Archive for May, 2010

Updates from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland projects

May 21, 2010

Education and Learning

Antoinette Keelan – St John’s Education Centre

in St John's is gathering pace since the Parent Network has become
active. A phone line is in operation five days a week as is the Drop-In
Centre. Already there have been visits and many phone calls. The
service has availed of the help of one of the resident counsellors to
deal with issues requiring more specialised support and next year there
is a commitment from an experienced counsellor to give time to clients
referred for extra support by the service.

Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy course has been scheduled in
conjunction with a number of schools and will take place over the
coming months.

the possibility of sponsors/mentors for each young person attending is
being explored and these volunteers will be trained to continue regular
support for the students in the everyday challenges as they move away
from the structured programmes.

John's continues to seek to ensure that the quality of the work can
constantly be maintained and developed through review and innovation. 

Bob Seward – Cork Academy of Music

Cork Academy of Music has been given a permanent home on the North
Monastery campus. A very historic building has been allocated to the
Academy by the Cork City Council. The building has an excellent
situation and is fine accommodation for a music school that will now
enable the Academy to further develop their training programme to
include young children from the North side of the city. 

Academy itself has had a very successful year with a number of students
moving on to third level. They now have 30 people in full time training
and 150 in outreach. Because of the employment situation at the moment
they are inundated with requests for places in the school. 

co-operation with the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Cork
City Council and the local VEC, the Academy has established a course
for young people using music as a tool for social inclusion. They
established this project December last and have made excellent
progress, so much so that these students have performed twice in public.

Carmel Dunne – Ceol 

Ireland has had a 44% increase in income from schools for the first
quarter of 2010, over 2009. Two thirds of those signing up for the
coming year are existing customers and the remainder are new business.
Ceol is working with INTO in providing a summer course in the Music
Curriculum. Anyone who knows a teacher or parent please ask them to
look up the website.

Caroline Carswell – Irish Deaf Kids

has a spring in its step after receiving Ireland’s eGovernment award
for Education in February 2010. These awards, presented with Eircom,
aim to “raise awareness and recognise the innovators, developers,
forward thinkers and experts … pioneering the changes happening in how
the Irish Government delivers services to its citizens.”


are important to deaf children, but Ireland’s audiology services are
severely lacking. Many parents told their stories on the IDK website in
response to a national HSE survey of their children’s experiences with
hearing tests and aids. The HSE Centralised Services office is aware of
these stories, and is reviewing 86 submissions from families.


April, a €4k cash prize was offered to SMEs in Ireland that told 3
Mobile and the Sunday Business Post’s “Computers in Business” magazine,
how €4,000 would boost their business in 2010. IDK’s pitch won the
competition, which will fund an autumn project. Ten days later, IDK
also won free entry to the IIA’s Audio Video Culture Workshop, to learn
how online videos & podcasts will influence near-term digital
business trends.

James Corbett and Keith Kennedy – Daynuv
has published an early report on the pilot Daynuv programme run in
Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc Carlow. Developed in conjunction with
Bríd Uí Mhaoluala, Learning Support Teacher, it's the first programme
of its kind in Ireland to use 3D modelling software and programming
tools to teach part of the primary school curriculum in a learning
support setting.

Keane from said – "Daynuv has created an engaging and
empowering learning environment, particularly for children with
exceptional ability and high visual spatial awareness".

from the children themselves included this comment: "When such a
programme, granting the ability to create anything and the chance to
interact with other people, is used in the education of children the
possibilities are massive."

other news Daynuv has been invited to make a presentation on "Educating
in 3D" at next weekend's ICT in Education conference in Tipperary

Margaret Keane –

mentioned above, has successfully collaborated with
another Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee Daynuv in an innovative
ICT project based at Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc Carlow. 

