August 11th, 2020: State Street and Rethink Ireland have awarded €1.5 million from the Ability to Work Fund to four not-for-profit organisations who are helping develop the talents and skills of Ireland’s forgotten workforce, giving employment opportunities to those living with a disability.
The Fund, launched in November 2019 by State Street Foundation and Rethink Ireland is supported by the Department of Social Protection through its Dormant Accounts Fund. It aims to reach 500 people with disabilities across the country and empower 250 people to progress along pathways to employment. It recognises that having a job and enabling a person with a disability to become more financially and socially independent benefits the individual, their families, their employers and society at large.
The four Awardees are:
WALK and its subsidiary, Walkinstown Green Social Enterprises (WGSE)
Not So Different
The UCC Disability Support Service Mentoring Programme
Commenting on the announcement of today’s Awardees: Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Social Protection and Community and Rural Development had this to say: “I am delighted that my Department is supporting The Ability to Work Fund. It is an important initiative which will provide a pathway and supports into work for people living with a disability and I congratulate the Awardees, Rethink Ireland and State Street on today’s announcement.”
Tadhg Young, Ireland Country Head, State Street said: “Firstly I would like to congratulate today’s Awardees, it’s great to see the incredible work of each organisation in helping individuals with disabilities gain access to employment. As an employer, we value the qualities – experiences, interests and capabilities – that make our employees unique and we know that an inclusive culture and a diverse workforce makes us stronger and more successful.
By empowering people with disabilities to gain employment, we are directly contributing to the overall health and well-being of our local communities by promoting equality of opportunities in education and sustainable employment for everyone in society.”
Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland said: “The numbers related to employment for people living with a disability in Ireland are still not where they need to be. With the support of this Fund, we aim to help today’s Awardees expand their business acumen, drive growth, deepen their impact across Ireland, and in turn, help improve the balance of inequality when it comes to employment. We really want to make meaningful change across the disability sector in Ireland and with the Awardees announced today, I believe we can achieve this.
Each of these organisations are already providing education, upskilling, training and other services to people living with a disability and I’m looking forward to seeing what they go on to achieve with the support of this fund.”