Noreen Hegarty, CEO of NCE Outreach, Paula Cogan, President Cork Chamber and Padraic Vallely, Business Development Manager at Rethink Ireland at the announcement of the results of the Sustainable Cork Fund Impact Report. Photo: Darragh Kane

Community fund helps 3 projects

Cork Chamber this week called on the Government to devise a clear pathway to tackle the climate crisis.

The call came as Cork Chamber revealed the results of a Sustainable Cork Fund which was developed by Cork Chamber in partnership with Rethink Ireland with the goal of increasing the resilience of Cork communities.

Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber, said: “If we have learned anything through the pandemic, it is that when tackling our greater social and economic issues, and the environmental crisis now facing us, nothing short of a herculean, collective effort is acceptable.

“Government must step into the position of leadership on these issues and drive an unrelenting agenda if we are to create change in our society and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”

She added: “Our business community needs clarity, focus and consistency from Government to tackle our climate crisis. Through the pandemic, Government provided clear pathways to progress and communicated what was needed from all of society in order to suppress the spread of the virus.

“And now, in addressing our climate crisis the same model must be applied. Political differences must not be allowed to stand in the way of progress in tackling the most critical issues of our time. We must all respond together and ensure that future generations look back with pride and admiration on how we rose to the challenge to safeguard their futures,” concluded Ms Cogan.

The Sustainable Cork Fund fundraising project was launched prior to the pandemic, on the Chamber’s 200th anniversary.

Little did the donors know what was in store in the year ahead, and just how critical community resilience would be. As the issue of the growing environmental crisis began to share headlines with the new global pandemic threat, the power of community response and clear government leadership showed their true strength.

Her comments came on Monday as Cork Chamber announced that through the Sustainable Cork Fund a total of €200,000 was allocated to three projects working across diverse social causes but which share a common vision of making Cork more sustainable, both socially and environmentally.

From education and training supports for migrant women and people undergoing addiction treatment, to reducing the environmental waste of single-use plastics, all three awardees are playing a role in tackling issues that will make our communities more resilient.

The three awardees, Nasc, NCE Outreach, and Refill Ireland, received cash grants and non-financial supports to the value of €50,000.

Together the organisations reached 125 participants and delivered 918 workshops while the Sustainable Cork Fund itself directly supported five jobs in these organisations.