for the careers of those who have been physically affected.

    It will also support the families and carers of farm accident survivors to accept and embrace the ‘new’ person the farm accident survivor is growing into or towards. These courses will have a coaching or mentoring format and be offered both online and in person, where possible.

  • Exchange House Ireland - NUI Galway Diploma in Community Development in Practice

    Exchange House Ireland’s aim is to provide a range of family support services for Travellers in their struggle against oppression and discrimination. We do this by promoting equal opportunities for Travellers in the areas of health, education, training, accommodation, employment and enterprise and access to leisure opportunities of their choice.

    The Begin Together Grant will support 27 Travellers from the Midlands (Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath) taking part in a Preparation Programme in advance of beginning a specially designed level 7 diploma in Community Development in Practice with a mental health for Travellers focus.

    The programme is run in conjunction with NUIG but administered and financed through Exchange House. This Preparation Programme will be completed in June 2023. It will familiarise Travellers with the Diploma’s content and build up the participant’s IT and literacy skills. Travellers on the Preparation Programme will move onto the Level 7 NUI Galway Diploma course in September 2022, and are expected to graduate in June 2023.

  • Family Carers Ireland - Caring Connections - Five Ways to Wellbeing

    Family Carers Ireland supports the 500,000+ family carers, caring for children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, as well as those with palliative care needs or living with chronic illnesses, mental ill-health, or addiction.

    We believe that ‘no one should have to care alone’ and address this by maximising partnerships and providing high quality, innovative programmes of appropriate, targeted supports based on identified need/risk to enhance the wellbeing of family carers through their caring journey. Using the analogy of ‘putting their own mask on first’, ‘Caring Connections – Five Ways to Wellbeing’ will support family carers to reconnect, rejuvenate and re-engage post-pandemic. Facilitated by local carer support managers, family carers will engage in a variety of local activities and events designed to improve their mental wellbeing.

    This funding will cover the cost of hiring subject expert speakers, pay for facility rentals, purchase programme supplies and pay for refreshments for participants. Family carers who take part in the Caring Connections project will have an increased sense of mental wellbeing and increased engagement with other carers.

  • Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative - FRCI Digital Hub

    Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative’s (FRCI) core work is in employability skills for those who are further away from the labour market due to a lack of skills or experience, and who may find it difficult to access training and support.

    Our project will allow those who lack skills or confidence to embrace the new digital age and confidently avail of the opportunities presented to access essential, daily requirements. Going online with personal details, causes great worry and anxiety for large sections of our community and FRCI will support participants to overcome their fears and build confidence to embrace the digital age.

    The Digital Hub will provide a platform for concerns and fears around entry into digital era to be explored and skills provided to overcome these concerns. This will enable those availing of the support to make the digital era an integral part of their day to day living. Participants availing of the support will bring what they learn to their own communities and support others.

  • First Fortnight - CRM for Creative Services

    First Fortnight aims to challenge mental health prejudice through the arts and the delivery of creative therapies to those experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. We produce a national annual Mental Health Arts Festival and our Creative Therapy Services therapists are IACAT accredited. Our creative therapy services are free, trauma-informed, recovery-based, person-centered, bespoke, innovative and strive to remain open and reflexive to the needs of those who present for therapy.

    We would like to build a client relationship management system for our Creative Art Therapy Services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. This system will support our referrals, assessments, care plans and outcomes while making reporting accessible remotely, allowing our therapists instant information on our clients. It will also allow us to streamline the service, ultimately providing more hours to allow more clients to be accommodated while not only maintaining our high standards of care but enhancing them.

    As a result, our therapist hours will be used more effectively to help more people in need of mental health care. We will be able to produce detailed reports for our funders and partners, to ultimately gain more funding and grow the service.

  • Gaultier Gaa - Football For All

    Gaultier GAA Club is a Gaelic football club based in the community of Dunmore East, Co Waterford. It is our main objective to provide facilities and coaching for boys (and girls through Gaultier Ladies football club) from the age of 4 up to adult level. The grant will support our “Football for All” program, aimed at kids with disabilities or issues that prevent them from participating in club activities. It is open to everyone in the locality and not confined to club members. We would improve access to our facility and bring in coaches to help encourage kids to play and become involved in sport. We will deliver this program over the next 5-6 months to encourage participation with some of the more marginalised in our society. Having a disability should not prevent participation in sport we feel, and the funding will allow to provide that cost free.

