Awarded Fund

Innovate Together Round 1 Awards

In partnership with:

Responding to the need for new solutions in the 'new normal' post COVID-19

The Innovate Together Fund was set up to support innovative responses to the COVID-19 crisis that will also be relevant in the new normal. With an initial commitment of €5 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund, Rethink Ireland has raised an additional €0.6 million in funding from corporate partners which include the Z Zurich Foundation, Oakfield Trust, Medtronic, and Twitter.
On 23rd September 2020, Rethink Ireland announced the 51 Awardees receiving support from the first round of funding of the Innovate Together Fund. The Round 1 Awardees work across eight categories: Sustainable Ireland, Online Education, Food Security, Mental Health, Physical Health, Reskilling the Workforce, Community Outreach, and other Cross-Cutting issues.
23rd September 2020: Rethink Ireland Announce €3 million in First Round Awards for 51 COVID-19 Community Response Projects through the Innovate Together Fund. Pictured are Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland, Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland, Dr. Fiona O'Reilly, General Manager, Safetynet Primary Care, Emma Coughlan, Clinical Nurse Manager of the COVID-19 Mobile Health and Screening Unit, Safetynet Primary Care, Ian Power, CEO, SpunOut and Marie Slevin, Clinical Developmental Psychologist at the Department of Neonatology, The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Pic: Marc O’Sullivan


Community Outreach - Total Award Value: €470,415

ActionAid Ireland

ActionAid Ireland works for social justice and supports women and children in poverty across the world. Adapting AFTER (Against Female Genital Mutilation through Empowerment and Rejection) to work online means women and girls are still empowered to reject this inhumane practice and advance their human rights at this challenging time. Innovate Together Award: €20,000


AMAL is a Muslim women-led organisation bringing hope to the lives of all marginalised women in Dublin, regardless of faith or culture. With many even more isolated and cut off right now, ACOP (AMAL Community Outreach Project) provides a phone line service to help women and young people from ethnic minorities and reach out to vulnerable and marginalised families living in direct provision centres. Innovate Together Award: €20,000

Clare Immigrant Support Centre

Clare Immigrant Support Centre ensures access to appropriate state and community services and upholds the rights and entitlements of all immigrants living and working in County Clare. Clare Immigrant Support Project works especially with asylum seekers and refugees with a particular focus on vulnerable immigrant communities. Innovate Together Award: €38,040

Community Work Ireland

Community Work Ireland is a national organisation that promotes and supports community work to address poverty and social inequality. With its success so dependent on human interaction, Collective Action in an Era of Social Distancing will develop ways to effectively practice community work in marginalised communities in this new COVID-19 reality. Innovate Together Award: €22,375

Gay Community News (GCN)

Gay Community News (GCN) is Ireland’s national monthly free LGBT+ press. With togetherness so important to the LGBT+ community, GCN Digital Series – Connecting during COVID-19 is an innovative digital festival that has been developed to educate and inform Ireland’s LGBT+ community and connect with those in rural and remote settings isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovate Together Award: €50,000

HIV Ireland

HIV Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for those living with HIV, preventing new HIV infections and combating HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Its new project Peer Support Network for People Living with HIV is a HIV peer support programme that will provide ongoing, locally accessible help and information, at a time when COVID-19 is compounding issues and worsening feelings of isolation for people with HIV. Innovate Together Award: €35,000

The Irish Refugee Council

The Irish Refugee Council supports people fleeing persecution and those recognised as refugees in Ireland. With face-to-face contact now difficult, or even impossible in some situations, the Digital Drop-In Centre project provides information, support and legal representation to clients in an online setting, as well as through one-to-one phone and video consultations. Innovate Together Award: €60,000

Rape Crisis Network Ireland

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is a specialist information and resource centre on all forms of sexual violence. The RCNI Clinical Innovation Programme will bring together the collective learning, innovations and skills needed to transform the rape crisis model for a COVID-19 world in which reaching out to and meeting with survivors in a personal setting presents new challenges. Innovate Together Award: €100,000

Safetynet Primary Care

Safetynet Primary Care is a medical charity delivering quality care to those marginalised in society without access to healthcare. COVID Cluster Rapid Response pursues and suppresses COVID-19 clusters in congregated groups, limiting the spread in environments such as homeless hostels and direct provision centres, safeguarding vulnerable people’s health. Innovate Together Award: €105,000


Uplift is an independent, people-powered campaigning community that takes action for progressive change across Ireland to create a better society. Get Ahead tackles the urgent need for stronger digital democracy and digital literacy to address polarisation and extremism so evident in our society today, which will only increase, given the chance, with our dependence on digital due to COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €20,000

