The Glas Communities Fund is a €200,000 Fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Ornua Co-operative Limited and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.
Our aim is to address the climate crisis we are facing, especially here in Ireland where water and air pollution are among the highest in Europe, our transportation systems need updating, the vast potential for renewable energy remains untapped and biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. We believe Social Innovation can begin to limit further damage done to our climate.
On Tuesday, October 26th 2021 Rethink Ireland announced the Awardees of the Glas Communities Fund. The fund will support five projects that are all focused on building greener sustainable communities in Ireland through social innovation.
Cyclist.ie, is the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network which promotes and advocates for cycling to be part of transport and everyday life in Ireland. Cyclist.ie comprises of 27 groups, with 20 based in rural Ireland. Their Rural Cycling Vision aims to make all rural areas bicycle friendly. Through this project they aim to encourage and assist local cycling advocacy groups to establish and grow. They will do this by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and expertise between cycling groups, empower rural groups to engage systematically with their local authorities and advance bespoke campaigns and events
DCU’s Water Institute aims to address water resource problems through excellence in research, education and innovation in water science, technology, management and governance. The Centennial project will empower the environmental community to monitor their local waterways. Groups will be trained, equipped and supported to collect data on their local waterways using a water testing kit and an app. The data collected will be used to build a more accurate picture of the health of waterways in Ireland.
Refill Ireland’s mission is to work with communities to create a cleaner environment by providing free drinking water and removing the need for single use plastic water bottles. They do this through a complimentary range of activities including a nationwide tap map showing refill locations, selling reusable water bottles, installing water dispensers and advocating for public drinking water facilities. In 2020 Refill Ireland launched their Community Hydration Hub Network project and by 2024 they aim to have installed at least 100 ‘free to use’ dispensers in retail outlets in Ireland. The project aims to contribute to the sustainability initiatives of existing businesses while raising awareness of the circular economy and is the first of its kind in Ireland.
Burrenbeo Trust is a landscape charity dedicated to connecting all of us to our places and our role in caring for them. They are pioneers of place-based learning in Ireland which is learning about place, in the place, for the place. This investment will support Burrenbeo to develop resources, pilot and evaluate the Exploring and Enhancing Place programme with communities outside the Burre
Green Sod Ireland is a land trust that protects land and its biodiversity.
They have three principal programmes:
1) Wild Acres, the protection and management of the biodiversity of 200 acres of gifted land in their care,
2) Ecological Education for children and adults in nine counties across Ireland,
3) Community Empowerment which builds communities around their wild acre sites.
This investment will enable GSI to further evaluate and expand their ecological education programme.