Keane, founder of has also recently appeared on the TV3
Midweek show and is currently helping with research for an RTE
documentary on exceptional children.  Finally, in an exciting new
project, is partnering with Promethean Planet on the
production of gifted education resources for their 338,000 teacher
members worldwide.  In the meantime their webinar project continues
with guest speaker, Dr. Sarah McElwee, Oxford University, presenting a
webinar on motivating exceptionally able children on May 19th.

New Communities

Jonathan Gunning & Miquel Barcélo – The Gombeens

Two social clowns touring from villlage to village in every corner of Ireland.

Gunning and Miquel Barcélo are busy spreading the word of social
inclusion and celebration throughout our island. Having just returned
from successfully ridiculing two city mayors at the Galway – Lorient
twinning festivities in France they are preparing for performances at
Pat McCabe's Flat Lake festival in Monaghan on the June Bank holiday

they will be performing "Stories of a Yellow Town", their verbatum
account of the Brasilian and Irish experiences of living together in
Gort Co. Galway. The Gombeens will also be performing in Abbeyleix on
Saturday June 12th, in Galway for world Refugee Day on June 20th, in
Shannon Bridge on June 27th, Kinsale on July 11th and at the Kilkenny
Arts Festival in August 7/8th.  They are also delighted to be bringing
their popular weekly Arts In Health initiative "Troubadors for Health"
to the patients of Merlin Hospital, Galway every wednesday throughout
the summer months. 

Environment and Sustainability

Andy Wilson – The Rediscovery Centre 
Ecostore opening summer 2010! The Rediscovery Centre will be settling
in very soon to their new Ecostore located on Main Street, Ballymun,
where the Rediscovery Centre team will have a dedicated space to
showcase their range of redesigned and recycled products including
upstyled and restored furniture and the Rediscover Fashion clothing
The Rediscovery Centre will also be launching a new bicycle recycling project on 1st July in partnership with Rothar ( and a temporary unit has been secured in the old Ballymun Shopping Centre for a bike repair and drop in workshop.  
Rediscovery Centre press coverage includes articles in the Irish
Independent, the Irish Times, Style Bible, Materials Recycling Week
(UK) and the Northside People West and can be viewed here -
events include: Furniture sale @ National Botanic Gardens
Sustainability Week 23rd May, Rediscover Fashion show @ IKEA 3rd June,
showcase @ Festival of World Cultures Dún Laoghaire 23rd – 25th July

Michael Kelly – GIY Ireland

phenomenal growth continues apace – there are now on average two GIY
meetings taking place every day somewhere in Ireland.  Recent new
additions to the network include Killorglin, Dublin City Centre and
Trim while the coming weeks will see new groups in Abbeyleix,
Ennistymon, Lucan and Ballina.  There are now approximately 5,000
members in total including 2,300 registered members on the GIY website.

Ireland’s Michael Kelly was one of ten winners of an Arthur Guinness
Fund Award on April 20th and appeared on The Last Word with Matt Cooper
that evening to discuss the award and all things GIY.  The award is a
hugely important milestone for the project.  

will be at Bloom (Phoenix Park, 3rd to 7th June) this year, trying to
coax and cajole the general populace in to growing their own, from
their very own GIY garden which is designed by Fiann O'Nuallain.  The
garden will be constructed and planted by GIY volunteers.  Talk about a
grassroots project!

Mental and Physical Health

Caroline McGuigan – Suicide or Survive

or Survive are presently promoting their FOURTH Eden Programme in
Arklow.  SOS’s follow on workshops (every 6 weeks) which are open to
all ex Eden Programme participants (theme of workshops lead by the
service users) are really taking off.  Suicide or Survive had evaluated
the three Eden Programmes by an external organisation which shows the
valuable work that is being carried out.

or Survive are presently developing their workshop “Better for Business
and Better for life” with thanks to National Irish Bank.  They are due
to do a road show at the end of June where they will run one in Galway,
Letterkenny, Cork and Dublin.  These workshops will be subsidised by
National Irish Bank. Suicide or Survive are also creating videos “tips
for our wellbeing”, and are in discussions with Ibec regarding the
Wellness workshops.   