Online Education - Total Award Value: €500,000


AsIAm is Ireland’s national autism charity and advocacy organisation, working to deliver real inclusion and understanding for all. Autism Friendly Transition to Higher Education will develop quality online resources to help autistic students transition smoothly into third-level with online learning tools to prepare them for college life and build day-to-day living skills. Innovate Together Award: €50,000

Embracing Diversity, Nurturing Inclusion, Learning for Life Project

The Embracing Diversity, Nurturing Inclusion, Learning for Life Project (EDNIP) is a partnership between 5 schools (TED Project, Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College, the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board, Limerick Education Centre, Limerick City & County Council and Tusla). The Learning for Life Project promotes and supports the integration of migrant children and families into school and community life, working across five DEIS Band 1 primary schools in Limerick city. Its transferable school-based integration model is informed by consultation, effective collaboration and international best practice. Innovate Together Award: €45,000

LIFT Ireland

LIFT Ireland is a not-for-profit, fully inclusive initiative that equips and empowers each one of us to become a better leader. The Youth Programme equips transition year students with the tools of values-based leadership to create positive behaviour change and sow the seeds for wider transformational change and a better Ireland. Innovate Together Award: €45,000

NUI Galway

NUI Galway ranks among the top 1% of universities in the world and has earned international recognition as a research-led university committed to top quality teaching. Along with our project partner Foroige, the ‘Schooling at Home – Bridging Worlds’ project will bridge the future gap between formal and non-formal learning, creating safe learning spaces for young people post COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €200,000

Raheen Wood ALFA (Active Learning For Adolescents)

Raheen Wood ALFA (Active Learning For Adolescents) is an award-winning social enterprise created by parents and educators in East Clare. It offers an educational alternative for secondary-age students in an area where one in ten fails to complete the Junior Cycle. ALFA has developed a style of online education which maintains its holistic, experiential, project-based approach. Innovate Together Award: €30,000

Trinity Access (TCD)

Trinity Access (TCD) supports those from areas with low progression rates to higher education to reach their full educational potential. Tech2Students is a collaboration between Trinity Access and Camara Education Ireland. It encourages individuals and companies to donate unused technology, and buys repurposed technology, for use by students in marginalised groups such as those in direct provision, the Traveller community and second-level students in DEIS schools. Innovate Together Award: €130,000

Food Security - Total Award Value: €95,000

Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO)

The Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO) represents Irish island communities to address the many challenges facing their fishing livelihood. The IIMRO-Abalobi project tackles the market collapse for small scale fishers caused by COVID-19 with technology that makes fully traceable, sustainably caught seafood from Irish island communities available directly to consumers. Innovate Together Award: €20,000

Irish Seed Savers

Irish Seed Savers (ISS) is the primary food seed grower in Ireland. Food accessibility and security is vital for a secure society. With growing awareness of climate change and fear of limitations in our food supply which were highlighted during the COVID-19 crisis, Saving Seeds for Ireland’s Food Future aims to work with food growers and hobby gardeners to reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported food and food seed. Innovate Together Award: €50,000

Raheen Family Resource Centre

Raheen Family Resource Centre develops community gardens in areas of high unemployment with the aim to secure access to healthy food and reduce food poverty. Growing Together is an ethical initiative with aims to increase the number of community fruit and vegetable gardens, improve social wellbeing and better the understanding of living a healthy lifestyle. Innovate Together Award: €25,000

Mental Health - Total Award Value: €556,919

Care After Prison

Care After Prison (CAP) is a peer-led criminal justice charity that supports those affected by imprisonment, namely prisoners and their families. Peer Mentor Support & Training is at the heart of the services CAP provides, educating, employing and empowering former offenders, to make positive changes so they can reintegrate into society. Innovate Together Award: €20,000


CARMHA is a free support service in North Tipperary, and the only community-based service in rural Ireland that addresses the complex needs of people with both mental health and addiction issues. The Connection And Recovery in Mental Health & Addiction service provides professional counselling and offers peer support from people with lived experience who have already benefited from it and truly understand the path travelled. Innovate Together Award: €50,713


Foróige enables young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development and the development of society. The Ourspace E- Mentoring Platform will be developed to connect young people with adult mentors online, safely and securely, and participate in growth-related, character-building activities based around their shared interests. Innovate Together Award: €59,678

The Irish Advocacy Network

The Irish Advocacy Network offers peer-to-peer advocacy, information and confidential support to those voluntarily residing or detained in mental health acute units, by promoting recovery, self-advocacy and improved quality of life. With peer advocates unable to travel to meet clients, due to COVID-19, their project Remote Peer Advocacy in Mental Health ensures that this unique service is being delivered via telephone and video calls. Innovate Together Award: €63,982


