Rethink Ireland announces €600,000 Rural Recovery Fund Awardees

Fiona Ryan, Project Lead for the West Cork Reignite Programme, Ludgate Operations pictured at Rethink Ireland's Rural Recovery Fund Awardee announcement at The Ludgate Hub, Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Picture: Alison Miles

25th April 2022: Rethink Ireland has today announced the six Awardees of the Rural Recovery Fund with support from and the Government of Ireland via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The six recipients of the €600,000 Fund are Peter McVerry Trust, Ana Liffey Drug Project, Camphill Initiatives for Social Ecology, Kantoher Development Group, Grow Remote and Ludgate Operations.

The Fund was launched in October 2021 by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD. The Fund was established to support organisations that are innovatively supporting people living in rural areas to access employment or education opportunities, improve their job readiness and build their resilience as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on minority and underserved communities.

The six Awardees will focus on making an impact across many rural communities and Ireland as a whole:

  • Activation First (Peter McVerry Trust) engages with potential employers and matches them with beneficiaries of their Housing First programme in Counties Galway and Mayo, helping the homeless re-enter the workforce. 
  • Ana Liffey Drug Project works directly with people affected by addiction in County Clare, North Tipperary and County Limerick by running an outreach programme that allows workers to go to rural areas and ensure people can access the services they need.
  • Employment Pathways Kilkenny (Camphill Initiatives for Social Ecology) create opportunities for persons with disabilities to build skills, increase their job readiness, and ultimately gain employment in County Kilkenny.
  • Kileedy Regeneration Project (Kantoher Development Group) aims to rejuvenate the village of Kileedy and create employment for people in the surrounding areas  of West Limerick.
  • West Cork Reignite Programme (Ludgate Operations) will support women in West Cork who wish to return to work through an  11 week tailored training, coaching and mentoring programme followed by a 3-month work placement. 
  • Grow Remote is on a mission to enable everyone in Ireland to work, live and participate locally.  The new funding means it can offer bespoke training to 20+ social enterprises’ teams, volunteers and beneficiaries. They will also create a playbook for social enterprises on transitioning to remote/ hybrid organisations. 

Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland said, “We are delighted to have been able to create the Rural Recovery Fund with support from the Government of Ireland and who have helped us to provide support for some tremendous initiatives.  The challenges of finding work and opportunity in rural Ireland are common to all rural communities, but each with a unique local aspect. Each of the six Awardees address these in a unique way as well as showcasing a shared vision of a thriving future for regional and rural communities throughout Ireland and we’re delighted to be able to support them in achieving that vision.

The new era that we find ourselves in has provided us with a great opportunity to revitalise living and working in rural Ireland in a way that has never been possible before and we hope that we will continue to see projects like these that will contribute to building the prosperous and inclusive communities with rich economic and cultural life we all want to see..”

Fiona Ryan, Project Lead,  West Cork Reignite Programme said: “We are incredibly proud to be a recipient of the Rural Recovery Fund especially so in the company of the other five fantastic Awardees. There is amazing potential in rural communities like ours all over Ireland and with awards like this, hopefully we will start to see that potential come to fruition more and more.

Shane Nolan, Managing Director, New Business, Google Ireland, said, “At Google, we are always looking for new ways to support the rural communities of Ireland and help businesses throughout the country to grow and take part in new opportunities. We were delighted to provide grant support to Rethink Ireland, who have done a fantastic job in empowering some of the best community projects throughout the country and we are looking forward to seeing the great work that the Awardees will continue to do as well as the many other great community projects that this could go onto inspire in future.”, the philanthropic arm of Google, provided a $500,000 (430,000 EUR) grant to Rethink Ireland to establish the €600,000 Rural Recovery Fund, which has also been supported by the Government of Ireland via the Dormant Accounts Fund. 

For information on the each of the Awardees and the work that they are doing around Ireland, please visit: