Rethink Ireland has been supporting social enterprises across Ireland since 2018, in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund.
GIY addresses the challenge of diet-related illness arising from a lack of understanding and connection to healthy food. GROWBox makes growing healthy and delicious food easy, affordable and accessible, overcoming the barriers to food growing, unlike traditional horticulture products. GROWBox is a range of one-off and subscription growing kits from GIY, to make growing easy. A GROWBox is a complete, tailored kit with everything you need to grow your own food at home.
Based in Scariff in County Clare, Irish Seed Savers Association was set up to create a central store of rare, native and heritage vegetable seed and apple trees, where none previously existed. They research, gather, grow, and protect these collections on their organic farm and make them available for both home and community growing. You can buy their seeds and trees online or sign up to one of their workshops.
ReCreate addresses the lack of knowledge and appreciation of the practical value and benefits of creativity and highlights the impact of our actions on the environment around us. ReCreate has had a direct impact on tens of thousands of people nationwide by giving them access to quality art material and nurturing their inner creativity, which results in improved outcomes for children across the social spectrum. Visit ReCreate’s website to view their membership options.
Refill Ireland is an organisation that examines the environmental impact of single use plastic bottles, and they want to see Ireland become a fully refillable country as soon as possible. The goal of the project is to provide widespread access to drinking water in public areas in Ireland, as well as providing a zero waste service for the likes of runs, fairs, sports days and more.
Check out Refill Ireland’s online store for a number of great stocking-filler options, from organic sports bottles (made from renewable sugar cane) to stainless steel refill bottles.
Sensational Kids provides affordable and accessible early intervention services for children with additional needs across the country. This is an organisation that has helped thousands of children through subsidised speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and play therapy.
They sell everything from jigsaws, to moonbeam lights, to space projectors and ice cream counters. You’ll pretend you’re buying something here for the small person in your life, but it will really be for you.
You may have recently seen We Make Good, who support the growth and prosperity of people who have been through addiction or imprisonment, on The Late Late Show.
This is an enterprise that’s making a real difference, helping to develop the hidden talents of people who have faced serious social challenges in their lives. By creating employment, We Make Good help not only the makers themselves, but their families and communities, too.
The We Make Good collection features everything from masks, to candles, to key chains and cuddly kids toys. There’s something for everyone and every single sale goes to developing the skills of people who are seeking a better life.
The Textiles Studio addresses significant difficulties that refugee women or women with experience of the criminal justice system face in gaining employment. Through machine knitting and garment construction, the programme provides women with their first job, workplace training, and language & communication skills sufficient to secure mainstream employment or start their own business after two years. Visit their website to see the full range of gorgeous products on offer.
Deaf Enterprises are the only dedicated employer of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Ireland. They provide a high-quality re-upholstery and French Polishing service to the people of Cork City, County and beyond. Their fully trained and qualified personnel restore all antique furniture as well as 3-piece Suites, Armchairs, and Queen-Anne Chairs to the highest standard. They also re-cover mobile homes, caravan cushions and boat cushions. Visit their workshop or get in touch to see their latest available products.
Dublin Food Co-op is a cooperative social enterprise, offering access to affordable and nutritious organic food. They have a beautiful shop in Kilmainham that you can browse in or use the click and collect function on their website.
EPIC (Enhancing Progress Inspiring Change) is a social business project in Wexford that provides employment for people who want to reclaim their lives after problems with addiction and/or past criminality. The business produces printed promotional materials such as t-shirts, mugs, folders, pens and conference materials, with any profits reinvested into the enterprise.
Kilcannon Industries CLG addresses the lack of training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Kilcannon Industries CLG is a voluntary organisation operating within the community sector. It provides services to over 200 service users with intellectual disabilities and employs a total of 250 staff, offering significant opportunities for employing people with disabilities in a social enterprise model. Kilcannon also have a Garden Centre located in Wexford. Visit their website to learn more.
The Urban Co-Op works on improving community wellness. They provide wholesome food at affordable prices and are operated by the community, for the community, in Limerick. They provide a platform for social connection and the opportunity to enhance lives through access to nutritious food.