Suicide or Survive are “surviving” like all organisations at the moment
and are positive about the future of the organisation and the

Joan Hamilton – Slí Eile

Hamilton is delighted with the immediate impact the panel of speakers
made at the Launch of the Slí Eile Farm Fund (SEFF) by Patron Jeremy
Irons at the Charleville Park Hotel on April 23rd. Look out for Jeremy
and  Joan with tenants and staff on the Late Late Show on Friday 28th
of March! 

is an ambitious project that proposes to raise €2.8 million through
philanthropic donations.  Drawing on the rich and varied experiences of
the past five years, Slí Eile is ready to expand and proposes to
purchase and develop an 80 – 120 acre farm. The daily tasks of
community farm life such as animal husbandry, horticulture, cooking and
household chores will provide a structure and purpose that offers the
opportunity for persons with mental health difficulties to regain
control of their lives. At the launch of SEFF, Jeremy Irons made the
point in his clear and witty way stating "This model has been
successful in the US since 1913. Most Americans come from Ireland
anyway, why can’t it work here?"

John McCarthy – Mad Pride Ireland

Pride Ireland is proud to announce that it will host 4 events this
year. The first is already concluded in MBula, Uganda. The second was
by invitation of the HSE at an international mental health conference
in Killarney 22nd of May. John Spillane and Freddie White will be
headlining. Mad Pride Ireland is also in discussions with Tullamore,
with some progress already made. The Cork event is well established and
is in its third year. This year the rock band Fred will head the bill. 

to Mad Pride, the Delete 59b campaign is going well. All parties have
agreed to some change, but John believes it is not enough. 

says: “It’s showing up where a lot of the interested party’s real
beliefs lie, especially our ‘supporters’. It is very quickly becoming
evident that those who purport to believe in our human rights have no
core belief in our, the members of the mad community, right to stand as
equal citizens but as ‘vulnerable people’ need the protection of
repressive laws. Sign up and follow us on the links below”

Krystian Fikert – The PPD

The first few months of 2010 have been extremely busy for The PPD. 

From January – March 2010:
 Dublin South – 190 clients used services on one to one basis  
 400 clients used online services through 
 Over 21k unique visitors on website 
 Over 62k unique visitors on website 

Some more updates:
 New Irish psychologist on board: Mary Creedon 
 Affordable sessions with psychologists now on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, more details:  
 Suicide Prevention Group Project started work on policies and procedures 
 Second location launch Dublin North – July 2010 
 More updates – follow The PPD on Twitter: 

Maureen Noone – Nothing to Wear

to Wear is an initiative set up by Maureen Noone which was first
established as a style and Image Consultancy Service, providing image
consultancy and personal shopping.  Maureen then identified a gap in
the Irish market to provide this expertise specifically to women with
cancer, accommodating their changing wardrobe needs due to surgery,
hair loss, weight gain etc.  The aim of ‘Nothing to Wear’ is to help
women with breast cancer to build an image that helps them to feel more
confident and regain self esteem


its inception there have been three workshops in total. Nothing to Wear
also held a presence at a number of Cancer Conferences run by the Irish
Cancer Society in Dublin. There have also been a number of private
clients who have received personal styling, wardrobe consultation and
shopping services (20 individual clients from all walks of life).

eighteen months presence in the industry the service has received a
warm welcome from Cancer Support Groups and Hospitals alike.
Negotiations are currently in place with Marie Keating Foundation to
broaden the appeal in the market and seek sponsorship to develop the
programme to take it nationwide. 

Mary Desmond Vasseghi – Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young

Young – “To support families & Effect Change” – continues to move
forward towards its vision of a heartsafe Ireland. It continues to work
for early detection and treatment of cardiac conditions in our youth
and the promotion of widespread CPR & placements of AEDs

BIG news is that a pilot of youth heart checks will happen in June
& roll out in September. The service will be available to secondary
schools and clubs- initially in Leinster. It will be delivered to the
highest possible standard, with highly qualified staff using the very
latest equipment.

