The past week has been a time of joy and celebration for Siel Bleu Ireland! We are continuing to take steps forward in adding life to years with two important events we wanted to share with you.
On September 18th members of the Siel Bleu Ireland team gathered in the Morrison Hotel to celebrate our partnership with the Medtronic Foundation as part of the Healthy Communities Fund. The Medtronic Foundation’s three other partners, the Irish Cancer Society, the Irish Heart Foundation, and Marie Keating Foundation, were also represented alongside stakeholders from government, industry, and community. The blueprints of a new plan, called “Building Healthy Communities: Strategic Partnership from Concept to Delivery” were announced. This plan is a continuation of the ideals that comprised €1 million Medtronic Healthy Communities Fund. The fund awarded grants for important projects to its four national charity partners, one being Siel Bleu Ireland.
Siel Bleu Ireland was awarded multi annual funding through the Healthy Communities Fund to scales our Exercise, COPD & Me across the country. Through the fund we also expanded our world in the community to encompass Exercise for Shedders, with six Men’s Sheds and with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Sligo and Waterford. Over the course of the Fund Siel Bleu Ireland along with the other three national charities realised their shared learnings of implementing a partnership approach to combat non-communicable diseases in communities of all ages throughout Ireland. Through the final year of the fund, the four national partners came together to develop the “Building Healthy Communities – Strategic Partnership from Concept to Delivery” working document which can act as a guide to the establishment of a partnership approach to answering a need in the community.
Louise Smith, a member of the Exercise, COPD & Me class in Whitehall in Dublin shared her experience of the programme. The Whitehall class was established with funding from the Medtronic Healthy Communities Fund in 2015. Louise spoke of how the exercise class has kept her out of a hospital for nearly an entire year.
Non-communicable diseases are diseases that are not passed from person to person and are responsible for 91% of all deaths in Ireland. These diseases include cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic respiratory disease. Tina Roche, Chief Executive, The Community Foundation for Ireland, addressed the audience and noted that “While Ireland has a strong tradition of charitable giving, strategic and structured giving on the part of trusts and foundations is less developed.” It is for this reason that the work of €1 million Medtronic Healthy Communities Fund is important for charitable organisations, such as Siel Bleu Ireland, and communities throughout Ireland.
Yesterday, September 25th, Siel Bleu was awarded a Dublin City Social Enterprise Award from Inner City Enterprise (ICE) and Dublin City Council with the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). The Award bestows grants to a few social enterprises in Dublin City who are in a start-up or developmental phase. ICE has helped establish over 1000 non-profit and social enterprises in Ireland, therefore number of organizations applying for the grants is high. The goal of this award is to allow social enterprises to further develop and bring the benefits of the social enterprise to more communities. Siel Bleu is honored to have been awarded.
The fund will allow us to scale our “Move More, Stay Active” programme which was piloted in the Mansion House last year. With the funding from the Social Enterprise Awards we will be able to offer the programme to 200 older adults living in the Dublin City area.
The awards ceremony took place yesterday in the Wood Quay Venue of Dublin City Council Offices in Civic Quay. Dierdre Mortell of Social Innovation Fund Ireland addressed the audience as keynote speaker and Minister Ring and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin City presented the awards to the six awardees. Our National Manager Thomas McCabe accepted the award on behalf of Siel Bleu Ireland.
Siel Bleu is excited for what is to come from these two opportunities!