28 October 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Three projects promoting sustainability in Cork through environmental awareness, community inclusion and employment have been awarded supports to the value of €200,000 from a fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Cork Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The Sustainable Cork Fund recipients include Nasc’s Gateway to Inclusion project, which provides supports for female migrants and refugees to pursue education and employment opportunities; NCE Outreach, which offers further education, training and employment for people engaged in post-addiction treatment programmes and probation services; and Refill.ie which will provide innovative initiatives to help eradicate single use plastic water bottles in Cork City and County.
The not-for-profit organisations were among 66 who applied for the Sustainable Cork Fund, which was created to commemorate Cork Chamber of Commerce’s 200-year anniversary. Following an extensive fundraising campaign, philanthropic donations from Cork Chamber and its members were matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. This brought the combined figure to €200,000, creating the year-long Sustainable Cork Fund.
Commending Chamber members for their donations to the Fund, Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber, said:
“When we initiated the call-to-action across the business community as part of the Chamber 200 celebrations in 2019 we never expected such a response. Individuals and businesses across Cork pledged to the Fund, showing what a strong business community can achieve together.
“This fund was the cornerstone of our anniversary programme, as we were determined to create a legacy for Cork. We believe it will have a lasting impact on our community and it will be truly transformational for the awardees. Their work shows us all what fresh thinking, creativity, and resilience can achieve and what is being done to make Cork a better place to live and work.”
For more information on the Awardee projects, visit www.rethinkireland.ie/awarded_fund/sustainable-cork-fund-2019-2020
The Winning Projects
- Refill.ie, which is leading the way to make Ireland a tap water refilling country, plans to introduce a zero-waste mobile drinking water service for Cork events; an extended ‘Tap Map’ service to show people where to find free tap water for refills; installation of a free to use Community Refill Hub; and the building of advocacy and education in this area.
Above: Video for Refill.ie, Credit: voice over by www.VoiceOverArtist.ie
- The Gateway to Inclusion project by Nasc provides free English language classes and other training and employment-related supports, in a women-only, supportive environment. It assists refugee women — at risk of geographical or social isolation — to accomplish education and employment goals.
- Sustainable Futures provides training, personal development, and employment in the area of sustainability for NCE Outreach participants. The project also feeds into the development of a community-based Living Lab for Sustainability in Cork city at Farranferris Education & Training Campus and the establishment of the first zero-waste shop on Cork city’s northside.