Interview with Martin Ward, CEO
Why was Bounce Back set up?
Our motivation was to create employment opportunities for members of the Traveller community who could not gain employment in the mainstream labour market. We wanted to inspire the wider community and promote the visibility of our work in order to challenge racism and discrimination.
What impact has Rethink Ireland had on Bounce Back?
Rethink Ireland helped us set out clear indicators for growth across our social, economic and environmental impact. The marketing support helped to generate leads in almost every county in Ireland. After working with Rethink Ireland our vision changed from working on a regional level to becoming a national social enterprise.
What are your plans for the future?
We will deliver our services to 26 counties and recycle 100,000 mattresses per annum, employing 30 members of the Traveller community per year.
Our longer-term goal is to create a social investment fund to deliver the social objectives of the Galway Traveller Movement in education, health, culture and identity.
What advice would you give to budding social innovators?
Always stay focused on the social objective you set out to achieve. Never let anyone sidetrack your vision. There is no better feeling than bringing about positive change.
What is your best experience with Bounce Back?
We rebranded our social enterprise after one of our team fell on a bundle of mattresses and bounced straight back up. We changed our name from First Class Recycling to Bounce Back Recycling. Community members have constantly bounced back from barriers and challenges in their daily lives – so Bounce Back is the perfect name!
I got a job in the mainstream labour market in 2018. I was so excited. But this excitement did not last as I had to hide my identity in the workplace and listen to my community being run down on a daily basis in the media. I stuck it out for two years but in the end I decided I had to leave for the good of my health and wellbeing. I began working with Bounce Back in 2020 and this safe space allows me to thrive – Quote from participant