Worth €9.5 million, the fund is made up of 50% private philanthropic funding, self-raised by 14 Awardees. The other half is supported by the Government of Ireland, through the Dormant Accounts Fund.
The 2019 Children and Youth Funds, which includes the Children and Youth Education Fund and the Children and Youth Mental Health Fund, were designed to support projects addressing the most prevalent issues facing young people and children in Ireland today.
The Awardees each receive a multi-year grant and will also be awarded a place on Rethink Ireland’s Game-Changer Programme which includes training, capacity building and participation in a three-year academic evaluation. Proving and improving their impact, these projects have strong potential to be replicated across Ireland with a view to creating real systemic change in the communities they are supporting.
The Children and Youth Education Fund
Through the Children and Youth Education Fund, we are aiming to improve access to higher and further education for students who are affected by disability or disadvantage.
The Children and Youth Mental Health Fund
Through the Children and Youth Mental Health Fund, we aim to provide meaningful, lasting support to innovative mental health programmes and initiatives that reach out to children and young people before and during the societal, academic, physical, and emotional pressures of early adolescence and early adulthood.
The TU Dublin Access to Apprenticeship programme supports the transition of young men and women (16-24 years old) from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds into craft apprenticeships in the construction, engineering, electrical, and motor industries. The Access to Apprenticeship programme is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
The DCU Changemaker Network identifies, celebrates, expands and refines the unique attributes of schools which are successful in creating systemic change in education. Changemaker Schools boast a number of attributes connected with leading change which include empathy, teamwork, leadership, and creativity. Changemaker Network is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
Limerick community-based education initiative, Engage in Education, works to maximise educational outcomes in a variety of socially disadvantaged communities in Limerick City. The project targets students and their families and helps them progress through the education system through several support programmes. Early-stage intervention is critical in order to prevent students from disengaging from formal education. Engage in Education is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams’ purpose is to ensure that people with Down Syndrome who require additional support in the areas of training and/or education post-second level receive the supports they require. The Field of Dreams has added a Literacy and Technology programme and can now provide opportunities for adults with Down syndrome to achieve ongoing learning in the areas of literacy, numeracy and technology. Field of Dreams is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
iScoil is an online learning community that offers an alternative path to learning, accreditation and progression for young people. iScoil works with young people aged 13-16 who have been referred from Tusla’s Educational Welfare Service having been disengaged from mainstream school for at least 6 months. iScoil is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
Suas partners with DEIS schools to deliver one-to-one support to 8 to 14-year-olds who are struggling with reading and maths. This programme pairs children with Suas-trained mentors who give children the support and practice they need. ‘Literacy Moonshot’ is a 5-year plan to provide sustainable improvements in literacy to every child in a DEIS school in Ireland who needs support. Literacy Moonshot is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
The Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism provides skills, support and a community hub for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families in order to promote inclusivity, education and career opportunities leading to a fulfilled lifestyle and participation in all aspects of society. The Rainbow Club Cork Centre for Autism is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
The TechSpace model works by supporting youth settings such as youth organisations and schools to develop a fixed space where young people can drop in and access creative STEM skills training. TechSpace delivers training, activities, resources and opportunities through English and Irish for youth workers, teachers and volunteers. TechSpace Create Stem is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
The DCU Access to the Workplace scheme will provide second-year students on the DCU Access programme with opportunities to undertake summer work placements in established workplaces, supporting them to gain valuable work experiences. The DCU Access to the Workplace scheme is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
UCD Sutherland Opportunity, supported by Mason Hayes & Curran, is a new programme within the UCD access programme that offers Access Students tailored support and mentorship for their whole time of their studies at UCD. The initiative aims to increase participation by under-represented groups, and uses ‘wrap-around’ supports that extend from targeted outreach, routes to study, provision of scholarships, personal and academic support, internships, and mentoring. UCD Sutherland Opportunity is a Children and Youth Education Fund Awardee.
First Fortnight aims to create an open discussion and understanding of mental health problems and to challenge prejudice and discrimination through the arts. The Centre for Creative Therapies aims to harness the power of creativity and art by providing a professional, regulated art psychotherapy service. Creative Therapies for Children experiencing homelessness is a Children and Youth Mental Health Fund Awardee.
The FUSE Programme will be delivered through the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre, located within the DCU Institute of Education. The centre studies the multi-factored causes of the problem of bullying including different types and areas and translates the findings into resources and training to tackle the issue. The FUSE Programme is a Children and Youth Mental Health Fund Awardee.
The Solas Cancer Support Centre’s Children and Youth Project addresses the needs of young people in the Waterford area at a time distress in their lives, whether it be through receiving a diagnosis or experiencing the illness or loss of a family member. The project will provide additional one-to-one counselling and art psychotherapy sessions, allow group support options and peer-to-peer support groups. It will also see the roll out of an education programme to primary and secondary teachers on supporting bereaved pupils in a classroom setting. The Solas Cancer Support Centre’s Children and Youth Project is a Children and Youth Mental Health Fund Awardee.