  • HIV Ireland - Counselling Services for People Living and Newly Diagnosed with HIV

    HIV Ireland aims to prevent new HIV transmissions, combat stigma and discrimination, empower and support people impacted by HIV, and raise awareness of HIV and related issues. We work to reduce the prevalence of HIV through effective prevention initiatives, to eliminate the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS, and to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV, through quality, evidence-based support and advocacy services, including counselling and peer support.

    Stigma, including self-stigma, in relation to HIV, can have a profound impact on mental health. This project will promote and develop access to counselling and psychotherapeutic supports for people living with HIV with the aim of increasing positive mental health and wellbeing for people living with HIV, particularly those who are newly diagnosed. The project will also increase the participation of people living with HIV in the provision of peer counselling services, through training and supervision.

    The project will facilitate one- to- one counselling for people living with HIV from counsellors and psychotherapists upskilled in working with people who are living with HIV and experiencing challenges to mental health and wellbeing. It will provide information and techniques for existing and new counsellors and will enable ongoing clinical supervision for counsellors working with people living with HIV.

  • Hope Cancer Support Centre CLG - Psychosocial educational wellbeing programme (Phase 2)

    The Centre provides a range of services to people whose lives have been changed by a cancer diagnosis. The services on offer are free to everyone are provided by a team of professionals and volunteers in a emphatic manner, placing the client at the centre of everything we do.

    We will deliver Meditation and Qigong psychoeducational programmes for people with cancer which intend to improve the mental wellbeing of participants, families and carers.

  • Inspired - Inspired Wilderness Adventure Therapy

    Inspired aims to develop programmes for people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) driven by participants’ self-articulated interests. We focus on training and development, employment, and community inclusion projects where young adolescents and adults with ID can become immersed in upskilling opportunities, participate as equal citizens within the community and gain meaningful employment or valued social roles within the community.

    All our projects focus on enabling ability and empowering participants to become self-determined and confident so that they become active citizens and acquire a better quality of life.

    Begin Together Funding will support a summer camp which will be based in the Wetlands, Tralee. The camp is called Inspired Wilderness Therapy (IWAT) Camp and offers something new and exciting to those who are leaving school and are facing a new period in their life and, as a result, have a heightened sense of anxiety. Equally, a number of people with ID have very little opportunity to participant in a camp-like setting that makes special accommodations to meet their needs and adapt to their disability. Many have little opportunity to socialise, often become reclusive and have a very low quality of life. The camp will provides a platform of engagement and socialisation, and a place free from life’s anxieties.

  • Irish Refugee Council - A Warm Welcome to Ireland

    The Irish Refugee Council’s vision is to create a just, fair and inclusive society for people seeking international protection in Ireland. Its mission is to promote and protect the rights of people seeking protection and those recognised as refugees.

    A Warm Welcome to Ireland is a project which aims to support newly arrived young people who are seeking international protection, in particular those who are unaccompanied. This project’s goal is to create a supportive and welcoming environment to assist with integration into Ireland and to meet the needs identified through group projects and tailored one to one support. There is a strong focus on increasing the mental wellbeing of participants and empowering youth leaders.

    This project will result in an increase in mental wellbeing, peer support and resilience for participants, to support them as they navigate through the international protection process. This project will also provide an opportunity for youth leaders to flourish and increase their skills and confidence. Moreover, the Irish Refugee Council intends to disseminate the learnings from this project to advocate for improved supports for this group of young people, especially related to their wellbeing.

  • Inspired - Inspired Wilderness Adventure Therapy

    Inspired aims to develop programmes for people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) driven by participants’ self-articulated interests. We focus on training and development, employment, and community inclusion projects where young adolescents and adults with ID can become immersed in upskilling opportunities, participate as equal citizens within the community and gain meaningful employment or valued social roles within the community.

    All our projects focus on enabling ability and empowering participants to become self-determined and confident so that they become active citizens and acquire a better quality of life.

    Begin Together Funding will support a summer camp which will be based in the Wetlands, Tralee. The camp is called Inspired Wilderness Therapy (IWAT) Camp and offers something new and exciting to those who are leaving school and are facing a new period in their life and, as a result, have a heightened sense of anxiety. Equally, a number of people with ID have very little opportunity to participant in a camp-like setting that makes special accommodations to meet their needs and adapt to their disability. Many have little opportunity to socialise, often become reclusive and have a very low quality of life. The camp will provides a platform of engagement and socialisation, and a place free from life’s anxieties.

  • Irish Refugee Council - A Warm Welcome to Ireland

    The Irish Refugee Council’s vision is to create a just, fair and inclusive society for people seeking international protection in Ireland. Its mission is to promote and protect the rights of people seeking protection and those recognised as refugees.

