Awarded Fund

Ignite Fund 2019-2020

Sparking meaningful social impact across Ireland by supporting innovative charities and social enterprises.

Minister Seán Canney TD, announces the Awardees of Rethink Ireland’s ‘Ignite Fund’ at the National Ploughing Championships joined in celebration with Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland and Awardees of the Fund.

‘Ignite’ means to ‘spark’ or ‘set in motion’. The objective of the Ignite Fund is to set meaningful social impact in motion in communities across Ireland by providing support to some of the most innovative charities and social enterprises. Several private philanthropists have been inspired to provide substantial support to organisations addressing some of the most critical social issues we face today. The Department of Rural and Community Development has committed to matching their support euro for euro. 

On 17th September 2019, Rethink Ireland selected six successful and exceptional organisations. These Awardees are spread across into four separate categories under the themes of ‘Empowering Families’, ‘Youth Resilience’, ‘Harnessing Ability’ and ‘Music to Impact’.

Through the Ignite Fund, we will support each Awardee through cash grants, business supports and a place on a world-class Accelerator Programme. The Accelerator Programme focuses on building Awardees’ capacity and equipping them to scale so they can reach more people in need of their work.

This €550,000 Ignite Fund was made possible by Rethink Ireland in partnership with several private philanthropists and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.



Empowering Families Award: The Community & Family Services project will address the impact of trauma as a result of living in deprivation and poverty for children and their parents. This essential support will be enhanced by the Ignite Fund through the recruitment of a Theraplay Therapist who will support parents to take control of their own parenting reducing dependency on agencies and becoming their child’s ‘therapist’. The process will be empowering; ensuring the child and parent are central in all decision-making.


Empowering Families Award: Barnardos supports children whose wellbeing is under threat, by working with them, their families and their communities. TLC Kidz is a 12-week group evidence-informed programme for children and mothers in recovery from domestic abuse, developed in Canada and delivered by Barnardos. The Empowering Families Award will enable Barnardos to develop their trauma-informed response to this silent issue within families.


Music to Impact Award: Le Chéile is led by the Royal Irish Academy of Music in partnership with Ulster University. Le Chéile is a series of music ensembles for young disabled musicians in every province in Ireland culminating in the foundation of the Open Youth Orchestra of Ireland (OYOI), the first national youth orchestra for disabled musicians in Ireland. These ensembles will bring together disabled and guest non-disabled artists in groups, comprising of 8-12 participants each. The work of Le Chéile will go beyond the ensembles and orchestra by developing a national framework for bringing musical composition and performance to young disabled artists.


Music to Impact Award: St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts (CCMA) is an intergenerational centre that is embedded in the Crumlin community and offers affordable access to high-quality arts programmes. St. Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts (CCMA) offers music tuition to people of all ages across a number of instruments. It is an intergenerational, grassroots project that aims to bring all members of the community together to enjoy affordable music classes and other music and arts activities. It engages and serves the community by providing an opportunity for friendship, personal development, engagement and empowerment.


Harnessing Ability Award: Step Ahead is Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s new vocational assessment service to help young people affected by brain injury return to education, training or work. This is a national service offered free of charge to brain injury survivors aged between 18 and 29 years old. Step Ahead is based in Dublin and Cork. Each centre provides one-to-one assessments led by a senior occupational therapist and supported by vocational facilitators. Step Ahead also provides essential information and education for employers, tutors and trainers who are supporting people affected by brain injury. The Harnessing Ability Award is supported by W2 Foundation and Ralph & Maureen Parkes.


Youth Resilience Award: The Shona Project aims to educate, empower and inspire today’s Irish girls to become tomorrow’s strong, confident and curious young women. To complement their school’s programmes, they will build an online, interactive platform that provides girls with information, advice and a sense of community. Girls will be able to interact with the platform in their own home and in their own time. The fund will allow The Shona Project to conduct further research into the needs of the user, the possibilities available in terms of functionality, conduct robust tests and evaluations and to build a bespoke system that works. The Youth Resilience Award is supported by W2 Foundation and Ralph & Maureen Parkes.