Heart of the Community Fund

The Ireland Funds
Heart of the Community Fund 2023

The Heart of the Community Fund is an open grant round designed to meet the needs of not-for-profit organisations delivering vital services and supports to people across the island of Ireland.

The Ireland Funds recognises the challenges organisations face in securing funding to build their capacity or meet their core costs. The Heart of the Community Fund 2023 is providing grants to meet these needs.

94 organisations selected from 24 counties for support of $1,000,000

Arts & Culture : 16
Community Development : 45
Education : 26
Peace & Reconciliation : 7


The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund 2023

The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund 2023 is providing critical and timely funding to a wide range of not-for-profit organizations across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Projects Supported in 2023


Learning Hub Limerick

The Learning Hub provides a safe welcoming learning space to increase the educational and social aspirations of local young people. It is situated in a part of Limerick affected by early school leaving and low levels of educational attainment, leading to intergenerational poverty.

“Learning Hub Limerick is constantly seeking ways to improve its services to the community and to reach more of those who need our help most. This task is made more difficult as we are faced with increasing costs such as soaring energy prices, increased insurance premiums and high inflation which impacts the costs of all our supplies. However, The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund counteracts these costs. It means that we can deliver summer provision of the highest quality and look forward to planning and strategizing for the academic year, with security that would have been impossible without this support. On behalf of everyone here at the Learning Hub Limerick, we are incredibly grateful!”
– James Blake, CEO

Community Action Network

CAN is a social justice organisation that is dedicated to creating a more equal and just society that has the well-being of citizens at its heart. It works on issues of housing, health, education, poverty, youth alienation and racism, placing those most impacted at the heart of change processes that are both systemic and lasting.

MyMind Centre for Mental Wellbeing

Ireland is experiencing a mental health crisis, with demand for services on the rise. MyMind provides affordable and accessible talk-therapies (online and in-person), addressing cost, travel, waiting list and language barriers. It is working to create 10 new community hubs across Ireland in community/primary healthcare settings such as GP clinics and family resource centres.

Integrated Education Fund

Whilst around 70% of parents express support for more Integrated Education, just under 8% of children in Northern Ireland attend an integrated school. The Integrated Education Fund supports the establishment of new schools, the growth of existing schools and those schools seeking to become integrated through Transformation. By 2025, it aims to be working towards 100 Integrated Schools (it currently works with 70).

Lyric Theatre

The Lyric is the beating cultural heart of Northern Ireland, an industrious and award-winning producing theatre and the biggest employer of freelance theatre makers across Northern Ireland. Each year, it creates 13 large-scale productions and delivers outreach programmes engaging with 15,000 young people.

Atlantic Corridor Links Ltd t/a Midlands Science

The Midlands region has a history of socio-economic disadvantage in Ireland, with incomes in the region below the national average. Low engagement with further education, in particular in regards to STEM beyond secondary school, is a significant barrier to increasing local incomes. Midlands Science delivers STEM outreach programmes and events to over 16,000 people aged 5-18 yrs in the Midlands.

“Midlands Science is delighted to receive support from The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund. It will help us to build organisational capacity in a number of vital areas, all of which contribute to us engaging more communities with science in a way that is really meaningful. The work of Midlands Science focuses on long-term engagement and making a difference in people’s lives, so we are proud to work with The Ireland Funds, an amazing organisation that shares our commitment to communities.”
– Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midland Science

National College of Ireland – Early Learning Initiative

The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) is a project of the National College of Ireland. It works to break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and address educational underachievement in marginalised communities through home visiting, family engagement and community supports. Over the past 15 years, the ParentChild+ (PC+) home visiting programme has been proven to strengthen families and prepare young children to start school ready to succeed.


AsIAm is Ireland’s National Autism Charity. Our vision is an Ireland in which every Autistic person is accepted “as they are”. Its approach is grounded in capacity building – working to support Autistic people and families to participate in every aspect of Irish life, whilst simultaneously supporting communities and public, private and voluntary organisations to identify and understand the accessibility barriers faced by Autistic people in order to take action to remove those barriers.

Sensational Kids CLG

Access to assessments, diagnoses and developmental therapies is at crisis point in Ireland, with 86,000 children on long public waiting lists to access these services. Sensational Kids exists to provide these services quicker than public services and without the prohibitive expense of private services.

“We are so grateful to The Ireland Funds for their continued support. Funding from The Ireland Funds has helped up to continue to deliver life-changing therapies to the children who need it most. I would like to thank The Ireland Funds and their donors for their generosity. Their support is positively impacting the lives of so many children every year through early intervention and therapy supports with Sensational Kids.”
– Karen Leigh, Founder & CEO, Sensational Kids

Irish Chamber Orchestra

Irish Chamber Orchestra challenges the traditionally exclusionary conventions of classical music by serving as an inclusive and equitable orchestra, driven to perform for the widest possible audience and to be a catalyst for lasting social change. Its Sing Out with Strings programme provides free music lessons to children from disadvantaged communities in Limerick.

“Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) is hugely grateful to The Ireland Funds for its generous support which enables ICO to address key capacity building needs, further realising elements of our new 3-year Organisational Strategy, as well as elevating the ICO brand, and strategic direction of our work in communities. This funding will maximize impacts across the organisation, from Brand to Education. Philanthropic support is critical to ICO. It allows us to present concerts, to expand our education initiatives, to foster young musicians while developing exciting programmes to connect new audiences. We simply could not pursue key capacity building without this vital support from The Ireland Funds”
– Gerard Keenan, CEO of Irish Chamber Orchestra

Fatima Groups United

Fatima Groups United was established to address and prevent poverty, disadvantage and social exclusion by leading the regeneration of Fatima, an area of extreme poverty in Dublin 8. It brings together groups to operate services and engage cooperatively with statutory agencies, creating a safe and lively hub from which to deliver services to its community.

Daisyhouse Housing Association

There are over 3,000 women in Ireland experiencing homelessness. Their needs are different to those of men experiencing homelessness. Daisyhouse provides accommodation and wrap-around support to homeless women in recovery from substance misuse for a period of up to eighteen months with aftercare support.

Belvedere Youth Club CLG

Belvedere Youth Club provides afterschool and youth programmes to disadvantaged young people aged between 7-24 years in Dublin’s North East Inner City. It works to create access to opportunities for its young people through informal educational programmes and employment programmes.

Citywise Education

Citywise Education provides education and social supports to young people in underserved communities, particularly in West Tallaght. The aim of all its programmes is to ensure that economic deprivation does not lead to educational underachievement.

Inner City Enterprise

Inner City Enterprise supports long term unemployed, migrants, women and other disadvantaged individuals to start and sustain small businesses in Dublin’s Inner City. It also works to develop the Social enterprise sector, and supports youth entrepreneurs through its young entrepreneurs programme.

Speedpak Group

Speedpak uses a Work Integration Social Enterprise model to recruit long term unemployed talent who are more distanced from the labour market and find it difficult to secure employment without support. This involves working with people with disabilities, criminal convictions, those with low formal education and new communities, and providing them with work experience and industry led training in a real commercial setting.

Women For Election

Ireland is currently ranked 101st in the world and 7th lowest in Europe for gender equality in politics, with men holding 77% of the Dail seats and 76% of council seats. Women for Election is working to solve the high levels of gender inequality and under representation of women in politics through bespoke training and mentoring programmes, combined with advocacy for evidence based solutions and public awareness raising. In 2023 it is scaling up its “Count Her In” campaign.

Holy Trinity Youth Centre

Holy Trinity Youth Centre is the sole full-time, voluntary provider of youth services for the Turf Lodge area. It provides a range of activities, events, programmes and projects which endeavour to be both stimulating and challenging for young people growing up in an area facing significant disadvantage.

“Without the support of The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund, Holy Trinity Youth Centre would not be able to provide essential services to young people. One example includes the grassroots peacebuilding project that has brought young people from divided communities together to examine their shared history and develop meaningful relationships. This would not have happened never mind be possible without The Ireland Funds’ support.”
– Conor Largey, Senior Youth Worker Holy Trinity Youth Centre.

“We just wanted to get to know the people from the “other side” we want to move on and be a part of a community that gets along and respects each other”
– Chloe, centre attendee

“This [project] has been brilliant. All the activities and topics we have done and getting to know new young people like us who have different views has been class, I’ve learned so much and can’t wait to see what we can do next”
– Daniel, centre attendee

Politics in Action

Politics in Action supports the civic animation of young people around issues that are important to them in cross-community groups, in schools and communities. Working together after school and in a different school each week, young people from cross-community clusters work together to identify an issue of common concern and build a shared solution.

Holywell Trust

Holywell Trust is a community relations and development organisation working to foster better relationships and social transformation of the North West. It has a strong track record of developing and delivering community relations and community development activities that build relationships across traditional lines, challenge prejudice, increase capacity, improve skills, encourage partnership working, and create a safe space (both physical and notional) to have difficult but important conversations.

Dublin Theatre Festival

Dublin Theatre Festival brings world-class theatre to Dublin, supports artists in creating outstanding work and provides a platform to showcase the best theatre to the world. It welcomes a diverse audience to experience excellent work by local and international artists across 20+ venues for 3 weeks each year.

Children’s Grief Centre

The Children’s Grief Centre is a free support service for children and young people affected by loss, through death, parental separation and divorce. As of April this year, it had a waiting list of 194 children who urgently needed a safe and supportive environment to process their loss.

County Longford Traveller Health Care Project – Longford Community Resources

There is a significant Traveller population in Longford and many key health agencies report that their programme and service has difficulty reaching the Traveller population. Longford Traveller Health Care Project builds relationships with local travellers to create trust and facilitate referrals on to other healthcare providers.

“We know that the effects of The Ireland Funds’ support will enhance our efforts to support stakeholders in the county to engage and appropriately respond to the Traveller community who experience high levels of health inequities, and, as such, will work towards improving the health and social gain of the Traveller community in Longford.”
– Yvonne Canning, Project Co-Ordinator, Traveller Health Care Project Longford Community Resources clg

Mercy Law Resource Centre

Mercy Law Resource Centre (MLRC) works with people in housing crisis to help them overcome legal barriers that prevent them from accessing safe, secure housing. MLRC is the only free legal service in Ireland dedicated to homelessness and social housing. As the housing crisis becomes more entrenched, its clients are in increasingly desperate situations.

Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation

The Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation works to prevent and transform political and inter-communal conflict and build peaceful, inclusive societies. As the Republic of Ireland’s only peace centre, and through its role in the peace process, Glencree is uniquely qualified within the international peacebuilding community to transform conflict.

“Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Heart of the Community Fund grant by The Ireland Funds. This grant will allow us further develop our site, peace building, and business activities as we move one step closer to establishing our campus as a Centre for Peace Education and Learning Exchanges. We are extremely appreciative of The Ireland Funds ongoing support with this endeavour.”
– Naoimh McNamee, CEO

Blue Teapot Theatre Company

Blue Teapot is an award winning Theatre Company, Performing Arts School and Community Theatre Programme for people with intellectual disabilities. It also provides ancillary supports, such as Speech Therapy, to improve voice, breathing and articulation. Not only does this help for performances, it greatly improves every-day communication.

St Joseph’s NS

St Joseph’s NS is a DEIS Band 1 primary school located in an extremely disadvantaged community with high levels of crime, unemployment, poverty and intergenerational trauma in the area. It is piloting a Nurture Room; a specific space for children to deal with trauma, form a secure attachment to an adult and have a positive experience with their education. This has the potential to completely revolutionize how children with trauma are supported at school.

National Youth Federation t/a Youth Work Ireland

The Irish Youth Music Awards is a flagship programme of Youth Work Ireland. The programme runs from September to June each year. It uses proven outreach youth work methodologies to provides participants with personal development, employability skills, career and educational support via creative hands-on Music-based Education.

Temple Bar Gallery and Studios Ltd.

Temple Bar Gallery and Studios was founded in response to the need for affordable studio spaces and has been a key player in providing a vital resource for artists in Dublin. The situation has worsened in recent years due to rising rents and property prices, with many artists being pushed out of Dublin. It is more important than ever to ensure artists have access to affordable studio spaces in a dynamic location with opportunities to engage with a diverse audience.

The Model Arts and Niland Gallery

The Model’s mission is to bring the transformative & illuminating power of the arts into people’s everyday lives. It works to actively remove barriers that prevent people from engaging with its work, and works hard to bring art outside of the institution right into the heart of Sligo communities through meaningful community partnerships.

“We are thrilled to have received funding from The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund. The impact of this funding on our organisation will be tremendous, allowing us to continue our mission of bringing the transformative power of the arts to people’s everyday lives. It will increase the reach of our innovative programming and community partnerships, which create such meaningful connections, promote social inclusion, and make a lasting cultural impact in the Northwest region. The support and funding from The Ireland Funds will keep the heartbeat of arts, culture and outreach programmes pumping strongly in the Sligo community for the year ahead. The mood, atmosphere and collective community pulse are all up lately – all thanks to The Ireland Funds! The difference the funding will make is unquestionable.”
– Glenn Gannon, Development Officer, The Model, home of the Niland Collection

The Crann Centre

The Crann Centre provides healthcare, mental welfare and social inclusion solutions for over 380 families impacted by a neuro-physical disability in Munster. Its team of expert health care professionals pioneer a 2 generation approach that supports both the person with disability and their family. It provides innovative and bespoke solutions for neuro-physical conditions including Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Arthrogryposis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis.

“We are delighted to receive a grant from The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund 2023. This is our second year in receipt of this this vital funding. In 2022, a grant from The Ireland Funds allowed us to create an accessible bird hide in our Inclusive Conservation Area. I founded The Crann Centre with a mission to break the system of fragmented care for people with neuro-physical disabilities and their families. Today, our team of expert health care professionals pioneer a two-generation approach that supports both the person with the disability and their family. We are now providing life-long, life-changing supports to over 380 families living with neuro-physical conditions in Munster. This recent funding will help us cover core costs and allow our team to serve more families throughout the year. Thank you to The Ireland Funds for the kindness and ongoing support.”
– Kate Jarvey, Founder & Chair of the Board, The Crann Centre

LGBT Support and Advocacy Network Ireland

Rising levels of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes made 2022 the most violent year for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Europe in a decade. Ireland was not immune, with physical assaults reported every month of the year. As a result, much of LGBT Ireland’s work is focused on providing support to victims, convening the LGBTQ+ Garda sectoral working group to push for a coordinated policing response, and advocating at a national level for effective hate crime legislation.

The Haven Hub

The Haven Hub is a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention organisation that offers a late night drop-in centre, mental health  courses and support groups. The peak time for suicide in the Republic of Ireland is midnight when most mental health support organisations are closed. The Haven operates a late night drop-in centre until 2am in Limerick and Ennis for people at risk or struggling to cope.

Barrow Valley Community Development

Barrow Valley Community Development was established to improve the social, environmental and economical landscape of the Barrow Valley, an area with one of the highest rates of unemployment in County Kilkenny. It has successfully established a Tourism Hub in Graiguenamanagh that has brought in an estimated €1.5m in tourism revenue to the area and is now working to ensure as much of the Hub as possible is powered by renewable energy.

“Barrow Valley Community Development in Graiguenamanagh is delighted to have been supported by The Ireland Funds through the Heart of the Community Fund. This grant will help us to expand our solar panel project and enable more residents in our community to power their houses with solar energy.” – Mijke Jansen, Manager, Barrow Valley Community Development

Spraoi agus Spórt Family Centre Ltd

Spraoi agus Spórt provides fun, affordable and inclusive opportunities, experiences and activities that are aligned to the needs of the community. It is based in a rural area where the lack of services limits access to education, peer-support, and recreational opportunities, hindering development and well-being, exacerbating inequalities, hampering economic growth, and necessitating innovative solutions to secure a better future for all.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to The Ireland Funds for its invaluable support. This funding will be transformative for Spraoi agus Sport, enabling us to expand our programmes, reach more children and young people, and provide vital support to parents of babies and toddlers with disabilities. The impact of the Heart in the Community Fund is immeasurable, empowering us to make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of families in our rural area.” – Helen Nolan, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Spraoi agus Sport

Doras Luimní

Doras Luimní provides direct support to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, including access to justice, education, employment, health and well-being support. It also helps refugee and migrant communities in Limerick to participate in all aspects of social, economic and political life. An increasing number of people accessing Doras services have housing issues or are homeless.