    A Warm Welcome to Ireland is a project which aims to support newly arrived young people who are seeking international protection, in particular those who are unaccompanied. This project’s goal is to create a supportive and welcoming environment to assist with integration into Ireland and to meet the needs identified through group projects and tailored one to one support. There is a strong focus on increasing the mental wellbeing of participants and empowering youth leaders.

    This project will result in an increase in mental wellbeing, peer support and resilience for participants, to support them as they navigate through the international protection process. This project will also provide an opportunity for youth leaders to flourish and increase their skills and confidence. Moreover, the Irish Refugee Council intends to disseminate the learnings from this project to advocate for improved supports for this group of young people, especially related to their wellbeing.

  • Killeter & District Development Trust - Killeter's Health and Wellbeing Programme

    Killeter & District Development Trust provides a community hub which is the focal point of the village and where a wide variety of activities are organised for individuals of all ages. The objectives of the group are to advance education and provide facilities, in the interest of social welfare, for recreation and leisure time occupation, with the aim of improving the conditions of life for the residents of Killeter and surrounding areas.

    Our Health and Wellbeing Programme will provide community initiatives to help engage and enhance our rural area, including community litter-picking sessions, social dancing, and gentle exercise classes. We want to provide accessible services in our rural community where everyone will feel welcome and able to participate.

    The Begin Together funding will enable the growth and development of our group, in order to provide high quality services and activities in our rural community, which in turn will help to tackle rural isolation, social deprivation and loneliness while helping to improve overall health and wellbeing.

  • Lakers Social & Recreational Club - Lakers Return to Sports Project

    Lakers is a social and recreational club for just under 400 members, aged 5 to 75, with special needs. We provide a wide range of activities including athletics, football, bowling, dance, art, pottery, drama, crafts, and cookery. Our aim is to provide supported activities so that our members can develop their own individual skills and abilities, take more active role in society and improving their overall fitness and wellbeing.

    Our Lakers Return to Sports Project is an outreach project aimed at our most vulnerable members. Many of our members are afraid to come back to the centre or have become more insular and are nervous about returning to a social setting. The pandemic has impacted their physical, mental, and social abilities.

    Our Return to Sports Project is designed to offer sports activities in a safer environment that will cater more to individual needs, with smaller class sizes and other protective measures, so members feel safe to return to a healthier routine.

  • Letterkenny Youth & Family Service (LYFS) - It's My Chance

    Letterkenny Youth & Family Service (LYFS) is a voluntary, community-managed service providing opportunities to develop physical, mental, educational, and social needs through learning experiences, programmes, and projects. We focus on providing non-judgmental, participant-led, needs-based youth and family support services to those individuals and families who do not presently access services, and are at risk, and may be experiencing disadvantage.

    We provide the necessary support, education, and guidance to assist them to move into a more positive position for their futures. It’s My Chance will improve positive mental health and improve physical health and well-being, of young men aged 16-25yrs who are at risk, hard to engage, not in employment, education or training, and currently excluded from society. The project will engage a range of participants across the community, but with particular focus on marginalised groups and those with poor lifestyle choices, including alcohol and drug misuse.

  • Liquid Therapy - Sibling Surf camps

    Liquid Therapy is an award-winning social enterprise based in South Donegal. We deliver Surf and Ocean Therapy programmes to young people who can benefit from our programmes or cannot participate in mainstream programmes.

    Our programmes are evidence-based and documented to improve mental health and wellbeing. Liquid Therapy was founded in 2011 and has evolved from a small, community-based organisation to a registered charity benefiting over 300 families per year.

    We are looking to deliver two Sibling Surf Camps. Each camp has the capacity for 10 participants (4 with a diagnosis and up to 2 of their siblings) and is delivered over a one-week period.

    Frequently, camps cater either to an individual with a diagnosis or have limited inclusive opportunities. Sibling Surf Camps will enable an entire family, facilitating a shared experience that will encourage social and family connection. It will also give respite for families and primary carers who, in a restorative environment, will see the children succeeding and sharing in an experience that would otherwise be unavailable to the whole family.

  • Look Good Feel Better - Look Good Feel Better workshops

    Look Good Feel Better puts smiles on the faces of women receiving cancer treatment. We provide free skincare and make up workshops that transform the self-confidence and self-esteem of participants. Our vision is that the Look Good Feel Better programme should be an integral part of cancer care in Ireland. Our mission is to help improve the well-being and confidence of people undergoing treatment for any type of cancer.