In other news, a new website is under construction, keep an eye on! Ne

w awareness leaflets specifically designed for teens are in development, and a new 

awareness campaign will be launched in June/July. There will be a na

tional information and support day this September, and a support day for bereaved families in June. 

Check Ireland (Heartcheck & research arm) has obtained charitable
status and won 2nd place in AIB Better Ireland Donnybrook. 

Older People

Albert Perris – Reminiscence Ireland

Ireland has successfully rolled out the first tranche of Training
Seminars aimed at people interested in become Reminiscence
Practitioners.  Participants have included Community Development
workers, Social workers, psychologists and therapists, an oral
historian, carehome staff and community based carers.  Feedback and
evaluation sheets were extremely encouraging and positive, and provided
priceless feedback on how Reminiscence Ireland can build on and improve
the training seminars. Further Training Seminars planned for 2010 will
be held in Galway, Sligo, Cork and Drogheda.  Due to demand a further
training seminar has been planned for Limerick in June.

establishment of Reminiscence Ireland has been warmly welcomed by the
Northern Ireland Reminiscence Network, who have expressed an interest
in working collaboratively on any future ‘All-Ireland’ reminiscence
initiatives.  On a recent visit to the Reminiscence Network in Belfast
 in March, Albert Perris and Veronica Lucey of Reminiscence Ireland,
were welcomed by Professor Faith Gibson, Professor Emeritus of Social
Work at the University of Ulster and Patron of the Reminiscence
Network, and Alexey Janes, Development Manager.   The network shared
valuable information and contacts and expressed their best wishes for
the future of Reminiscence Ireland 

Ireland has also secured a new business address in Allenwood Enterprise
Park, Station Road, Allenwood, Naas, Co. Kildare.  

Community and Active Citizenship

Conor O’Leary – Rural Arts Network

Arts Network is co-ordinating a series of ‘inspiring tours’, starting
this month with renowned folk singer Mary McPartlan travelling to ten
counties and six community venues with support from the Arts Council.
And there's more to come, with a tour to nine communities in October
featuring our own ‘The Gombeens’ and Clare Muireann Murphy! Diverse
public and private funding required to make these tours sustainable in
the long-term….all contacts welcome! 

Cultural Communities’ was a very successful 15 week accredited course
run with Wicklow VEC. Eleven community based cultural events were
organised by the participants and attended by 1400 people with over
€5,000 raised for various causes.

Arts Network has established the Westmeath Rural Arts Initiative with
the support of Westmeath Community Development. This voluntary group
goes from strength to strength with this month alone seeing African
drumming, the Mary McPartlan tour and the first rural arts ‘Film Club’
taking place. 

Arts Network is seeking collaborators and partners to deliver tours,
training programmes and development projects in local communities,
countrywide and beyond!

Robert Mulhall – Lucca Leadership Ireland

Leadership Ireland has so far run programs for more than 160 young
people including working with the NYCI, Diaspora Women’s Initiative,
and Dance4Life. Included in this was an International Leadership
Program for 30 young people who will join the alumni network and
benefit for 12 months of mentoring as they work to bring about positive
change in their communities, 15 different countries were represented
including 2 people from Afghanistan. As a result Lucca Leadership is
now looking into how it can support the work that the UN and Concern
are doing in Afghanistan this summer. 

months ahead are busy with many more programs ahead, alumni refresher
days and further mentor training program. The next International
Leadership program in Ireland will be on from July 31st to August 7th
(APPLY SOON). Lucca have just taken on their 3rd intern to help with
evaluation of impact and communications which they are very excited
about and will be launching their new website very soon.

José Ospina – Carbery Housing Association

Housing Association has gained a new head of steam launching a campaign
to use Ireland's 345,000 empty houses for housing the 80,000 households
on Council housing lists, and also as accommodation for arts and crafts
groups, community and environmental projects. The campaign is called
CUBE (Campaign to Use Buildings that are Empty).  CHA is also
negotiating its first leases for empty houses with Cork County Council
and a local estate agent.