Narrative 4 Ireland

Narrative 4 wants to revolutionise social and emotional care for young people in Ireland. With stark youth mental health statistics reported, we need a system wide preventive approach. Its solution is a social and emotional learning programme for secondary schools across Ireland. The programme has been found to increase empathy skills, increase positive emotions in young people, decrease reported incidents of bullying and improve the teacher/student relationship.

Making Connections

Research shows that lack of physical activity and social engagement damages independence, health, and wellbeing. Making Connections works to alleviate isolation and loneliness by providing befriending programmes and healthy activities to older people based in an area with a significant ageing population.

Community Law & Mediation

Community Law & Mediation is an independent law centre primarily working with people who are disadvantaged and struggle to access justice or receive legal advice when necessary. It offers a range of services including free legal advice, information and representation; mediation and conflict coaching, and education and training across multiple areas of law, including employment, equality, housing, social welfare, environmental justice, family and child law.

One in Four

Long-term effects of child sexual abuse include substance misuse, self-harm, suicidal tendencies, difficulties in relationships and chronic health and psychological issues. One in Four works to end the trauma of child sexual abuse through the provision of psychotherapy and advocacy services for men and women victim-survivors of child sexual abuse. It also provides psychotherapy for perpetrators of sexual harm that supports them from re-offending.

North West Play Resource Centre (The Playhouse)

The Playhouse – through arts, culture and education – pro-actively creates community, celebrates diversity and makes space for new meanings to emerge. Its three interdependent areas of endeavour are Making Peaceful Change, Empowering People and Producing Art.

Omagh Men’s Shed

Omagh Men’s Shed builds camaraderie among men – primarily through gardening and woodwork activities. In recent years, it has partnered with a local playgroup to create a mutually beneficial relationship. Members use their gardening and woodwork skills to build bespoke high quality resources for the children at a fraction of the cost of commercial suppliers. This gives the children better tools to aid their learning and gives the men a great sense of purpose.

“Omagh Men’s Shed is concerned with mental health, relieving loneliness, nurturing friendships but at its core, it’s about camaraderie among the men. This Heart of the Community Fund grant will enable our members to continue with their community-focused activities and enterprises, for the good of all that have the good fortune to come into Omagh Men’s Sheds orbit.”
– Christina Kelly, Omagh Men’s Sheds

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s work supports communities to deliver climate action, biodiversity recovery and waste & pollution solutions. This provides local, grassroots driven solutions to the global climate and biodiversity crises we are facing. KNIB has vast experience delivering wide scale environmental education in Northern Ireland.

174 Trust

174 Trust is based in inner north Belfast at the heart of an area high in multiple deprivation, and most impacted by years of the troubles. It provides a ‘shared space’ for people of all ages from the Protestant and Catholic communities to participate in a programme of activities.


BCT is an accredited training organisation, based in the heart of Ardoyne. Its work focuses on vulnerable and marginalised young people who have multiple barriers and face many social and emotional issues impacting upon their ability to progress in education, training or employment. It focuses primarily on providing accredited courses related to jobs in the construction industry for young people who have disengaged from formal education.

Mind Your Mate and Yourself (MYMY)

Mind Your Mate and Yourself (MYMY) was founded due to the lack of mental health support services in the Newcastle and Castlewellan area. The nearest equivalent service is a 40 minute bus journey away. MYMY addresses the need to improve mental health and wellbeing in its community by delivering person centred support services focused on prevention, early intervention and independent self-care.

Outburst Arts Festival

Northern Ireland remains among the most homophobic and transphobic areas of Europe. Outburst Arts was established to address challenging issues of inequity for LGBTQ+ people through arts and social events that created space to amplify marginalised voices and tell stories that are often sidelined. It is acclaimed as one of the leading lights in LGBTQ+ arts across the world.

St. Peters Immaculata Youth Centre

St. Peters Immaculata Youth Centre supports young people aged 8-25 years with developmental learning and educational programmes that are non-formal and strengths-based. It is based in the Lower Falls, where the need is complex and decades long.


WOMEN’STEC supports vulnerable women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their life opportunities. The key challenges it addresses include higher levels of economic inactivity amongst women, significant barriers to education, training and employment, and economic inequality. Its #NotJustForBoys initiative provides opportunities for work placements, apprenticeships, employment and site visits in industries that have traditionally been male-dominated.

Corrymeela Community

In the midst of an increasingly divided society, The Corrymeela Community supports thousands of people from different backgrounds to nurture respectful relationships so we all can live well together. Every year it welcomes a wide range of community, voluntary, youth and schools groups to our beautiful Ballycastle Centre to explore difference together.

Northern Ireland Rape Crisis Association t/a Nexus NI

Nexus NI supports and empowers individuals affected by sexual abuse and abusive relationships to recover and thrive. Last year it supported over 5,000 individuals through counselling and a domestic and sexual abuse (DSA) helpline, to improve their mental health and support their recovery. In addition to working with victim-survivors, it engages with government on new policies and delivers public awareness-raising campaigns.