    We are the only charity in Ireland offering free skincare and makeup workshops for women receiving cancer treatment. We provide holistic care that rebuilds self-esteem and self-confidence in a safe, supportive environment. Our workshops are not about vanity, they focus on self-care and experiencing a positive space where you are understood and supported. This application is for six workshops, to be delivered either face to face or via Zoom, for 60 women undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Lough Ree Access For All CLG - Brain Injury Therapy Trips 2022

    Lough Ree Access for All CLG is a not-for-profit service provider for people with physical and intellectual disabilities from all over the country. We provide recreational and therapeutic boat trips on the River Shannon and Lough Ree, at a heavily subsidised rate, to thousands of wheelchair users and people with special needs.

    The service sails seven days a week, with 3 sailings a day, offering sight seeing and angling trips. Our team is made up of 20 volunteers who have coordinated the opening of a new accessibility centre, in April 2022, and are now focused on increasing the capacity of the service with a second boat and a new focus on carrying people with acquired brain injury.

    We are now working with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland to focus on a group of people who have been excluded from recreational activities of this nature, in the past, and want to substantially expand our service which the Begin Together grant will enable us to do.

  • Lough Ree Angling Hub - Fishing for New Life After Covid

    The Lough Ree Angling hub is fishing for NEW LIFE on the riverbank in a Bord na Mona community that was devastated by job losses. We are a not-for-profit, community, voluntary group set up to help people through the medium of angling. We helped people with disability in the past – now we help the unemployed and young people with their mental health.

    We are working in collaboration with the Longford-Westmeath Education & Training Board and the Galway Roscommon Education & Training board to show unemployed men how to use the skills of angling to escape the anxiety and depression that sometimes comes with redundancy and help them train up, in turn, to become leaders for others on the dole. We fish for new life after Covid!

    The Begin Together funding will be used to ensure that up to 60 unemployed men get the opportunity to learn to fish, and get professional support for their mental health.

  • Lurga National School - Healthy Habits 4 Life @LurgaNS

    Lurga NS is a Roman Catholic School, established in 1884, which along with the DES, aims to promote the full and harmonious development of all its pupils. We endeavour to provide a local facility which will promote the healthy wellbeing of families and community members. Our organisation’s mission is to bring together the communities of Beagh, Gort and the surrounding areas, so they can engage in physical fitness activities, learn about gardening & nutrition, and improve their mental wellbeing.

    We will develop a walking/running track which will provide a safe community recreation area for all levels of fitness. Expert exercise programmes will be provided, on a weekly basis, to develop the habit of walking and running to improve physical wellbeing. We will also create a community garden which will encourage our community members to grow their own vegetables, herbs, berries and fruit and to engage with the environment, to promote the wellbeing of all the community.

  • Mae Murray Foundation - All-ability Inclusive Beaches

    Mae Murray Foundation is a lived experience organisation in which those who face exclusion due to disability, medical condition or the caring role, design solutions to enable members to take part in social and leisure settings by breaking down barriers. Our mission is to improve quality of life by providing opportunities for people of all abilities to participate together. We do this by creating environments such as inclusive beaches, or through social projects.

    This project will enable disabled people and their families to visit five beaches across Northern Ireland. We have partnered with beach operators to provide equipment and personal care equipment to members so that they can enjoy a day at the beach, something we all take for granted. This will enable disabled people and their families to get active, improving their mental and physical wellbeing.

    The Begin Together funding will enable 1,000 people to take part on the beach, who would not be able to do so but for this project. Our users will have improved mental and physical wellbeing due to the increased opportunity to get active and, most importantly, they will no longer be excluded from the beach environment.

  • Mayo Mental Health Association - Outreach Counselling Service

    Our information centre provides a confidential, sign-posting service for people in the community who require options and support for themselves, family, or friends. We have an outreach counselling programme and two, evidence-based, school, education programmes including Breathe and MindOut. Our health promotion initiatives include Woodlands for Health, Moving Your Mind, HeadUp etc. We also provide good quality accommodation for people with mental health difficulties through our social housing.

    We have recently opened a new information centre in Ballina. The Begin Together Fund will help more people to avail of our outreach counselling service in Ballina and the surrounding areas. The funding will go towards the outreach counselling service for individuals who cannot afford the sessions.

  • Nasc, Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre - Gateway Migrant Women’s Project

    Nasc, the Irish word for ‘link’, empowers migrants to realise and fulfil their rights. We work with migrants and refugees to advocate and lead for change within Ireland’s immigration and protection systems, to ensure fairness, access to justice and the protection of human rights. Our goal is to realise the rights of all migrants and refugees within Irish society.

