Rethink Ireland’s €750,000 Impact Fund for Munster Awardees to support physical and mental well-being in the region

Deirdre Mortell, CEO at Rethink Ireland, Mick Guinee, CEO at EI Electronics, Dermot O'Callaghan at Sing Ireland and Bernadette Kenny at Blue Box at the Impact Fund for Munster Awards Announcement

November 9th 2022: Awardees of Rethink Ireland’s €750,000 Impact Fund for Munster have been announced today at EI Electronics, Shannon, Co. Clare with a focus on improving physical and mental wellbeing for communities in the region. 

The Fund, created in partnership with the Parkes Family (Limerick), the Sunflower Charitable Foundation, EI Electronics, Community Foundation for Ireland, and a number of private donors, with match funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund, will back nine charitable projects to provide support for children and youth in high-risk groups, people with Down Syndrome, those in temporary accommodation, and bereavement care.

Some of the projects to be supported under Rethink Ireland’s Impact Fund for Munster include Sing Ireland, Blue Box Creative Arts Therapy, Brain Buddies and Waterford Healing Arts Trust. 

  • Sing Ireland, the national body for group singing, will deliver the Song Seeking Project to build social connection and cohesion through the universal language of music and singing amongst communities in temporary accommodation settings. 
  • Blue Box Creative Arts Therapy, a provider of creative arts therapy to disadvantaged and marginalised children and youth in Limerick will provide arts therapy to 25 children from high-risk groups, also facilitating a support group for parents. 
  • Brain Buddies, to be delivered by Kerry Parents and Friends Association will develop an accessible programme for brain health to support people with Down Syndrome.
  • Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) based at University Hospital Waterford brings music, creative writing, painting and storytelling, to the bedsides of patients in healthcare settings, to soften the clinical environment and reduce anxiety and stress for patients, family members and staff. WHAT is a leader in the national development of arts and health in Ireland.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland said: “It is vital that we support physical and mental well-being in our communities by funding innovative projects with the goal of improving health outcomes. We are delighted to award these initiatives inspired by the specific needs of people in local communities.”

She added: “We are very grateful for the support of Government and the donors to this Fund. We look forward to seeing the impact that these Awardees will achieve over the next year and beyond.”

With the support of donors and the Government of Ireland, Rethink Ireland has invested €16.3 million in health projects since 2016, supporting 96 innovations in this area and to reach more than 20,000 people.

Mick Guinee, CEO of Shannon-based EI Electronics, one of Ireland’s leading electronics manufacturing and exporting companies, and donor to the Fund said: “At EI Electronics, we are very proud to support this important Fund for the region. We are a Munster headquartered global manufacturing business and we believe that by enabling social innovation in our community, we are truly helping to make an impact. This is important to us as a business, to our employees and our customers.”

Dermot O’Callaghan, CEO of Sing Ireland, said: “Sing Ireland is so delighted to be a Rethink Ireland Impact Fund for Munster Awardee. This award will create opportunities for the further development of the Song Seeking programme in the Munster region. Song Seeking sees the formation of singing groups that make a powerful impact on the well-being of migrants in temporary accommodation settings but also on the broader well-being of communities across Munster.”

The full list of nine Awardees of the Impact Fund for Munster are: Sing Ireland (Song Seeking: Connection & Belonging Through Group Singing), Blue Box Creative Arts Therapy Centre (Blue Box), Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Kerry Parents and Friends Association (Brain Buddies), Irish Hospice Foundation (Compassionate Culture Network), Creative Lives (Creative Lives on Air), Northstar Family Support Project, Garryowen Community Development Project (Limerick Parent Child Plus) and Aiséirí (Recovery Education Programme).