Jigsaw is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health and delivers early intervention and prevention mental health services and supports for young people. The Jigsaw Schools Hub is an interactive, online support service providing schools with resources to build the capacity of school leadership, teachers, students and parents to better promote and support mental health and wellbeing. Innovate Together Award: €100,000

Lucena Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Lucena Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides mental health services to a population of over 160,000 children and young people. In line with COVID-19 guidelines, Accessible Assessment will employ digital assessment technology so cognitive, speech and language assessments for children and young people with co-occurring psychiatric conditions can resume. Innovate Together Award: €30,000

Meath Travellers’ Workshop

Meath Travellers’ Workshop (MTW) is a voluntary community development organisation that works for equality. The MTW COVID-19 Fighting Back Project addresses community increases in depression, domestic violence and low self-esteem and is aimed at supporting Traveller men and women in rebuilding pride, confidence and mental health damaged by the pandemic. Innovate Together Award: €26,690

SpunOut is Ireland’s youth wellbeing information website, developed by young people for young people, and empowers them to make informed decisions and positive change in their own lives and communities. The Dynamic Signposting Tool will help match vulnerable young people with targeted supports and services tailored to their specific circumstances and needs. Innovate Together Award: €138,000

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) project located at the  Student Health Unit in NUI Galway , places students at the centre of their own mental health and wellbeing journey, empowering them to make positive changes and live the lives they want to live. This project is a partnership between NUI Galway WRAP® – a prevention and wellness process that supports students to overcome their mental health issues- and Creidim a follow up student peer support group. Innovate Together Award: €67,856

Sustainable Ireland - Total Award Value: €205,000

Burrenbeo Trust

Burrenbeo Trust is a charity dedicated to reconnecting us with our landscape and our role in caring for it. Currently being developed into an interactive online programme, in line with social distancing requirements, Áitbheo is a comprehensive, activity-focused educational resource that connects children and young people today with their local heritage and environment. Innovate Together Award: €20,000 – The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network – promotes cycling as a more normal and healthy part of the everyday transport system. #ChangeOurStreets takes inspiration from the most cycle-friendly countries around Europe to make cycling attractive to those choosing to avoid buses, trams and trains and travel in a socially distant, healthier manner in response to COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €27,000


ECOUNESCO is Ireland’s Environmental Education & Youth Organisation that works to conserve the environment and empower young people. The ECO-WEEK is a week-long initiative that includes a series of environmental online events as well as workshops, talks, training and much more. Innovate Together Award: €20,000

Global Action Plan Ireland

Global Action Plan Ireland supports schools, communities and businesses to make more sustainable choices through educational programmes across Ireland. Climate Action Now! Online navigates around restrictions due to COVID-19 and takes the programme digital and online, enabling schools to access educational resources, activities and workshops on water, waste, climate change, biodiversity and Global Citizenship. Innovate Together Award: €43,000


GreenSchools is Ireland’s most successful school environmental management programme. Its Food & Biodiversity project provides schools with the materials, supports and training to bring quality food education into the classroom, encouraging students to explore the local and global impacts of diet and positively create change in their school community. Innovate Together Award: €45,000

Green Sod Ireland

Green Sod Ireland (GSI) is a land and biodiversity trust with gifted Wild Acres in its care – creating safe habitats, facilitating the free movement of wildlife vital for biodiversity all over Ireland. By providing ecological education, GSI aims to improve awareness of the importance of these Wild Acres and its link to climate change. Innovate Together Award: €50,000

Reskilling the Workforce - Total Award Value: €175,600

Coláiste Gharumna

Coláiste Gharumna is a not-for-profit Gaeltacht college that provides Gaeltacht courses for teachers and trainee teachers who received their qualifications abroad. The college provides an alternative to traditional classroom-based learning and teaching by creating an online educational platform that can work alongside the challenges that COVID-19 presents and offer new online programs & training in renewable retrofit technologies. Innovate Together Award: €40,000


Cultúr is a community organisation working in Meath and its surrounding counties supporting ethnic minorities at risk of poverty, social exclusion and racism. The Upskilling Project assists migrants who have lost their jobs and are looking to retrain and improve their employability in these challenging times. Innovate Together Award: €53,600

Dress for Success Dublin

Dress for Success Dublin, a charity promoting the economic independence of women, has joined with EQUAL Ireland, a charitable trust delivering accredited training to people who missed out on earlier opportunities, to create Reimaging Challenges. This project enables women on the wrong side of the digital divide to participate in education, work and enterprise and step into leadership roles within their communities. Innovate Together Award: €82,000

