Awarded Fund

Innovate Together Round 2 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 9th December 2020, Rethink Ireland announced the 20 Awardees receiving support from the second round of funding of the Innovate Together Fund. The Round 2 Awardees work across three categories: Economic Recovery, Sustainable Ireland, and Community Outreach.


Rethink Ireland Announce €1.3 million in Awards for 20 COVID-19 Community Response Projects through the Second Round of the Innovate Together Fund. Pictured at the Announcement are Minister of State for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD, Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland, Niamh McCarthy, Best Practice Manager at Barnardos and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland Pic: Marc O’Sullivan


Community Outreach - Total Award Value: €788,918

A Lust for Life

A Lust for Life is a multi-award-winning movement that uses content, campaigns and events to facilitate young people to be effective guardians of their own mind – and to be the leaders that drive our society towards a better future. Their Vision – A world where humanity is the headline act on the main stage. Innovate Together Award: €20,000


Barnardos delivers services and works with families, communities, and other partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences. The impact of COVID-19 has enhanced the use of the virtual space in delivering services. Through the support of Rethink Ireland and the Innovate Together Fund, Barnardos will develop best practice guidance and a digital service delivery framework for its suite of children’s services. Innovate Together Award: €80,804

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival (BVOF) is a local, national and international celebration of opera and classical music. The Covid Care Concert series is an extension of their education, community, and outreach programme and has been designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by addressing the serious issue of social isolation among our older communities in residential care homes. Innovate Together Award: €26,400

Coolmine Therapeutic Community

Coolmine Therapeutic Community is a leading addiction treatment centre working with the most marginalised in Irish society, providing a range of evidence-based community, day and residential services. They are committed to a vision of recovery for all, which strives for an enhanced quality of life rather than mere abstinence from drugs and alcohol. They are a registered charity and were established in 1973. Innovate Together Award: €73,868

Down Syndrome Ireland (Louth Meath Branch)

Down Syndrome Ireland Louth Meath provides lifelong support and services to people with Down syndrome and their families. They are part of a 25 member national branch network dedicated to the empowerment and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued, fully participating citizens of our country. Connected is an initiative to develop a new interest group structure, using information technology, to enhance supports to members and their families. Innovate Together Award: €27,500

Early Learning Initiative, National College of Ireland

Early Learning Initiative (ELI), National College of Ireland, provides parent and child learning support programmes in marginalised communities. ELI’s specialisation is in Home Visiting, where specially trained local people connect with families to engage parents in their child’s learning from birth. ‘From Couch to Screen’ supports the pivot of Home Visiting to a blend of face-to-face engagement, virtual visits and online learning. This will continue to encourage success in school, career, and life. Innovate Together Award: €127,650

Family Carers Ireland

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting Ireland’s 355,000 family carers. ‘The Family Carer Support Project’ addresses the need to systematically assess and respond to the support needs of families caring for an older person at home during and post COVID-19 using an innovative model of risk assessment, triage and intervention. Innovate Together Award: €141,175

Headway Ireland

Headway is an internationally accredited, non-profit disability organisation providing programmes in the community for survivors of Acquired Brain Injury and their families. The ‘Headway Online Learning Programme’ will address the rehabilitation needs of people who can’t access traditional face to face learning opportunities. Injury survivors will be supported to access blended and remote learning technologies delivered via three regional “hub” locations. Innovate Together Award: €26,526


Lámh is the manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland. Lámh signing helps people to communicate. The Lámh online training project will make flexible online training in Lámh signing available to families and communication partners all over Ireland. Innovate Together Award: €40,000

Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Reform (MHR) is the leading national coalition on mental health, campaigning to drive progressive reform of mental health services and supports in Ireland. MHR holds expertise in eMental health and has been helping sectoral organisations develop innovative responses to the COVID challenges. ‘Frontline Screener’ enhances utilisation of eMental health via the development and piloting of a digital screening tool for trauma-related and other mental health difficulties. Innovate Together Award: €67,500