Outcomers CLG

LGBT+ people experience discrimination, and have poorer health outcomes than their non-LGBT peers. Outcomers seeks to challenge inequality faced by LGBT+ people in Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan. It provides support for members of the community who require it and advocates for change to reduce inequalities in the future.

Foodshare Kerry

In Ireland it is estimated that over 1 million tonnes of food is wasted every single year, while at the same time 1 in 9 of us goes to bed hungry each night. Foodshare Kerry tackles this by operating as a foodbank and surplus redistribution hub to over 40 community organisations, aiming to simultaneously alleviate food poverty and food waste.

“We are delighted to receive funding from The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund. It will allow Foodshare Kerry to adapt to the current, difficult operating environment, allowing us to focus our efforts solely on impact; ensuring we can continue partnering with the amazing charities and community groups, and meeting the fundamental human needs of those most disadvantaged in our county.”
– Courtney Sheehy, Manager, Foodshare Kerry

Leap Support Services CLG

Leap is a family-led, non-profit organisation that works with children and young people with disabilities and their families within the community. It works through Social Role Valorization (SRV), an approach that seeks to enhance the social roles and valued status of people who are devalued or marginalized in society.

Taghmon Family Resource Centre Ltd

Taghmon FRC provides a variety of services to a deprived community where male unemployment is 40.85%, female unemployment is 35%, and 14.1% of the population are members of the traveller community, in comparison 0.7% average across Ireland. It takes a social pedagogical approach that aims to holistically support people’s well-being, learning and development.

“Thanks to The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund we can provide play therapy here at Taghmon Family Resource Centre, giving disadvantaged children and families uncomplicated access to crucial support directly in their community, improving chances of more positive outcomes for children. This therapeutic support will address emotional issues and trauma experienced by many of our children and will give them a brighter future. This service would not be possible without this funding and we are so grateful!”
– Emma Bennett, Taghmon Family Resource Centre

Gort Resource Centre CLG

The Gort Resource Centre provides a wide range of supports and services from Cradle to Grave for individuals, children, and families in its community. It plays a key role in collecting, preparing, and providing food support for over 70 families and individuals in need.

Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha LAN CTR Cill Ulta

Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha is a social enterprise researching and piloting cutting edge techniques to revolutionize agriculture and the wider food system. It has a Center for Sustainable Horticulture and facilitates courses for young people focused on sustainable horticulture and climate mitigation actions.

Sailing Into Wellness

Sailing Into Wellness uses sailing as a vehicle to deliver a holistic mental health program, combining experiential learning, physical activity & social connection. It primarily works with people experiencing addiction recovery, homelessness, the criminal justice system, NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training), youth at risk, intellectual disabilities, and marginalization.

Teach Oscail Resource Project

Teach Oscail is a Family Resource Centre providing a professional respectful and confidential family and community support services to Families, Children and Young people in Cavan using a community development approach.

“Teach Oscail Family Resource Centre supports individuals and families in Cavan through various supports, services, programmes, events and interventions. We pride ourselves on our open, inclusive, welcoming and creative approach in helping our community. This funding from The Ireland Funds will help cover our running costs to ensure we can continue to support the community in whatever they may need.”
Martina Greenan, Community Aftercare Worker, Teach Oscail Family Resource Centre 


FamiliBase is an integrated, community based, not for profit organisation that works with children, young people, and families in Dublin 10. It is in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of Ireland, where services and activities for young people are significantly lacking. Among other services, it delivers a unique youth work music programme, providing access to the arts for socially marginalised young people.

Pairc an Chrocaigh Cuideachta Faoi Theorainn Ráthaíochta

This is the legal entity for the GAA, the national body representing the native gaelic games through a network of community-based clubs. The grant will support Castlegar GAA Club in its campaign to tackle racism and ensure new communities feel welcome joining their local GAA clubs.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship arts festival dedicated to children and families. It believes every child has the right to enjoy the arts, but not every child has the opportunity. Through its festival and year-round projects, it strives to provide access to, and participation in, the arts to all.

Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership CLG

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship arts festival dedicated to children and families. It believes every child has the right to enjoy the arts, but not every child has the opportunity. Through its festival and year-round projects, it strives to provide access to, and participation in, the arts to all.

Opera Collective Ireland

Opera Collective Ireland provides mentored high-level professional performance opportunities for young opera artists at crucial stages in their career. Over the last 10 years, Opera Collective Ireland has presented annual opera productions and many of the young Irish singers have gone on to sing on some of the most prestigious stages of the world eg Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, Vienna State Opera and many more.

“Opera Collective Ireland is thrilled to be among the recipients of funding from The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund. This award will help young Irish opera artists to share their love of and enthusiasm for this wonderful art form with communities the length and breadth of the country.”
– Colette McGahon, Artistic Director, Opera Collective Ireland

Community Creations Ltd.

Community Creations runs Spunout, Ireland’s youth information website that works toward the vision of an Ireland where all young people are empowered and supported to thrive. As part of this it provides a texting support service, ensuring everyone in Ireland has someone to talk to when they need it most. In 2022, 300 volunteers provided immediate support to over 23,000 people experiencing a personal crisis.