Liam Réamonn – The Living Communities

Living Communities believe that their ecotourism product is a superior
product, competitively priced.  It is furthermore a completely new
product, for a number of reasons.  When visitors come, people in
Ceathrú Thaidhg, Mayo, will earn income from their own internationally
traded business.  In these times of retrenchment of the public spend,
such a move is timely.  Marketing will commence into France and Germany
in the coming month.  The website will be completed subsequently.  The
papers which it contains, e.g., on the linguistic connections between
Irish, German, Hindi and Persian, have received some attention on the

Myles McCorry – BikePure

have recently topped 32,000 members in 86 countries. A network of 29
ambassadors helps Myles coordinate their mission to improve the future
of sport, for the next generation of athletes (If you have a body – you
are an athlete).

BikePure’s campaign has a specifically, educated membership and they are making fantastic inroads with their advocacy work.  

are launching PlayPure this summer, to celebrate ethical sport becoming
a  global symbol of true competition. BikePure wish to uphold sport as
an essential component to personal development.

anyone in the network has contacts in elite level in any sport, Myles
would love to hear from them. Myles has great contacts in interactive
web design, printing and merchandising and is happy to help anyone, at

Cormac Lynch – Camara

has made great progress in the first 5 months of 2010. The highlight of
the year to-date was their receiving the Arthur Guinness Fund Award in
April 2010. This €100,000 grant will be used to set-up and support
Camara's hubs in Belfast, Galway and Cork.

expansion programme is on target having received UK charitable status
in April, and the process for similar status in the US well on
track. Operationally Camara are on target for a record year, with
regard to PC refurbishments and shipments.

pcs have been shipped to date. Containers have shipped to Lesotho,
Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and Rwanda. Camara source support from
Companies to fill the containers with Volunteers from UPS packing the
Zambian container. 

overseas volunteer programme is well on the way with 40 volunteers
currently going through detailed training processes, ensuring they are
fully prepared for their overseas trip.

new programme to provide educational technology solutions into Irish
Schools is proving very successful. A number of schools have finalised
orders, and Camara are in discussion with others, focussing on
disadvantaged schools. Overall Camara has had a very good start to 2010.

Young People and Children

Dara Hogan – Fledglings

have been working hard at consolidating progress in its existing
services while simultaneously building quality.  The new Fledglings
Early Years Manual has just been delivered and it is a ground-breaking
document.  Authored by Drs Mary Daly, Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine
Zappone it aligns the government frameworks Síolta (for quality),
Aistear (for curriculum) with the High/Scope early years approach
adopted by Fledglings.  The manual will be the driver of quality in the
Fledglings early years services and it will also be a valuable
marketing tool for recruiting new Fledglings franchisees.  

are committed to external evaluation of the project and external
evaluation is a condition of the funding by the Office of the Minister
for Children & Youth Affairs (OMCYA).  Accordingly, after
specifying and going to tender for its requirements, Fledglings has
appointed Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting to carry out a
two-stage external evaluation of the Fledglings project.  The first
stage will be complete by the end of the summer and will evaluate
progress to date since 2008 and the second stage will report in early
2011 on the conclusion of the current tranche of OMCYA funding.  

James Nolan – FAST Kids

Agility, Speed & Technique moved outdoors after the very successful
indoor winter programme conducted in primary Schools that reached over
3000 children. Presently FAST Kids are working together with their UK
partners delivering a new innovative outdoor programme of activity,
designed to advance further the motor and fitness skills achieved by
the children over the winter months, indoor programme.

were conducted in Manchester with FAST Kids UK Partners and discussions
on best avenues to expand to meet demand for FAST Kids programmes of
activity in Ireland were very successful.

