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Cork Independent

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Cork social enterprise sails into brighter future

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018 4:55pm

A Cork-based sailing group which helps people with drug and alcohol problems to develop skills and build confidence was among eight winners of a major social enterprise development fund.

Sailing Into Wellness was awarded a cash grants of €50,000 as one of the winners of the €1.6 million Social Enterprise Development Fund.

Cork County Mayor, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy announced this year’s winners at an event in Vertigo at Cork County Hall last Friday.

Chosen from over 100 applicants from almost every county in Ireland, eight successful awardees, made up of a mixture of urban, town and rural social enterprises, will not only receive a cash grant of €50,000, but will also land a place on a prestigious accelerator programme for social enterprises.

The eight awardees are MyMind in Dublin, GIY GROWBox in Waterford, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance in Wicklow, the Shona Project in Waterford, Sensational Kids in Kildare, Meals4Health in Galway, Social Farming Ireland in Leitrim and Sailing Into Wellness.

Sailing Into Wellness helps people build their recovery and supports young people at risk by supporting healthy ways to look after their physical and mental well-being. It provides a natural environmental programme where sailing is used as an educational and therapeutic activity.

A key component is empowering people to cope with a challenging natural environment.

The fund was set up to support social enterprises from across the country to achieve their goals and create measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland. The €1.6 million fund, created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland, is supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The accelerator programme is run in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and provides intensive, expert and bespoke supports for social enterprises to hone their social impact, business skills and accelerate their growth.

14 awardees, who come from across the local authorities of Ireland, will also receive a place on the Accelerator Programme.

Deirdre Mortell, Chief Executive Officer, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said: “We believe that we’ve found amazing organisations that are already creating real change and, with the support of this new fund, will grow and reach more and more people in need of their work. These awardees collectively demonstrate the powerful impact social enterprises can have on every community across Ireland.”

Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council said: “Social enterprises play a crucial role toward enabling the creation of sustainable communities, which is the very essence of what we do. Today’s awardees are proof of this. We are delighted to partner with Social Innovation Fund Ireland in creating this invaluable fund and to host this inspiring event today.”

George Jones, Chairman of IPB Insurance said: “The quality and diversity of fund applications has been impressive but the awardees really stand out as social enterprises that blend innovative thinking and social impact in a way that makes a difference to their local communities. At IPB Insurance, we know how important not only financial support can be but also business and leadership development is to any fledgling business and with the Social Enterprise Development Fund, today’s awardees will be able to continue their incredible work and support job creation within their local communities.”

For more information on the Social Enterprise Development awardees visit

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