Active Connections CLG

Young people that grow up in the care system are much more likely to experience homelessness or end up in prison, suffer from poorer mental health and higher suicide rates. Many of these people will struggle to engage with traditional talk therapy. Active Connections uses activity-based intervention and personal development programmes to support people experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Liquid Therapy

Liquid Therapy provides Surfing and Ocean experiences to individuals, families and community groups who are living with a range of diagnosis and mental health challenges that exclude them from mainstream opportunities. It removes all barriers to inclusion and all its programmes are free to access.

The Sanctuary Runners

The Sanctuary Runners is a solidarity-through-sport initiative. Its award-winning model fosters community integration, encourages social connection, and improves physical and mental health via 30 groups around Ireland. It uses running, jogging, walking, and open sea swimming to bring people of all different backgrounds together, including, and especially, asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.

Sing Ireland

In supporting, enabling, and connecting communities of singers in Ireland, Sing Ireland is on a mission to enhance lives through singing and build stronger voices throughout Irish communities. The voice is a universal instrument. There are no significant barriers to access the playing of this instrument and group singing is a lifelong, innate activity that simply connects people.

“Sing Ireland is thrilled to be an awardee of The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund 2023. As an organisation, we’re on a mission to make a truly meaningful impact on the number of young people who are engaging in youth singing in Ireland, and to achieve equity in access to group singing. This award will allow us to bolster the employment of new resources aimed at achieving youth equality within our organisation and maximise the impact of our work through our youth singing programmes”
– Dermot O’Callaghan (CEO), Sing Ireland.

Cuimhneamh an Chláir

Cuimhneamh an Chláir digitally records, archives and shares the rich traditions, oral heritage and history of Co. Clare, so that present and future generations may benefit from the collective wisdom and lore of an older generation. It does this by sending volunteers to undertake audio interviews with the county’s older citizens in its diverse communities.


Ardaun Roscam Doughiska Family Resource Centre T/A ARD Family Resource Centre

ARD Family Resource Centre is situated in a culturally diverse suburb with a large ethnic population facing structural and economic barriers, and social inequalities. Over 1,500 visitors attend the centre each week to participate in some of the 90 classes or activities aimed at helping individuals and families in the local community throughout the course of their life.


Progression rates to third level education are unevenly distributed as a result of socioeconomic stratification. In affluent areas, 90%+ of students progress. For schools in more disadvantaged areas, this number falls as low as 19%. jumpAgrade aims to reduce this educational inequality by providing online targeted academic (“grinds”) and wellbeing support to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Druid Performing Arts CLG

Druid is primarily a touring theatre company, anchored in the West of Ireland, but looking to the world. It brings its productions to audiences the length and breadth of Ireland as well as to many prestigious festivals and venues worldwide. In 2023 it will present the most ambitious production in the company’s history – DruidO’Casey – all three of Sean O’Casey’s Dublin plays. The production will open in Galway in July before touring to Belfast, Dublin and the US.


Teen-Turn increases third level progression, qualification completion, and job acquisition in STEM by girls from underserved communities through mentored afterschool activities, work placements, academic support, and development opportunities. It works directly with school representatives, mostly from DEIS (Delivering Equality in Schools), to identify girls with promise who lack the confidence or are challenged by obstacles that prevent them from performing in school as well as they potentially can.

The B!g Idea House CLG

The Big Idea House aims to democratise creative thinking, empowering the next generation with critical skills to tackle global issues with local solutions. The creative education programme is delivered through active hybrid workshops, developed by internationally recognised experts and facilitated by teachers from all disciplines from PE to Art to Business.

“The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund offers us exciting opportunities to reach out to new supporters to really amplify the impact of our work. As a non-profit, we rely on the support from our B!G community in Ireland and beyond to help us reach more young people with this free creative thinking programme. We are so grateful to now have the support of The Ireland Funds to help empower the next generation to use creative thinking and problem solving to take on big challenges, because we know that one Big Idea can change our world!”
– Niamh Cooney, Head of Development and Sustainability, The B!G Idea

Akina Dada Wa Africa

AkiDwA works with women seeking international protection living in emergency accommodation centres who are exposed to additional vulnerabilities and exploitation, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Soon it will launch the Unheard Voices project, which will provide women with the opportunity, amongst other things, to learn about their rights, about services and opportunities available to them, and to offer peer-to-peer and psychosocial support.

Children’s Books Ireland

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), finding ways to engage students in reading may be one of the most effective ways to leverage social change. Reading is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background. Children’s Books Ireland exists to inspire a love of reading in children and young people by providing easy access to good quality books. Its vision is simple: Every child a reader.

Childhood Development Initiative

The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) works to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities through evidence-informed prevention and intervention practice, including needs assessment and evidence-based design, sector capacity development and, systems change. It works in partnership with people, taking a strengths-based, family-and child-centred approach that is focused on children’s rights, responding to needs and driving change.

The Junction: Community Relations and Peace Building

The Junction is a peace building initiative fostering value-based ethical relationships, understanding and respect, supporting society to address the legacies of the past and individuals and communities to work towards an inclusive and shared civic society.

Golden Thread Gallery

Golden Thread Gallery plays a vital role in the arts and in the community in Northern Ireland – creating opportunities for people to include art in their daily lives; improving their wellbeing and using it as a tool for making life better.

Waterside Women’s Centre

Waterside Women’s Centre is a grassroots women’s organisation providing education and health programmes for disadvantaged Women. Crucially, it provides access to childcare alongside its programmes to ensure women aren’t facing additional barriers in accessing education and training.

