51 COVID-19 projects awarded €3m

€3m in awards announced for 51 COVID-19 community response projects by Rethink Ireland Innovate Together Fund.

Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland , Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland, Dr. Fiona O'Reilly, General Manager, Safetynet Primary Care, Emma Coughlan, Clinical Nurse Manager of the COVID-19 Mobile Health and Screening Unit, Safetynet Primary Care, Ian Power, CEO, SpunOut and Marie Slevin, Clinical Developmental Psychologist at the Department of Neonatology, The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street . Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

A COVID-19 mobile health unit, an island fisheries app, a youth mental health signposting tool and a neonatal unit virtual tour and classroom are among 51 projects to receive €3m Innovate Together Fund from Rethink Ireland

€3m in awards has been announced for 51 projects in the first phase of Rethink Ireland’s Innovate Together Fund, after 481 projects applied for grants from the €5.6m fund.

Following a competitive selection process, which saw 481 projects apply, 51 projects have been chosen to receive cash grants of between €20,000 and €200,000 to support their innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects will also receive a non-financial business support package.

The Government of Ireland, through the Department of Rural and Community Development (via the Dormant Accounts Fund), committed €5m to the Innovate Together Fund as part of a €40m support package to the community and voluntary sector in May. Rethink Ireland have since received additional donations from the Z Zurich Foundation, Medtronic, Twitter and Oakfield Trust. The Fund supports charities' innovative responses to the COVID-19 crisis that will also provide lasting change.

Deirdre Mortell CEO of Rethink Ireland said: “In these times of extraordinary crisis, the invention and imagination shown by the 481 applicants and 51 awardees is remarkable. The projects cover the spectrum from physical and mental health supports, to online education, community outreach, sustainability, food security and reskilling our workforce. It is phenomenal to see the depth and breadth of innovation in Ireland at the moment. Our fund remains open for philanthropic donations to increase the funds available in round two.”

The Z Zurich Foundation, a charitable foundation established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd, has committed €500,000 to the Innovate Together Fund as part of its global COVID-19 response.

Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland said: “Backed by the Z Zurich Foundation, Zurich in Ireland is very proud to work together with Rethink Ireland to implement innovative social projects that help build resilience in communities, as they adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Minister for Social Protection and Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys said: “The successful projects announced today really showcase the amazing ways that all communities across Ireland are innovating in response to the social challenges presented by COVID-19.”

A full list of the 51 successful projects can be found here.

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