Kids also benefited from an article on childhood obesity in the Irish
Times. FAST Kids programmes were held up as the ideal model in how best
to address the obesity epidemic in Ireland. FAST Kids are now providing
services in Dublin, Offaly, Laois, Meath, Westmeath, Louth, Galway.

In other related news…

Kids director, James Nolan has been appointed Head of Paralympic
Athletics in Ireland to lead the Irish team to the London 2012
Paralympic Games. Congratulations James!

Ruairí McKiernan –

McKiernan's organisation are piloting a new youth civic
empowerment programme in Galway this summer. 12 people aged between
16-25 will be given support, training and resources aimed at
encouraging them to assume greater leadership roles in making a
difference in the world around them. 

Stephanie Fitzgerald – Saoirse Support/Destine

Saoirse Support is now!
Destine, an acronym for Discovering Exceptional Strengths and Talents
in Everyone, follows on from the work of Saoirse in providing an
educational support network that aims to support, inform and empower
parents, guardians and professionals working and living with children
involved in the education system.  

was founded by Educational Psychologist, Stephanie Fitzgerald, who is
passionate about providing practical support to families and schools.
 Destine provides an online service where members of our network can
share experiences and ask questions with input from our Educational
Psychologist.  In the last couple of months they have been very busy
providing their ‘Taking our Families Forward Programme’ in the Family
Centre in Castlebar.  They have also been invited to speak on local
radio and to give presentations, supported by the Mayo Education
Centre, to teachers and parents around practical supports and
strategies for supporting children diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD.  

Onwards and Upwards!

Helene Hugel – Helium

Hugel has recently participated in Business to Arts For Impact
Training. The training aims to develop fundraising skills in
individuals and their organisations and has been very inspiring. 

Helium has been awarded 'Highly Commended'
in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards for a partnership with the HSE
and Centre for Health Informatics Trinity College Dublin on the Puppet
Portal Project. Helium was also nominated for an innovation award from
the Neurological Alliance of Ireland. 

is currently working on Infant Imaginings, a work-in-progress
performance for babies and their parents. She is performing in Health
Centres in County Sligo and will also be visiting two centres in
Tallaght. She hopes to use this research to further develop the
performance. As a result of local publicity, Helene has been asked to
work with a local Mother and Baby group. 

is delighted that several films made by children working with Helium
artists during the Puppet Portal Project were screened at the Fresh
Film Festival in Limerick and the artists’ blogs on were nominated for the Irish Blog Awards.

3Dcamp speakers list

May 17, 2010

3Dcamp 2010 takes place in the Institute of Technology Tallaght on Saturday May 29th. We have an interesting line up of speakers thus far and there is still time to Register to Speak. Or please Register to Attend if you're the shy and retiring type 😉

image from

Virtual Worlds pilot programme in Carlow primary school

May 10, 2010 is "an online survival guide for parents and teachers of gifted children in Ireland".

"Does an exceptionally bright child mean an exceptionally bright future? Not necessarily. Parenting in itself can be daunting but parenting a "gifted" child can be incredibly challenging. Unlike many other countries there are scant resources available in Ireland for exceptionally able kids"

We're delighted at Daynuv to have teamed up with to pilot a new ICT initiative aimed at supporting a group of exceptionally able students in Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc Carlow. The pilot is the first of its kind in Ireland to use 3D modelling software and
programming tools to teach part of the primary school curriculum in a
learning support setting. 

A full article on the partnership has now been published on the website and I'll excerpt below just one quote from the children involved –

"Daynuv is not a game, it is a hobby and a tool. When such
a programme, granting the ability to create anything and the chance to
interact with other people, is used in the education of children the
possibilities are massive. The programme allows children to understand
architecture. The control of the land is excellent. Not only can
buildings be erected but looking out on the horizon we can see
mountains, lakes and valleys of our own creation. In creating replicas
of true buildings we gain a deeper knowledge of the processes, toils
and triumphs used in building. The programme is enjoyable to use and is
a fascinating meeting place for classmates."
~ Conor