Aspire NI

Aspire NI was established to address the educational attainment gap that exists between rich and poor pupils. All participants on its programme are Free School Meals Eligible (FSME). In 2021/22, the rate of achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C was 81.1% among non-FSME pupils compared to 49% for FSME pupils. Among Aspire participants, the rate of achievement that year was 84%.

“This grant from The Ireland Funds will have an incredibly beneficial impact on our organisation. It will ensure that we are able to cover food and material costs in the nine schools we work with throughout the 2023/24 academic year. As a result of this, disadvantaged young people will be able to receive support, helping reduce the inequality they face in education.”
– Andrew McGuire, Schools Coordinator, Aspire NI

Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative

Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative (FRCI) supports the most disadvantaged, long term unemployed, hard to reach and economically inactive to reach their full potential through skills development and peer support. The aim of FRCI is to “make employment accessible to all”.

“The Ireland Funds Heart of the Community Fund has provided a lifeline of support for Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative (FRCI) to research and provide new opportunities for the socially excluded and isolated within Fermanagh and bordering counties. This comes at a very challenging time for these groups both at a local level, coupled with the mainstream issues within our society today.”
– Ciaran Rooney, Managing Director of FRCI

ARC Fitness Limited

The Northwest of Ireland has been hit hard by a substance use pandemic, and ARC Fitness is committed to fighting it. It promotes a holistic-based approach to recovery through access to physical activity, professional support, and re-connection with the community.

Youth Education Health Advice

Youth Education Health Advice has developed a ‘wraparound model’ of support for young people to support young people aged 12 to 24 with mental health and emotional wellbeing issues. Its ‘wraparound’ approach combines the core principles and approaches of youth work with therapeutic and counselling practices, always putting the young person at the centre of their own support plan.

Monkstown Boxing Club

Monkstown Boxing Club is in an area of high poverty, social and economic deprivation, low educational attainment and ongoing paramilitary linked violence. Monkstown Boxing Club works to ensure young people in the area have ‘somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to’. It provides 1:1 mentoring/counselling sessions; mental health support groups and, issue-based groups for young men and women.

Armoy Community Association

Armoy is a mixed community with an almost 50:50 split from CRN and PUL backgrounds. It is one of the very few evenly mixed rural communities in Northern Ireland and one of a few working-class mixed communities in Northern Ireland. There has been real transformation in relationships across divides in Armoy – it has been hard won, but risks being easily lost. Armoy Community Association works to ensure the good relations remain intact.

Starling Collective

The asylum process is getting increasingly hostile and more inhumane. Starling Collective works with people that have come to Northern Ireland seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status. It takes a trauma informed and holistic approach, which is person focused and needs led. Driving this is a steering group of people with lived experience, who help decide, plan and deliver the services that it offers.

Fighting Words Belfast T/A Fighting Words Northern Ireland

Fighting Words NI provides programmes and mentoring in creative writing to children and young people. It provides the opportunities (writing projects, publishing, public platforms) and the environment (physical/online spaces, mentoring by adults) that promotes writing as a fun and powerful means of self-expression. It offers all activities for free to every participant, using writing as a tool to tackle educational inequality.

St Columbs Park Reconciliation Trust

St Columbs Park Reconciliation Trust works towards building peace in a more holistic way that enables communities to practise peace and good relations in their everyday lives. It designs and implements innovative education, good relations and peacebuilding models and practises that promote environmental, personal and community well-being providing local people with new opportunities to connect and live well together.

Belfast Festival t/a Belfast International Arts Festival

Opportunities to engage with international cultures and perspectives via artistic practice in Northern Ireland are limited, due to ever-decreasing public funding. Belfast International Arts Festival is a multidisciplinary international arts festival providing access to progressive international arts events across Belfast every October.

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment

People with disability are twice as likely to be unemployed and be in lower paid sectors than people without disabilities. Supported Employment is an intervention to assist disabled people to find, maintain and progress in employment. Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment represents organisations promoting employment for disabled people through a Supported Employment model.

Glebe House -The Harmony Community Trust

Glebe House was established at the height of the conflict as a safe space for children and families to have respite from violence. Since 1975 it has been promoting positive community relations and social inclusion. It works with children, young people and adults to contribute to a peaceful, fair, inclusive society that respects diversity.

“We are delighted that The Ireland Funds has chosen to support Harmony Community Trust’s work at Glebe House. This funding will help sustain the cross-community work at our shared space in the beautiful but remote area near Strangford where we are located. We will provide fun activities and support to children, young people, and adults, including local refugee families. We offer our thanks to the donors of The Ireland Funds.”
– Andrew McCracken, Director, Glebe House

Positive Carrickfergus

Positive Carrickfergus is made up of people who live and work in Carrick and want to see it thrive and become a place where the residents of the town take the lead on creating the future of the town – a more sustainable, creative and connected future. It builds community, promotes community-led regeneration & increases civic participation so Carrickfergus is a great place to live. One of its first spin-off initiatives is a community-owned greengrocer.


100% of every gift to the Heart of the Community Fund goes directly to community organizations serving the greatest needs across the island of Ireland.