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland

The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) is a national organisation working to promote the rights of migrant workers and their families at risk of exploitation, social exclusion, and discrimination. ‘Harnessing Change’ will empower workers across Ireland in the agri-food sector to tackle exploitation and poor conditions of employment to improve lives. It will also support undocumented migrants to regularise their status through a forthcoming regularisation scheme. Innovate Together Award: €137,327

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland

The Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) are a front-line, sex worker-led organisation that advocates for the human rights, safety, and self-determination of sex workers in Ireland. They work from a non-judgmental, harm reduction, and rights-based perspective and their peer-to-peer model is unique in Ireland. SWAI is comprised of and represents some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in Ireland. Innovate Together Award: €20,168

Sustainable Ireland - Total Award Value: €441,691

Cloughjordan Community Farm (CCF)

Cloughjordan Community Farm (CCF) is a community-led social enterprise based in the ecosystem of Cloughjordan Ecovillage that ensures food security locally, while demonstrating a viable model for small-scale community supported agriculture. CCF’s Open Food Hub provides sustainable routes to market for small producers through the utilisation of a virtual marketplace and provides digital training and mentoring to farmers, producers, and other food hubs across Ireland. Innovate Together Award: €58,700

Cool Planet Experience

The Cool Planet Experience is an interactive climate action visitor experience with a mission to engage, educate and inspire climate action and accelerate planet positive behaviour. The Cool Planet Digital Climate Action Programme is an interactive and immersive curriculum-linked educational platform for schools. It is designed to create an engaged generation of young people who are empowered, positive and connected to their future. Innovate Together Award: €78,000

Crann - Trees for Ireland

Crann – Trees for Ireland’s mission is to enhance the environment of Ireland through planting, promoting, protecting and increasing awareness about trees and woodlands. The Easy Treesie Project is focussed on planting 1M trees with Ireland’s 1M school children and their communities by 2023, joining UNESCO-backed Plant-for-the-Planet’s ‘trillion tree campaign’ challenge, and reducing global heating by 1° during the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-31. Innovate Together Award: €49,500

GIY (Grow It Yourself)

GIY is a leading food sustainability organisation that supports people around the world to live healthier and more sustainable lives by growing some of their own food. They envision a world where all food is produced and consumed in a manner that is healthy for the planet and its people and they aim to empower 100 million people to grow their own food before 2030. Innovate Together funding will allow GIY to fast track their digital-first strategy, ensuring they can produce and disseminate digital content at scale to make growing, cooking, and eating more sustainably, infinitely accessible. Innovate Together Award: €196,000

Inishowen Rivers Trust

The Inishowen Rivers Trust is an environmental charity that engages communities in protecting and enhancing the rivers and natural water bodies of Inishowen, Co. Donegal. The ‘Inishowen River Guardians Programme’ provides specialised training to volunteers, increasing their understanding of the challenges our waters are facing and providing them with the skills to monitor and restore the rivers. Innovate Together Award: €59,491

Economic Recovery - Total Award Value: €92,630

Burren Lowlands CLG

The Burren Lowlands CLG is a non-profit, voluntary community development group. In Forge Works, their enterprise centre in Gort, they address the training needs of people looking for remote work. They offer accredited online TEFL and Remote Work Ready courses to help job seekers in the community to upskill and find sustainable remote work in the Burren Lowlands region. Innovate Together Award: €21,760

Enactus Ireland

Enactus is a leadership and skills development programme for third level students. Experiential learning through social enterprise development, provides the medium for enhancing the skills required for the Future of Work, while positively impacting our communities. The Enactus Ireland ‘Future Skills Now’ project addresses skills development for students from groups underrepresented at third level. They provide tailored supports, preparing these students for the future of work, and supporting them to become changemakers in their communities. Innovate Together Award: €47,280

Irish Theatre Institute

Irish Theatre Institute (ITI) is a resource organisation dedicated to the strategic development of professional theatre in Ireland. Its primary purpose is to foster the best possible environment in which artists, nationwide and at all stages of their careers, are supported to create their most ambitious and excellent work. ACCELERATE, a professional development, upskilling and mentoring programme, addresses information and skills deficits for freelance professional theatre artists challenged by COVID-19. Innovate Together Award: €23,590