    Our Gateway project works with migrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking women to promote social and economic empowerment. Gateway helps to dismantle barriers to inclusion by providing supports such as English language classes, access to further education, social welfare entitlements and mental health supports. Gateway offers a safe environment for marginalised women to develop their self-confidence, key skills and personal motivation, to enable them to become more integrated and engaged in the wider community.

    Gateway will improve the mental health of participants through the promotion of resilience, self-esteem and self-help. The culturally-appropriate programme will be delivered by an experienced counsellor to forty refugee women with four recruited to train as Amaris practitioners. They will be equipped with skills to improve wellbeing through self-reflection, identifying strengths and building personal resources. The group work model will reduce mental health stigma by encouraging problem sharing, problem solving and providing a support network.

  • New Horizon - Athlone Refugee & Asylum Seeker Support Group

    New Horizon provides children living in direct provision in the midlands with access to recreational, social, sporting, and educational activities to support their social, physical, and mental wellbeing. We recognise the challenges endured by children while their parents navigate the asylum system, and work to ensure that they can have a childhood, despite their circumstances. The activities that we support include ‘teen adventures’, circus arts, the children’s forest experience and much more.

    The New Horizon Forest Experience is a nature-based, forest activity where trained forest school practitioners take asylum-seeking children, aged 6 and 11, into the forest to nurture learner-led exploration and discovery on one day a week during Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Forest Experience is designed to nurture a culture of collaboration, to support the children in building resilience and empathy, and to assist them to develop a connection with nature.

  • North West Clare Family Resource Centre – Pathways

    Funded by TUSLA, North West Clare Family Resource Centre supports individuals, families and community groups by providing services, activities and information. These include childcare, youth programmes, parenting courses, counselling/play therapy, homework clubs, a CE scheme, adult education, a men’s shed, a women’s group and a community garden group. We do this by valuing and fostering inclusion, rights and responsibilities, diversity, volunteerism, collaboration and teamwork.

    Our aim is to support a vulnerable group of young people transition from 6th class into 1st year. This is done through a series of physical activities alongside positive, mental health, awareness-raising workshops. ‘Pathways’ is unique because it has been initiated by a group of older teens who themselves struggled through early years in secondary school. The programme is run and facilitated by these teens allowing the real power of peer education to bloom.

    Pathways is a tried and tested programme previously supported through the Begin Together fund and we have seen the ongoing huge benefits for all participants.

  • North West Migrants Forum - Better Health Stronger Communities

    North West Migrants Forum (NWMF) was formed to contribute to the development of a peaceful, diverse, prosperous, and participative society based on the principles of human rights, equality, and justice. Our ethos is of anti-racism and racial equality.

    The Better Health Stronger Communities project provides a comprehensive programme focused on self-care, the development of coping strategies, and peer-to-peer support for migrant and refugee clients who have experienced trauma, hardship and racism. Activities include outdoor, nature-based activities to improve mental health and wellbeing; social interactions to develop relationships of trust; play/art/creative, group therapies; and facilitated, culturally-sensitive, social gatherings to encourage ‘safe talk’ in a secure and supportive environment.

    Providing a safe and supportive environment to share experiences, our project will change the way beneficiaries think and act about mental health. We will provide clients with tools that enable them to recognise the signs of mental illness and to develop the confidence to seek help.

  • Outcomers Drogheda - Yoga Project

    Outcomers Drogheda is an independent support organisation providing confidential drop-in space, information, integration & advocacy for LGBTQ+ adults in the Drogheda area. We are a not-for-profit organisation managed by a trained, volunteer-led team and were established in 2019 in partnership with Outcomers LGBT Support Service, Dundalk. We are a point of contact, non-judgmental support and advocacy for the local LGBTQ+ community in Drogheda over the phone, email and social media.

    The Begin Together funding will provide a series of 8 yoga sessions with a local LGBTQ+ yoga practitioner in a studio in Drogheda which we will offer to LGBTQ+ adults in the Drogheda area for free. We hope that by providing an LGBTQ+ specific environment we may encourage more LGBTQ+ adults in the area to (re)engage in physical activity, and (re)connect these participants with their physical wellbeing, in a safe and supportive environment.

  • S.T.E.P.S. Mental Health - Counselling for Rural Communities

    S.T.E.P.S. raises awareness of suicide and mental health in the Draperstown and Mid Ulster council area through education and prevention strategies. We reduce stigma by having a community-wide presence that encourages talking about suicide and mental health facilitating communities to access a range of supports to improve and maintain mental health. We understand and value the connection between physical and mental health by taking a preventative approach.