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2023 Heart of the Community Fund Grants Awarded


Learning Hub LimerickIrelandLimerickEducation
Community Action NetworkIrelandDublinCommunity Development
MyMind Centre for Mental WellbeingIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Atlantic Corridor Links Ltd t/a Midlands Science IrelandOffalyEducation
National College of Ireland - Early Learning Initiative IrelandDublinEducation
Sensational Kids CLGIrelandKildareCommunity Development
Irish Chamber OrchestraIrelandLimerickArts and Culture
Fatima Groups UnitedIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Daisyhouse Housing AssociationIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Belvedere Youth Club CLGIrelandDublinEducation
Citywise Education IrelandDublinEducation
Inner City EnterpriseIrelandDublinEducation
Speedpak GroupIrelandDublinEducation
Women for Election IrelandDublin Community Development
Dublin Theatre Festival IrelandDublinArts and Culture
Children's Grief CentreIrelandLimerickCommunity Development
County Longford Traveller Health Care Project - Longford Community Resources IrelandLongford Community Development
Mercy Law Resource CentreIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation IrelandWicklowPeace and Reconciliation
Blue Teapot Theatre Company IrelandGalwayArts and Culture
St. Josephs NSIrelandDublinEducation
National Youth Federation t/a Youth Work Ireland IrelandDublinEducation
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios Ltd. IrelandDublinArts and Culture
The Model Arts and Niland GalleryIrelandSligoArts and Culture
The Crann CentreIrelandCorkCommunity Development
LGBT Support and Advocacy Network Ireland IrelandDublinCommunity Development
The Haven HubIrelandLimerickCommunity Development
Barrow Valley Community DevelopmentIrelandKilkennyCommunity Development
Spraoi agus Sport Family Centre LtdIrelandDonegalCommunity Development
Doras Luimni IrelandLimerickCommunity Development
Narrative 4 Ireland IrelandLimerickEducation
Making ConnectionsIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Community Law & MediationIrelandDublinCommunity Development
One in FourIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Outcomers CLGIrelandLouthCommunity Development
Foodshare Kerry IrelandKerryCommunity Development
Leap Support Services CLGIrelandWestmeathCommunity Development
Taghmon Family Resource Centre LtdIrelandWexfordCommunity Development
Gort Resource Centre CLGIrelandGalwayCommunity Development
Larionad Acmhainni Nadurtha LAN CTR Cill Ulta IrelandDonegalCommunity Development
Sailing Into WellnessIrelandCorkCommunity Development
Teach Oscail Resource Project IrelandCavanCommunity Development
FamiliBaseIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Pairc an Chrocaigh Cuideachta Faoi Theorainn RathaiochtaIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Baboro International Arts Festival for ChildrenIrelandGalwayArts and Culture
Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership CLGIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Opera Collective Ireland IrelandLouthArts and Culture
Community Creations Ltd. IrelandDublinCommunity Development
Active Connections CLGIrelandCorkCommunity Development
Liquid TherapyIrelandDonegalCommunity Development
The Sanctuary RunnersIrelandCorkCommunity Development
Sing Ireland IrelandClareArts and Culture
Cuimhneamh an ChloirIrelandClareArts and Culture
Ardaun Roscam Doughiska Family Resource Centre T/A ARD Family Resource CentreIrelandGalwayCommunity Development
Druid Performing Arts Company Limited by GuaranteeIrelandGalwayArts and Culture
The Big Idea House CLGIrelandCarlowEducation
Akina Dada Wa AfricaIrelandDublinCommunity Development
Children's Books Ireland IrelandDublinEducation
Childhood Development Initiative IrelandDublinCommunity Development
Lyric TheatreNorthern IrelandAntrimArts and Culture
Integrated Education FundNorthern IrelandAntrimEducation
Holy Trinity Youth CentreNorthern IrelandAntrimEducation
Politics in Action Northern IrelandAntrimEducation
Holywell TrustNorthern IrelandDerryPeace and Reconciliation
North West Play Resource Centre (The Playhouse)Northern IrelandDerryArts and Culture
Omagh Men's ShedNorthern IrelandTyroneCommunity Development
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Northern IrelandAntrimEducation
174 Trust Northern IrelandAntrimPeace and Reconciliation
BCT N.I. C.I.C. Northern IrelandAntrim Education
Mind Your Mate and Yourself (MYMY)Northern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
Outburst Arts Festival Northern IrelandAntrim Arts and Culture
St. Peters Immaculata Youth CentreNorthern IrelandAntrimEducation
WOMEN'STECNorthern IrelandAntrimEducation
Corrymeela Community Northern IrelandAntrimPeace and Reconciliation
Northern Ireland Rape Crisis Association t/a Nexus NINorthern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
The Junction: Community Relations and Peace BuildingNorthern IrelandDerryPeace and Reconciliation
Golden Thread Gallery Northern IrelandAntrimArts and Culture
Waterside Women's Centre Northern IrelandDerryEducation
Aspire NINorthern IrelandArmaghEducation
Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative Northern IrelandFermanaghEducation
ARC Fitness Limited Northern IrelandDerry Community Development
Youth Education Health Advice Northern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
Monkstown Boxing ClubNorthern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
Armory Community Association Northern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
Starling Collective Northern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development
Fighting Words Belfast T/A Fighting Words Northern Ireland Northern IrelandAntrimArts and Culture
St. Columbus Park Reconciliation Trust Northern IrelandDerry Peace and Reconciliation
Belfast Festival t/a/ Belfast International Arts Festival Northern IrelandAntrim Arts and Culture
Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment Northern IrelandDerry Community Development
Glebe House - The Harmony Community Trust Northern IrelandDown Peace and Reconciliation
Positive CarrickfergusNorthern IrelandAntrimCommunity Development