Awarded Fund

Resilient Communities Fund 2017-2018

Backing innovative projects that strengthen community resilience and have an economic, social and environmental impact.

Emma Lane-Spollen, CEO of Tomar Trust, Derval O’Rourke, Former World Champion and healthy lifestyle consultant and Eoghan Ryan, Senior Fund Manager at Rethink Ireland launching the Resilient Communities Fund.

The Resilient Communities Fund is a partnership between Rethink Ireland and Tomar Trust. The fund provides critical supports to projects focused on making communities across Ireland safer, healthier, and more vibrant places to live.

Resilient Communities is a €500,000 fund, created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with the Tomar Trust and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

What is Community Resilience?

Community Resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to respond to economic, social and environmental issues.

Both urban and rural communities are facing potential impacts of climate change, such as adverse effects on water quality and increased risk of flooding. Community resilience thus represents the ability and effort of Irish communities to overcome all of these challenges for stronger, more vibrant communities that also deliver positive economic, social and environmental impacts.



Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) is a charity delivering professional A&E care directly to the site of life-threatening emergencies throughout Ireland, with particular impact in rural and disadvantaged urban areas. Since 2008, ICRR has developed a network of over 200 volunteer doctors throughout Ireland who can be called on to respond to critical emergencies. All medical interventions are delivered within the ‘golden hour’ – the time period where prompt medical treatment has the highest chance of preventing serious injury or death.


GIY (Grow It Yourself), is a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to transform the nation’s health, strengthen communities and protect the environment by empowering people to grow their own food. In 2014, Karen O’Donohoe, Head of Community Development at GIY, developed the Cottage Market in her home town of Ladysbridge, which has since grown into a nationwide community markets initiative. The GIY Cottage Market offers a fresh, vibrant and inclusive approach to community development by putting homegrown, homemade and handcrafted products back in the heart of communities. It helps communities develop from the inside out so that each village or town creates a market that reflects the diverse skills and interests of its local people.


Third Age is a national organisation in Ireland promoting the health and wellbeing of older people. Their latest programme, AgeWell, is dedicated to supporting older people age at home. Given the choice, older people wish to live in their own home for as long as possible – AgeWell makes this happen. By combining peer-based social engagement with mobile technology, AgeWell improves health outcomes and wellbeing among older people, as well as their contribution to their local communities.


The Irish Men’s Sheds Association was set up to support and promote the development of Men’s Sheds in Ireland. A Men’s Shed is any community-based, non-commercial organisation which is open to all men to provide a safe, friendly and inclusive environment where the men are able to gather and/or work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in their own time and in the company of other men. The primary objective is to advance the health and wellbeing of participating men. Men’s Sheds may look like a shed in your backyard but they innovatively share some characteristics of both community education and health promotion projects.


Cloughjordan Community Farm, based in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, North Tipperary is an award-winning, innovative ecological community embodying the transition to a lower carbon energy society. Run by an educational charity, Cloughjordan Ecovillage aims to be a living, instructive model for eco-friendly transformation throughout the world and is run by subscriptions from the local families who make up its members. Cloughjordan Community Farm’s Food Resilience Project aims to educate local families on the benefits of eating ethically produced, chemical-free food grown on their doorstep. It aims to strengthen and enhance the relationship of local people to their food and to supply practical examples of growing methods, seed saving methods and seasonal eating, aspects of which can be learned and adapted by any urban or rural community.


Terenure Sustainable Energy Community (TSEC) was founded in 2016 as the first of over 100 Sustainable Energy Communities (SECs) in Ireland promoted by the SEAI to encourage communities to work together to develop a sustainable energy system. TSEC consists of a small group of volunteers, organised under the community umbrella group, “I Love Terenure”. Dedicated to mobilising the community to undertake the journey to a decarbonised future the group retrofits its houses and generates its own renewable energy. Its vision is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.