Physical Health - Total Award Value: €441,604

The Dublin Neurological Institute

The Dublin Neurological Institute at The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital provides a centre of excellence where clinical care and research thrive as one to study neurological degenerative diseases such as stroke and multiple sclerosis. Dublin Neurological Institute Goes Virtual will allow patients to access its services from home and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €75,000

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland is the only national organisation providing information, support and advocacy services to the MS community. The Move Smart MS project will provide a tele-health model of group physiotherapy, enabling people with MS to benefit from active exercise, as well as specialised, evidence-based online programmes tailored to their needs. Innovate Together Award: €131,604

The National Maternity Hospital Foundation

The National Maternity Hospital Foundation supports women and babies needing vital care and services at The National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street. The Virtual NICU project enables parents of premature babies to virtually visit the NICU and learn how to care for their babies from hospital staff without risk of exposure to COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €35,000

National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI)

NCBI is Ireland’s national sight loss agency and a not-for-profit, charitable organisation providing support and services to people experiencing sight loss. NCBI Smart Hub empowers those blind or visually impaired to live their lives independently through an app that consolidates and curates accurate disability information, support and services in one single, accessible, simple source. Innovate Together Award: €200,000

Cross-Cutting - Total Award Value: €563,095

Community Law & Mediation

Community Law & Mediation (CLM) is an independent community law centre and charity that provides free legal services to those experiencing disadvantage. The Legal Empowerment Project works in areas of law like employment, social welfare, housing, debt and access to health services, none of which are supported by state-funded services, and all in particular need after COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €58,450

Cork International Film Festival

Cork International Film Festival (CIFF) is a local, national and international celebration of film and Ireland’s first and largest film festival. CIFF will mark its 65th year with Intinn, a unique youth film and mental health programme to be delivered online to the classrooms of transition year students at a time when Ireland’s youth mental health crisis is being worsened by the effects of COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €20,000


CyberSafeIreland is a not-for-profit that empowers children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world safely and responsibly. Its new online cyber safety awareness course is an e-learning programme which will equip families and teachers with the skills to effectively engage with children on key topics like privacy, social media, cyberbullying and digital footprint. Innovate Together Award: €35,000

Free Legal Advice Centres

Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) is a human rights organisation promoting equal access to justice for everyone and a fair mechanism for vulnerable people to vindicate their rights. In response to COVID-19, Access All Areas is a project offering legal information and advice remotely to hard-to-reach groups via video conferencing and phone legal advice clinics. Innovate Together Award: €65,000

Helium Arts

Helium Arts empowers children living with long term health conditions through creativity, transforming their healthcare experience with art, imagination and play. The Remote Creative Health Hub provides a creative and social outlet for children managing long-term conditions through weekly art activities, delivered online and by post, with free art materials, video tutorials and creative collaborations with professional artists. Innovate Together Award: €50,000

Independent Living Movement Ireland

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) is an organisation empowering disabled people to make their own choices and control their own lives. Strategies for Change is a series of online workshops delivered by ILMI supporting disabled activists across Ireland to build a more equal and inclusive society. Innovate Together Award: €35,000

Peter McVerry Trust

Peter McVerry Trust is a national housing and homeless charity committed to reducing homelessness and the harm caused by substance misuse and social disadvantage. Housing First Virtual Support Programme is an internationally proven model that will help individuals with complex needs here secure and sustain their own homes, with virtual support services available to respond whenever needed. Innovate Together Award: €198,413


Specialisterne is a social enterprise supporting people with autism and similar challenges to gain employment. Virtual Connections is a new computer-based support and tracking system that will remotely support neurodiverse employees and their managers to work through new operational approaches, use new technologies and partner with similar organisations. Innovate Together Award: €42,000


Threshold works to protect the homes of renters and stop homelessness in Ireland. With renters in crisis unable to visit Threshold’s advice centres because of the COVID-19 restrictions, a remote Freephone Helpline service and online video call facility will enable Threshold’s team of housing advisors to provide renters with one-to-one personalised support via an app. Innovate Together Award: €19,232

Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force

Planet Youth is an innovative inter-agency primary prevention model being piloted in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. It aims to reduce underage substance use and improve life and health outcomes for our young population. The model is derived from an evidence based Icelandic programme and uses data from comprehensive biennial school-based lifestyle surveys. The survey data informs the development of interventions in the four domains of Parents and Family, Leisure Time, Peer Group and School. One of the interventions being developed using the Rethink Ireland Innovate Together Fund is a web portal, for use in schools, that incorporates the Planet Youth data into the Wellbeing and SPHE curricula. A particular focus will be to support positive mental health and also increase awareness of peer influence and positive peer support. Innovate Together Award: €40,000