    The Begin Together Fund will allow us to continue to offer our counselling service to rural communities. We will continue to see people of all age groups, as we have a highly qualified team and we believe people living in rural communities have the same right to access a high quality, safe practice. We will offer an inclusive practice and support those living with mental health concerns and suicidal ideation. This funding will save lives.

  • Sporting Pride Ireland - Let's Get Visible

    With community engagement, Sporting Pride can act as a medium for breaking down societal obstacles for LGBTQ+ people. Through events, sports club development, and education, our aim is to work to act as a catalyst for changing inequality in Irish sport and beyond.

    Our #LetsGetVisible project primarily focuses on the physical wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community, but also delivers mental health benefits; promoting the importance of physical health and physical activity. Many members of the community shunned sport as young people as they felt they were not welcome or, indeed, that it was not the “norm” for LGBTQ+ people.

    This project showcases the existing LGBTQ+ sports clubs around the country and encourages new ones to be set up. With the Begin Together funding, Sporting Pride will be empowered to go beyond their target and achieve national coverage both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

  • Spunout (Community Creations) - Mental Health Hub

    Spunout is Ireland’s youth information and support service, an organisation run for young people by young people. Working toward a vision for an Ireland where all young people are empowered with the information they need to live their best lives, we provide young people with information, tools and resources so they can make informed decisions and be a positive force in their own lives and in their communities.

    We are seeking funding to create Ireland’s first, peer-led, mental health hub; an online library of reliable and accessible resources to help young people improve their emotional wellbeing and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

    Funding from Begin Together will help the Mental Health Hub to leverage best practice in digital marketing to identify and reach young people who are experiencing a mental health challenge, or who would benefit from information on self-care. Content will reach over 160,000 young people via traditional social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, and at least 220,000 young people on TikTok.

  • St Bronaghs GAA - Friendship, fleece and flask

    We are a community-based, volunteer organisation that promotes Gaelic games, culture and lifelong participation. We also act as a hub for health and wellbeing for the entire community, promoting initiatives across all sections of society with a strong ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion.

    This cross-community initiative will be targeted at older persons living within our community to address mental health issues arising from isolation due to the pandemic and the ongoing mental health impacts of rising fuel poverty.

    We will hold a coffee morning once a month to enable our older persons to reconnect and hear talks on positive, mental health in ageing. The fleece and flask provision will assist those attending to stay warm during the day and manage heating costs.

  • St. Gabriel's Foundation - Post Diagnosis Training Support Programme for parents following a child's diagnosis of a disability

    St. Gabriel’s Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity that aims to improve the lives of children living with disabilities, helping them to reach their full potential and to support their families. Our mission is achieved through the delivery of therapeutic and clinic services, hydrotherapy, orthotics, education and a newly- opened respite house.

    The aim of our Post Diagnosis Training Support Programme project is to support the mental well-being of parents when they receive a diagnosis that their child has a complex disability and or life-limiting condition. As you can imagine, receiving a disability diagnosis for a child can be a traumatic, life-changing event in a parent’s life. Parents need support to help them navigate this new journey they find themselves on, helping them come to terms with their new normal.

    The mental wellbeing of parents is essential to the wellbeing of all children but more so when a family has a child with a disability. This project will equip parents with what they need to face their child’s diagnosis with strength, support and hope.

  • St. Paul's ABC - St Paul's ABC Wellbeing Project

    St Paul’s ABC is an amateur boxing club and is situated in one of the most socio-economically deprived areas of West Belfast. The club was established in 2009 and currently has over 100 members, many of whom are young children and young adults, both male and female. The club provides boxing training throughout the week and weekend. Our training sessions are aimed towards a wide range of abilities, from beginners to Irish International boxers.

    Begin Together funding will support 16 weeks of introduction to boxing sessions, alongside mental health workshops. Each week will have one 2-hour, mental health workshop and a 2-hour introduction to boxing physical activity session. There will be 30 participants, both male and female, aged 13-17 years old. Each boxing session will be facilitated by two qualified boxing coaches who will be responsible for the planning, delivery and safeguarding of each child. Club volunteers will be available to assist coaches.

  • The Alzheimer Society Of Ireland - Sensory Garden Bethany House Day Care Centre Carlow

    The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) is the national leader in providing dementia-specific supports and services, with a national network of over 120 specialist services around the country. We provide almost 900,000 hours of community-based, dementia-specific care, a year, in the heart of local communities. Our vision is an Ireland where people on the journey of dementia are valued and supported.

    Begin Together will support the development of a sensory garden. A garden of this nature allows the Person With Dementia (PWD) the opportunity to be outdoors and have meaningful interaction with others. The dementia-friendly garden can evoke positive, shared memories for the PWD.

