I’ve talked about Arthur’s Day 2009 here and last year’s gigs over on culch but one thing I admire that came out of the whole thing was the Arthur Guinness Fund. The total figure given to social entrepreneurship projects in Ireland to date from the fund is €2.5 million. To highlight the work of the projects which were funded last year, Guinness has brought on board a number of sport and entertainment personalities including Sile Seoige, Alan Brogan, Baz Ashmawy, Jamie Heaslip and Shane Horgan. Each of them will follow the progress of a specific project, and report back on a variety of milestones and good news updates via video messages and personal updates on “>Guinness Ireland Facebook.
Some good news since the Fund was distributed;
- Failte Isteach with a national office in Meath has grown from 22 to 33 English language centres in three months.
- Speedpak based in Clonshaugh, has provided FETAC level 4 qualifications to 40 people
- Pieta House has opened two new support locations in Limerick and Ballyfermot in Dublin
- GIY Ireland has increased its GIY groups in towns around Ireland by 13 since June to a total of 82 groups.
- Growing Locally has recruited their first fifteen people for a yearlong training programme. The programme is underway.
- Camara has opened computer recycling centres in Belfast and Galway.
Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip, who will be reporting back on the achievements of Camara Education, an organisation that reuses computers for educational purposes in Africa, said, “The work these different projects do is so inspiring. It is amazing how one simple idea can benefit a whole generation. I am really looking forward to following the journey of my old PC through Camara’s online tracking system as it makes its way to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in the coming months.” A friend of mine worked for Camara for 6 months so I know the positive work that they do.
Jamie’s teammate, Shane Horgan will be getting in touch with his green fingers whilst working alongside GIY (Grow It Yourself), a network of online and community based groups from all over Ireland who are committed to encouraging more and more people to grow their own food. The groups meet regularly to share information learn from each other and exchange tips, ideas and produce. I’m sure Peter Donegan will be interested to hear of their work. 🙂
Radio and TV presenter, Sile Seioge will be sharing Anam Cara’s good news. Anam Cara offers help and comfort for bereaved parents and siblings, through their loss. Since receiving the funding, Anam Cara has set up a sibling support group enabling them to deliver a schedule of support presentations nationally for bereaved parents.
To follow the good news of the Arthur Guinness Fund recipients and others log onto the Guinness Ireland Facebook page.
In a separate development, the Guinness Storehouse, which is Ireland’s top tourist attraction is now on the Facebooks and have announced their plans for St Patrick’s Day 2011 (featuring Spring Break! Woohoo).