Social Impact Fund
Supporting youth-led ideas for social good.Learn More
Students throughout Ireland have been awarded funding totalling €12,950 to advance their ideas for bringing about positive change in their communities through the YSI Social Impact Fund supported by the Community Foundation Ireland.
They came from all over Ireland - from Coolock to Casteltownbere - to pitch their ideas to expert panels in the YSI Den in the hopes of securing funding to help them realise their ambitions, and they did not disapoint! Nineteen YSI teams presented over three days to panels of dragons (friendly ones of course), who were seriously impressed by the innovation, passion and professionalism of all of the young people they met.
The dragons were representing Virgin Media, IBM, Eirgrid, Cork and Dublin City Councils, and also included entrepreneurs and members of the Community Foundation's Youth Panel.
Powerful themes that were tackled by teams pitching ideas included:
Dyslexia awareness, Women’s Safety, The Pink Tax, Gender Inequality, Farm Safety, Climate change, Public transport, Menstrual health, Inclusion, Breast Cancer awareness, Autism in girls, Technology addiction, Sustainability, Food poverty, Bullying, Lyme disease awareness and more.
Students from Loreto High School, Beaufort, Rathfarnham secured €600 for their Dyslexia Awareness: Superpower project aimed at empowering people with dyslexia, debunking myths around dyslexia and spreading awareness of the many strengths associated with dyslexia, like imagination, connection and creativity. The team presented their idea for writing and publishing a book for children with dyslexia and were awarded funding to publish the book with an accompanying colour filter tool. They were also given a mentoring opportunity, which will link the team to experts in the field of book publishing on best practice.
Students from Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School secured €500 for their Women’s Safety Week project aimed at promoting women's safety in the community. The team presented their idea for a nationwide Women's Safety Week and were awarded funding to produce a radio advert to promote the proposed campaign, as well as mentoring on marketing.
Students from Loreto Abbey Secondary School, Dalkey, secured €250 for their The Pink Tax and Period Poverty project aimed at raising awareness of the impact of the higher cost of hygiene products targeted at women, in particular period products. The team presented their idea for holding an annual hygiene drive in their school, with donated items to go to organisations that help women who may be experiencing difficulties accessing or affording hygiene and period products. They were awarded funding to support the hygiene drive.
Students from Mercy College Coolock secured €400 for their Clothes Don't Have Gender project aimed at getting trousers introduced as an additional option for their school uniform and as a choice for students of all gender identities. They were awarded funding to create a digital ‘Trouser Option’ information pack for other secondary schools.
Students from Beara Community School, Castletownbere, secured €1,000 for their One Team, One Dream project aimed at promoting the importance of having good role models in life. The team presented their idea for creating an interactive website and app, along with awareness-raising materials. They were awarded funding to create a digital 'Inspire Wall' to highlight local, national and international role models each week, as well as for the production of a children's storybook and 'Hero Workbook', together with role model information packs for primary and secondary school students.
Students from Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carrignavar, secured €450 for their Toys for Joy project aimed at providing sustainable toys for children who are in need. The team presented their idea for holding a toy appeal in local schools to collect preloved toys that would be upcycled and donated to these children. The team were awarded funding to buy materials to upcycle toys, as well as for marketing and raising awareness of their project.
Students from Terence MacSwiney Community College, Knocknaheeny, secured €1,600 for their The Food Fund project aimed at tackling food poverty. The team presented their idea for developing a food fund app for schools, for which they have secured an app developer to work with them on and teach them coding skills. They were awarded funding to develop their food fund app which aims to make the process of donating food much more efficient, as well as for buying merchandise with project branding, and to roll out their idea in other schools.
Students from Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town, secured €500 for their The Greenest Link project aimed at highlighting TFI Local Link Bus Services as an alternative public transport facility on offer to people in Co Donegal. They were awarded funding to produce leaflets on the Local Link for older people.
The YSI Den and Social Impact Fund shows how strongly engaged our young people are when it comes to the pressing and relevant issues impacting on people and society today. We are delighted to help advance these inspirational youth-led projects further through the provision of direct support. To date, the YSI Social Impact Fund has provided over €150,000 in grant funding to support youth-led ideas for social change
Students from Scoil Dara, Kilcok, secured €700 for their Be Better project aimed at making their school community more inclusive. The team presented their idea for placing stickers on glass doors and steps around the school to help make it an easier place to navigate. They were awarded funding to buy materials to help accessibility for people who are visually impaired, to help new students navigate the school, and also to create a sensory garden.