    This can improve cognitive and social functioning, reduce stress and agitation, improve attention, and create a sense of wellbeing. The development of the sensory garden at the day care centre will greatly enhance the services provided.

  • The Knocks Community Association – Financial Wellbeing

    We are a focal point in the Knocks Community, run by volunteers to support and build community relations. We aim to improve the lives of families and individuals by providing social and educational events and activity programmes, to suit all ages.

    This project will provide professional, financial services to our local community and to families through a weekly series of information and educational programmes on a variety of financial issues.

    It will include one-to-one mentoring, where appropriate, as well as ongoing support after the event.

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland (MS Ireland) - My MS, My Finances

    MS Ireland is the national organisation providing information, vital services, and support to the MS community. Offering a wide range of specialised services and resources on a national, regional, and local level, MS Ireland also provides the only national respite and therapy centre for people with MS in Ireland.

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex, chronic neurological disease. The unpredictable nature of the condition can, at times, make it difficult for some people living with MS to engage in employment. This can have a significant impact on financial stability.

    This project will develop a resource for people living with MS, with expert information and advice on the supports that are available for those who experience financial losses due to their condition. This will include enlisting the support of financial experts, running a virtual information session, creating a dedicated ‘financial well-being’ web page, and developing a downloadable resource.

  • The No Barriers Foundation CLG

    The No Barriers Foundation addresses the lack of accessible and affordable ongoing rehabilitation and health support for those with physical and intellectual disabilities, once discharged from care within the HSE. We provide ongoing, specialist, support services in an affordable manner, in a socially-inclusive, gym environment.

    State of the art robotic technology allows us to deliver rehabilitation like no other facility in the country. There are currently 5 other facilities in Ireland with the Eksobionics Exoskeleton for lower limb rehab, but, currently, no upper limb robotic centres in Ireland. Begin Together funding will help us to obtain an Ekso UE upper limb suit, and expand our service.

  • The Sanctuary Runners - App Development

    The Sanctuary Runners is a solidarity-through-sport movement, using running to bring together refugees, asylum seekers and people from the wider community. We provide opportunities to normalise interactions between migrants and wider Irish society, providing the opportunity for friendships to flourish, while creating awareness of the international protection system in Ireland. Always with the unique approach of doing something “WITH” rather than “FOR” international protection applicants.

    Begin Together funding will support development of our app, providing the perfect tool to keep group participants informed and engaged. The app will provide information on the Sanctuary Runners and on running events, online classes, access to merchandise, the opportunity for feedback and links to other community support. The app will be free to users and it is expected to be downloaded by 4,000 participants a year.

  • Together Razem Centre - Debtduction; Information provision on financial wellbeing and reduction of debt

    Together Razem Centre is a charity organisation with a national reach. The organisation’s main objective is to improve the quality of life of the migrant community in Ireland by providing essential support services for those who are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

    The project, DEBTDUCTION, aims to educate people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds who struggle financially and to provide information in 3 languages – Polish, Romanian and Ukrainian. One-to-one information sessions and group workshops are to cover essential advice and topics such as: financial wellbeing, financial security, budgeting for the future and for current needs, reduction of debt, managing liabilities, financial support available to individuals and families.

    With such a high level of inflation and prices of fuel, electricity and essential goods rising at extraordinary speed the level of poverty amongst the community is reaching new heights. The Eastern European migrants are amongst the group which is at the highest risk of poverty. The outcome of the project will be the improvement of knowledge and awareness of financial tools available to people in a challenging economic situation.

  • Trim Family Resource Centre - Family Wellness; Craft, create and discover

    Our mission is to provide resources, facilitation and support to individuals, families and groups in an informal, welcoming environment.

    This project will support parents and young people struggling with impacts of social isolation and constant changes due to external circumstances. Play therapy sessions, Mindful Warrior programme and family workshops will encourage participants to reflect on what they can do to improve their emotional wellbeing, build positive family relationship and strengthen resilience needed to face everyday challenges in the future. Supporting parents and children to access therapy or group work will create a more open and honest community where members young and old have skills in better managing own behaviours and feelings. The funding will allow Trim FRC to offer 10 individual Play Therapy sessions to 6 children who are currently on a waiting list, a 10-week wellbeing programme to 8 young people and a series of family workshops to 8 families in the community.

  • Twilight Community Group - Health and Overall Wellbeing

    Twilight Community Group was established to promote integration and social inclusion of diverse communities, including new communities, ethnic minorities, disability groups, Traveller communities, disadvantaged communities, and LGBTQIA+ communities in Kilkenny and the South East region.