Third Space addresses the issue of providing active, creative, social community hubs for residents and workers in parts of Dublin where redevelopment occurred without providing such spaces. They raise money from their coffee shop that is invested back into the community; they support employment programmes for people seeking to get into work, help local projects, contribute to exhibition space for artists, and fund a small loan scheme to food businesses in developing countries. Support Third Space by visiting their café based in Smithfield, Dublin.
Walkinstown Green Social Enterprises works with people who have been distanced from the labour market with a history of poor progression or a lifetime of minimum wage jobs. The project provides jobs through four different programmes, including their Community Garden Centre and Community Coffee Shop, which provide training, increased employment and experience options for people with disabilities. Visit their café at Walkinstown, Dublin this Christmas.
Longford Women’s Link (LWL) is a dynamic social enterprise which links women together to make their community safe and equal. Using its unique Integrated Service Delivery model, LWL identifies and addresses key inequalities that prevent women from achieving full social or economic potential. Established as a used furniture and clothing charity enterprise in 2016, LWL Willow Traders operates using a social enterprise model, incorporating the principles of enterprise, education and employment opportunities for the Longford community, underpinned by principles of environmental sustainability.
Castlecomer Discovery Park is one of Ireland’s premier adventure parks, set on 80 acres of stunning woodland and lakes. It is home to Ireland’s longest zip-wire and a host of other activities from high ropes courses to archery and canoeing. It was set up to develop rural tourism, create jobs, and regenerate the town of Castlecomer. Visit their website to learn more about how you can join in the fun and get involved.
Sailing into Wellness helps people build their recovery and supports young people at risk by supporting healthy ways to look after their physical and mental wellbeing. It provides a natural environmental programme where sailing is used as an educational and therapeutic activity. To participate in one of their sailing programmes, please visit their website.
The Peace Link addresses peace & reconciliation, health and social inclusion in the Clones Erne East area through sport. The Peace Link Sports Facility is based in Clones, Co. Monaghan. The project is unique in the border region and their vision is to provide “an inclusive space committed to transforming lives through active participation in sports and recreation.” Become a member of The Peace Link today by visiting their website.
St. Gabriel’s Orthotics provides orthotics to children with disabilities where the child’s needs are the primary focus. Their orthotic devices are an essential treatment that help children with disabilities to walk, run and play. For children with significant disabilities, orthotics assist with posture, prevention of joint contractures and scoliosis. St. Gabriel’s Orthotics is the only non-profit orthotics service in Ireland. Visit their website to learn how you can support them this Christmas.
The Shona Project aims to educate, inspire and empower today’s Irish girls to become tomorrow’s strong, confident and curious young women. Through their school workshops, events and online community, The Shona Project provides girls with information, advice and a safe space to share their stories. Visit their website to learn more about how you can get involved.
CyberSafeIreland empowers children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world safely and responsibly. They offer school talks, webinars and a host of useful resources for parents.
jumpAgrade is making personalised teaching accessible to all students, addressing the growing educational inequality accelerated by the “grinds culture” in Ireland. JumpAgrade provides children with personalised teaching from the comfort of their own home. With up to 15 subjects to choose from, their expert tutors can help your child to jumpAgrade!
Darndale Belcamp Village Centre (DBVC) addresses the lack of physical facilities for the provision of community services and small businesses. On a daily basis, the Village Centre provides employment, training and education for 390 people. DBVC manages Handy Helpers, a social enterprise that offers professional home maintenance and decluttering services at affordable rates for older people living in the areas of Dublin 5, 13 and 17. The priority of this service is the safety and comfort of its service users to ensure that all work carried out in the homes of older people is completed to the highest standard, providing full peace of mind. Handy Helpers offers a no-obligation, free quotation and assessment of work.
Spraoi agus Spórt addresses the support and recreational needs of families working and living in Carndonagh, Co. Donegal. They focus on connecting families with their community by offering affordable and accessible activities through a family hub. Learn more about how you can get involved with Spraoi agus Spórt’s activities by visiting their website.
The Together Razem Centre supports those in the Polish and Eastern European migrant community facing problems related to marginalisation, exclusion and isolation in Ireland. The centre offers advocacy, social and legal advice, mental health support and educational programmes for children and adults, enabling the Polish community to be a more cohesive part of the Irish community. Visit their website for a full list of support services.