Students from Coláiste Íde agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale, secured €500 for their The Bullybusters project aimed at tackling bullying in schools and promoting mental health. The team presented their idea for producing a professional short film for supporting students and showing them where they can go for help, and also which could be used in SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education) classes. They were awarded funding to produce the short film, which they aim to enter into the Limerick Short Film Festival. They will also receive mentoring in filmmaking.
Students from Eureka Secondary School, Kells, secured €350 for their Safe Farm, Less Harm project aimed at promoting farm safety. The team presented their idea for creating a keyring for people to remind them of the main safety rules on a farm by using acrostic poetry to convey the message. They were awarded funding to produce the keyrings.
Students from St Patrick's Classical School, Navan, secured €600 for their A Guide for Planting Trees in Schools project aimed at tacking climate change. The team presented their idea for printing an informative booklet that will act as a guide aimed at other schools willing to plant trees, too. They were awarded funding to cover the cost of trees, compost and other materials used in planting they have already undertaken, and also to cover the cost of creating a digital booklet for other schools. They will also receive mentoring in sustainability and biodiversity.
One team from Coláiste Bríde, Enniscorthy, secured €700 for their Be Breast Aware project aimed at educating students about how to check themselves properly for breast cancer. The team presented their idea for producing a professional lesson plan on how to check yourself properly for use in schools in Ireland. They were awarded funding to print and buy materials for the lesson plan.
A second team from the same school secured €700 for their Gasp, It's A Mask project aimed at highlighting how autism in girls can go undiagnosed. The team presented their idea for creating a sensory room in their school, educating teachers and students, and holding awareness-raising events. They were awarded funding to cover the cost of buying equipment for a sensory room and to raise awareness about the issue through social media or a lobbying campaign. They will also receive mentoring in lobbying.
Teenagers from Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew, secured €1,000 for their Technology Addiction, Make it Fiction! project aimed at highlighting a link between technology addiction and inactivity. The team presented their idea for developing an app that would allow young people to 'earn' technology time based on activity levels. The app would link to their other devices, such as a FitBit or smartphone and record activity, be it physical exercise or reading a book. They were awarded funding to create the app and they will also receive mentoring in app development.
Young people are leaders in addressing many of the challenges facing communities across Ireland. On mental health, biodiversity, equality and climate change, they are successfully setting the agenda. We are proud to partner with Young Social Innovators and the young voices which drive our shared mission of equality for all in thriving communities. In these challenging times, the work being undertaken is more important than ever.
Students from Rosses Community School, Dungloe, secured €600 for their Menstrual Waves project aimed at promoting menstrual health education in schools. The team presented their idea for producing an easy-to-understand menstrual cycle tracking booklet to help students understand the impact that changes in hormones can have on how they feel at certain times in the month, including how it can affect their sports and exercise routines. They were awarded funding to cover the cost of printing the booklet as well as leaflets for parents and students. They will also receive mentoring in social media and marketing.
Students from St Brigid's Presentation Secondary School, Killarney, secured €800 for their Winning with Woman project aimed at tackling gender inequality in sport. The team presented their idea for designing a pair of sports shorts specifically for women's bodies, a need which they identified based on their own experience of taking part in sports. They were awarded funding to design and create a protype of sports shorts that are tailored to women's bodies, and to launch a campaign to bring attention to the issue of the need for sports clothing and equipment to be tailored to women doing sport. They will also receive mentoring in social media and marketing.
Another team of students from the same school secured €700 for their Tick Tock project aimed at raising awareness of a local risk of Lyme disease that can be caused by tick bites. The team presented their idea for erecting more signage in Killarney National Park to help educate people about the dangers of Lyme disease. The team were awarded funding to print display signage and to distribute tick removal packs, which will include disinfectant, a tick removal device and instructions.
Students from Youthreach, Wicklow town, secured €1,000 for their Carry on Caring project aimed at promoting fairness and inclusion for people living in a local direct provision centre. The team presented their idea for providing dance classes and sports activities for children living in the centre based on the responses to a questionnaire they provided to the residents. They were awarded funding to provide these activities and workshops.
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