Soar Founder Tony Griffin says the Foundation Wouldn’t Exist Without the Support of the Ireland Funds
Soar founder Tony Griffin has said his foundation wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the support of the Ireland Funds. Griffin was speaking at the Melbourne Young Leaders’ ‘Soar Into Better Health and Wellbeing’ event in Melbourne.
“Soar was inspired by a documentary I watched on Jim Stynes,” Griffin said.
“We made the trip out here to learn about what he did with ‘Reach’, so to be back out here years later having worked with thousands of Irish young people ourselves is very special. None of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the Ireland Funds and the support of the people in this room.”
Soar is a collective movement which believes that there is greatness within all young people. The foundation delivers early intervention-preventative, wellness workshops for young people aged 12 to 18 years from all backgrounds. The programmes aim to help young people fulfil their true potential. So far, the foundation has worked with more than 30,000 young people in Ireland. Griffin said the foundation’s goal is to one day have a Soar programme in all secondary schools.
“Our dream is that one day, when you’re back in Ireland and you’re walking down Grafton street or you’re in Athenry in Galway, that every young person you meet, who has graduated from secondary (high) school, will have been through a Soar program.” he said.
The Ireland Funds Australia has contributed more than $185,000 in grants to Soar between 2015 and 2018. Griffin said the foundation’s new program for teenage girls between 15 and 18 years of age was a direct result of the funding. The ‘Stripped’ program provides a space where girls feel truly comfortable to use their voices, explore their identity and challenge the status quo of female stereotypes and societal expectations.
“If it wasn’t for the support of the Funds, Stripped just wouldn’t exist,” Griffin said.
The health and wellbeing event, kindly hosted by Deloitte and MC’ed by Sandra Booth, was an opportunity for the Melbourne Young Leaders to say thank you to all those who supported the Ireland Funds Australia events during 2018. Gavan Duffy from Movember Australia (originally from Kerry) also spoke at ‘Soar Into Better Health and Wellbeing’ emphasising the importance of men talking about their issues. Paul Taylor from the Body-Brain Performance Institute offered his coaching expertise to educate attendees on how new daily habits can improve their quality of life.