    We do this by organising and providing support for education, exchange programmes, festivals, exhibitions, workshops, arts training, performances, and many other cultural events, all of which are available free of charge or at minimum cost.

    Begin Together funding will allow us to deliver a suite of tailored initiatives for the LGBTQI+ community. The initiatives will encourage self-development and ownership of wellbeing through peer-to-peer learning. Our project will utilise talk therapies and peer support to promote self-awareness and reduce stigma. It will highlight and tackle the underlying issues which impact mental health and wellbeing for the LGBTI+ community.

  • Walkinstown Greenhills Resource Centre - The Well-Connected Project

    Walkinstown Greenhills Resource Centre (WGRC) works to develop and implement a range of information and support services that meet the need of parents, youth at risk and the local community, to address substance misuse and mental health difficulties. Our main objective is to enable service users to identify their needs and to respond with appropriate service provision, building and maintaining collaborative working relationships with voluntary, community and statutory sectors. Our mission is to empower and support the local community to work in solidarity to tackle mental health difficulties and develop responses to meet the needs of the community.

    Our Well-Connected Project will enhance and further develop the provision of community level responses to mental health difficulties through planned multi-agency approaches. It will incorporate key components as part of a comprehensive menu of social engagement activities and initiatives. Participants will be enabled to become experts in their own self-care and develop the skills they need for living and working.

    The project will promote greater participation within the local community, as people from local organisations will be involved in providing programmes, while individuals can attend courses and activities that will assist them to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to return to work, study and participate in the community.

  • Waterford Integration Services - Financial Wellbeing Programme for Migrant Women

    We deliver a range of services and programmes to racialised communities to protect and promote human dignity, diversity, equity, and inclusion, to build their capacity, wellbeing and financial independence. Through collaboration and innovation, we inform policy to promote safeguards, at the local level, against discrimination, hate speech, structural and institutional racism, and climate justice for all. This advances the empowerment of racialised communities.

    The Begin Together grant will enable over 30 women from racialised communities to access inclusive targeted measures in enterprise skills development and accreditation, to give them the foundation stones for financial independence and wellbeing. We will apply an intersectional approach that acknowledges racial inequalities reflected in socio-economic divides, and identify potential bias and patterns of discrimination that impede access to labour market and enterprise opportunities.

  • Waterside Women's Centre - Connections

    Waterside Women’s Centre is a vibrant, safe space with an atmosphere of equality and respect, where women are empowered to achieve their goals and prosper in the community. We deliver health education programmes geared towards meeting women’s needs and aspirations, which help women gain the confidence and skills needed to reach their full potential. We remove barriers to participation by providing onsite childcare, supporting women and children in the community.

    Begin Together funding will support the Connections project, which will help improve, support, and prevent mental and physical ill health. Targeted at 140 women living in disadvantaged areas and in most need, the project will tackle health inequalities by increasing participation in self help and support therapies, physical activities, health checks and peer support.

    As a result, women will have the skills to take control of their own health while being more willing to take part in physical and mental health activities. Women will be empowered to play an active role in their communities, by giving them a confident voice and a platform.

  • West Limerick Sports Complex

    We are a not-for-profit sports complex that provides sports, swimming and exercise facilities to the whole community and the greater region. We have a fully-equipped gymnasium, group exercise studio, heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room and injury clinic.

    Our aim is to increase overall participation, but we specifically target schools, families, disability and disadvantaged groups. We also work closely with various advocacy, care-giving and other representative organisations, locally, providing a range of health and fitness services to specific user groups, along with the public.

    Begin Together funding will enable us to offer discounted memberships and pay-as-you-go rates for individual, families and carers in receipt of social welfare/disability benefits. In doing so, we will help remove the financial barrier and offer them the opportunity to access and use our facilities to improve their physical health and wellbeing.

  • WorkEqual - Sense about Cents

    Our mission is to provide innovative, targeted services and programmes to help people (re)entering the workplace to reach sustained, economic independence. The goal of our advocacy work is to achieve full gender equality in the workplace through meaningful engagement with Government, business and civil society leaders.

    Begin Together funding will support a financial education programme to clients who have recently secured work or who are about to enter work. For this group of women, moving to employment can be a particularly costly time and a time of increased financial pressures such as childminding, commuting costs, clothing costs. At the same time, they can often experience a drop in supports from the state in terms of rent allowances or subsidised childcare. Our programme will equip women in the essentials of financial wellbeing.

2021 Grantees  2020 Grantees