Lakers Social & Recreational Club in Co Wicklow is one of 68 community projects to receive financial support from the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together program in 2022.
A total of €500,000 is being allocated to groups across the island of Ireland in the fund’s third year, distributed in partnership with the Community Foundation for Ireland.
This will bring the total value of grants awarded through the Community Fund to €1.5m since 2020.
The Fund is part of the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together programme, a three-year, €4 million initiative to support community groups, local businesses and the arts across the island of Ireland. .
The Community Fund aims to support initiatives that improve financial, mental or physical well-being with initiatives receiving up to €20,000 each for projects covering financial literacy and well-being, mental health, disability, inclusion and diversity and social isolation.
Laura Lynch, Director of Marketing, Bank of Ireland, said: “We are extremely proud to support a wide range of community groups, charities and social enterprises working across Ireland. What they do unites, supports and protects local communities and the most vulnerable in society.
“Communities across Ireland still face many challenges. At this time, we are acutely aware of the strain on the resources of community groups, and particularly those that support migrant groups, such as Together-Razem, who, with their existing range of counseling and educational support, provide educational assistance. emergency to Ukrainian refugees. We hope that support from the Begin Together Fund will help them continue to provide the practical financial advice and education that is essential to the well-being of the communities they support.
Together-Razem – provides financial advice, education and support in native languages to Polish, Romanian and Ukrainian immigrants – has been a beneficiary of the Begin Together Community Fund since its inception. The Begin Together 2022 grant will benefit a new financial education project taking place over 14 weeks.
Agnieszka Wozniak from Together-Razem said: “At Together-Razem, our main objective is to improve the quality of life of migrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries in Ireland. Our approach is culturally sensitive and we offer a wide range of services in four key areas: education, mental health, integration and counselling.
“We have worked tirelessly for more than 15 years to help those struggling with issues such as poverty, exclusion, exploitation, loneliness or mental health. None of this would be possible without the support of organizations such as the Community Foundation for Ireland and initiatives such as Begin Together. It is absolutely invaluable, especially now that we are heavily involved in helping the Ukrainian people.
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, added: “The Bank of Ireland Community Fund transforms lives, often when people need it most. We believe in equality for all in thriving communities. This is an ambitious goal, but which, thanks to initiatives such as the Community Fund, is achievable.
“The impact we have seen since the fund’s inception has been extraordinary, particularly considering that it was providing support in the context of the pandemic. The Community Foundation for Ireland appreciates its partnership with Bank of Ireland and looks forward to working together in the future for the good of all our communities.