Rethink Ireland opens €750,000 Fund for Munster Communities

Pictured (centre) is Pádraic Vallely, Senior Philanthropy & Development Manager at Rethink Ireland with (l-r) Dylan Kennedy and Ross Twomey at Down Syndrome Ireland’s Field Of Dreams in Curraheen, Cork as Rethink Ireland announces a €750,000 fund to support not-for-profit organisations improving health outcomes in the larger Munster region. Down Syndrome Ireland are previous recipients of Rethink Ireland funding. Pic: Brian Lougheed

Rethink Ireland has announced the opening of a €750,000 fund to support not-for-profit organisations, including charities and social enterprises, improving health outcomes in the Munster region. 

The one-year Impact Fund will invest in up to 10 innovative projects that are promoting healthy lives and well-being for all across Munster. Up to five awards will be made to projects and/or organisations that use music, creativity, or the arts to enhance the physical and mental health of their communities.  

The Impact Fund for Munster is backed by a number of local donors including the Parkes Family Limerick, The Sunflower Charitable Foundation, Community Foundation for Ireland, and several private donors, with match funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. 

Minister of State with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD said:  “I am delighted to launch the Impact Fund for Munster, which is supported by my Department and several private donors. By recognising that mental and physical health conditions are equally important, and often connected, and that wellness is crucially important to building thriving communities, the Impact Fund for Munster will make a valuable difference to the lives of many people living in the region.”

Alongside cash grants, successful applicants will secure a place on Rethink Ireland’s accelerator programme and access a bespoke non-financial supports package that uses expert consultants to help strengthen and scale awarded projects. 

The news comes ahead of European Mental Health Awareness Week, which will take place from 9 May until 13 May. 

Pádraic Vallely, Senior Philanthropy & Development Manager at Rethink Ireland said: “Ensuring that health innovations receive the backing they need has been part of Rethink Ireland’s core focus since we began. With the support of our generous donors and the Government of Ireland, we have invested €16.3 million in health projects since 2016, supporting 96 innovations in this area and helping us to reach more than 116,000 people. Through the Impact Fund for Munster, we aim to enhance the physical and mental health of communities across the province and, ultimately, help to save lives in the process. We would like to thank the Government of Ireland and the multiple donors to this fund who believe in the power of philanthropy and supporting innovative not-for-profits.”

The Sunflower Charitable Foundation, Donors to the Fund said: “We believe that philanthropy has the power to help solve inequities in our society and make a difference in our communities. Living in Munster ourselves, we’re passionate about supporting the region and championing the many incredible social innovations that operate here, day in, day out. We are delighted to be able to contribute to the Impact Fund for Munster and look forward to seeing the amazing Awardees that come through this process.”

Eligible projects are invited to apply to the €750,000 Impact Fund before 1 pm on Tuesday, 14 June 2022. To apply, please visit this page.