Specialisterne is a social enterprise supporting people with autism and similar challenges to gain employment. It has enabled nearly 300 people to find jobs, building a pool of over 30 company/employer partners. Proud of its candidate-centric approach, Specialisterne aims to become the go-to organisation for employers seeking talented neurodiverse people. Visit their website to learn more about how you can support them.
Speedpak Group is a manufacturing Social Enterprise that provides real work experience, accredited training, mentoring, tailored interventions and supports to long-term unemployed people. This combination of trading – with customers, quality standards and deadlines – and industry-led training is transformative, increasing participants’ employability and job resilience, leading to greater financial independence. The Speedpak team is dedicated to providing customers with efficient, reliable and innovative packing, logistics and order fulfilment solutions. Visit their website for a full list of services.
Triest Press provides meaningful employment and training opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities. A unique social enterprise that facilitates greater access to employment for people vulnerable to social exclusion, Triest Press cultivates an atmosphere where happy employees understand their talents and approach life with confidence, wonder and a positive sense of self. They supply quality print products to a wide range of businesses, community organisations and personal customers in Roscommon and surrounds. Digital print products range from memorial cards, wedding stationery, raffle tickets and promotional materials to bespoke items designed to meet customer requirements. Visit their website for a full list of services.
Bounce Back Recycling offers a mattress and furniture recycling/upcycling service and is diverting bulky waste away from landfill. For a very affordable price you can have old furniture or mattresses collected from your door and disposed of sustainably. Bounce Back Recycling is managed by members of the Traveller community and is proactive in building community confidence and utilising a rich Traveller skill base.
If you (or a loved one) needs counselling in Cork, Cork Counselling Services provide therapy of the highest standard, regardless of your financial means, religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or educational background. Their services include individual counselling and psychotherapy, crisis intervention, couples and family work and group work.
They are also Ireland’s longest standing Irish and British Associations of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) approved training centre, offering certificates or degree courses in counselling and psychotherapy.
MyMind works to ensure that everyone has easy and quick access to affordable mental health services. They address the issue of unequal access to mental health support by operating through self-referral and ensuring that appointments with accredited counsellors occur within 72 hours, which allows for fast and easy access to support before a problem gets worse. MyMind provides mental health services at reduced rates to unemployed clients, pensioners or full-time students. View a full list of MyMind’s services via their website.
Turn2me is a community of fully qualified and accredited mental health professionals working online to provide a safe, anonymous and confidential space to anyone aged 12 plus in Ireland seeking support with their mental health and wellbeing 24/7. Turn2me breaks down the barriers to access by combining innovative, custom-built technology, superb clinical expertise and a deep understanding of the needs, online behaviours and health outcomes of those who are seeking support. Check out their website for a full list of supports available.
Meals4Health provides fresh, delicious ready meals for older people in their own homes, giving them independence and dignity in choosing their own meals. The meals are created in accordance with best practice in clinical nutrition that addresses individual needs and supports older people with prevention and recovery from illness, the promotion of health and wellbeing, and by helping to reduce social isolation. Order your meal today via their website or learn more about how you can support them.
Siel Bleu Ireland addresses the growing epidemic of physical inactivity amongst older adults and people living with chronic disease. Siel Bleu Ireland offers older adults and people living with chronic disease and physical and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to counteract physical inactivity through specially designed, professional exercise programmes. Siel Bleu have been offering their group exercise programmes online in recent months. To try a sample class or to learn more visit their website.
Grow Remote’s mission is to enable people to work, live, and participate locally by making remote employment both visible and accessible. Check out their online jobs board and their remote work training courses.
Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance builds quality homes and offers them to those who cannot afford to buy their own home on the open market. Their goal is to develop and support fully-integrated communities, to deliver well-designed, top-quality, energy-efficient homes at an affordable price, and to ensure its co-operative model for affordable housing can be replicated and scaled across the country. Ó Cualann is committed to building communities, and believes that integrated, affordable housing can have a transformative effect on wider social issues in Ireland. Check out their website to see how you can get involved.