COVID-19 Response Fund


The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund

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The Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving devastating to nonprofit organizations across the island of Ireland. The key services they provide to Ireland’s communities have never been more vital. Yet organizations are facing limited resources and collapsing fundraising streams as they strive to deliver. For some, this crisis is challenging not only their reach, but their very existence.

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100% of every gift goes directly to outstanding organizations serving the greatest needs across the island of Ireland. The Ireland Funds’ expertise and insight into the nonprofit sector ensures that all gifts are used where the need is the greatest.

Make a Gift to support much-needed services to communities across Ireland.
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Impact

The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund has identified the following priority areas: 
  • Food and Food Distribution
  • Disability Support
  • Domestic & Child Abuse (Family Support)
  • Elderly Services
  • Access to Education
  • Mental Health
  • Community Support
The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is proud to support the work of these outstanding organizations:

174 Trust, Alone, AsIAm, Barnardos, COPE Galway, DePaul, The National College of Ireland Early Learning Initiative, Fighting Words Northern Ireland, FoodCloud, Good Shepherd Cork, Irish Men’s Sheds, Irish Wheelchair Association, Jigsaw, Learning Hub Limerick, Making Connections, MyMind, Safe Ireland, Tech2Students.

Make a Gift to support much-needed services to communities across Ireland.
100% of your gift goes directly to outstanding organizations.

Make a Gift


Emergency Grants – Rounds 1 & 2
The following organizations are examples of how The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is now at work on the ground:

174 Trust in Belfast has pivoted its cross-community services and is now serving as a food-hub to the local neighborhood. Support is now ensuring that 174 Trust can safely deliver meals each week to hundreds of vulnerable people in the community.

“THANK YOU to your Donors. The support helps ensure we can continue operating the food hub that’s currently helping in excess of 350 families every week as the crisis continues. Thanks to The Ireland Funds for helping us keep the doors open!”
– Rev. Bill Shaw of the 174 Trust

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Alone coordinates the care and support of all older people in Ireland. The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is helping meet the cost of training and vetting volunteers to ensure that the 1,100 daily calls to its hotline can be answered and older people in need can be helped.


2000+ people have remotely accessed AsIAm programs since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Support is ensuring that it can continue to innovate to effectively support members of the autism community.


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Barnardos is currently working with over 2,700 families affected by domestic abuse, mental health challenges, addiction and homelessness. Support is delivering crisis services, safety planning for those faced with domestic abuse, food parcels, diapers and other essential items.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, COPE Galway has seen the demand for its meals program increase by 300%. Support has provided over 40,000 meals to older people in the community and much-needed services to those affected by homelessness and domestic abuse.


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Depaul cares for Ireland’s homeless population many of whom are at high risk for COVID-19. Support from The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is helping provide hundreds of beds each night that safely adhere to social distancing. Support is also providing medical equipment to care for this vulnerable community.

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Support for The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) of the National College of Ireland is providing remote home visits, activity packs and materials to 1000+ educationally-disadvantaged children and their families to create a positive home learning environment during the COVID-19 crisis.


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Closure of schools in Northern Ireland has forced Fighting Words Northern Ireland to adapt the delivery of all its creative writing programs. Support is providing for staff members who are directly helping over 1,000 young people make sense of their experiences of this quarantine through the most compelling and human act of writing stories.

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Food distribution is facing unprecedented challenges. Support for FoodCloud is helping continue delivery of food to 700+ charity partners across Ireland reaching 250,000 people in need.


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Good Shepherd Cork provides emergency shelter and services to families in crisis. Support is helping up to 100 families with safe accommodation, tablets for homeless children to access education, and other emergency supplies.


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Irish Men’s Sheds Association provides critical social and supportive environments. All 450 sheds have now closed following the Government’s instructions but they are pivoting to keep members in touch with one another using technology. They have also launched an island-wide #CallThemForACuppa campaign to encourage public to phone those socially isolated during COVID-19. Support is ensuring that the program will exist once the pandemic is over and social isolation will not once again become the norm for many users.

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Irish Wheelchair Association serves over 4,000 people a week. Essential services of food shopping, filling of prescriptions and vital daily care are still being provided. Support is purchasing Personal Protective Equipment to ensure that frontline staff and medically vulnerable users are protected while still receiving vital care.

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COVID-19 has exacerbated the long-existing youth mental health crisis in Ireland. Support is enabling Jigsaw to meet the rising costs of their digital resources which ensure that any young person, parent or teacher in Ireland can turn to Jigsaw as a resource. To date over 112,000 people have used their online services since the grant was made.

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Support from The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is helping Learning Hub Limerick pivot to deliver its educational and mentorship programs in a secure, child-friendly and safe online environment. Hundreds of families, many deeply disadvantaged, are benefitting.

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Support for Making Connections is helping ensure that those most at risk/ living alone are supported during the COVID-19 crisis. It has mobilized 100 volunteers to provide shopping, offer emotional support and monitor phone lines for older people in need. Nutritious, hot meals are provided 6x a week for older people and those with underlying health conditions.

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MyMind has almost 2,000 clients who rely on its mental health counseling services. Support is improving and delivering online counseling at a time when face-to-face counseling can no longer be provided. It is anticipated that these improvements will be of great benefit even after the pandemic is over.

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Support for SAFE Ireland is providing for the immediate needs of over 300 women and children experiencing domestic violence including food, basic supplies, accommodation and other to keep women and children safe in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.


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Education is not being accessed by many of Ireland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged students due to lack of technology at home. Support for Tech2Students – a collaboration between Trinity Access Program & Camara Ireland – is providing computers and software to ensure all students can continue their education during these challenging times.

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Emergency Grants – Rounds 3 & 4
The following organizations are examples of how The Ireland Funds COVID-19 Response Fund is now at work on the ground:

Threshold’s mission is to prevent homelessness from occurring by providing practical legal support and advice to families across Ireland who are at risk of losing their home. In response to the economic chaos caused by COVID and the ever-growing unemployment, funding has supported the Threshold’s Specialist COVID-19 Housing Service. In 5 months, Threshold were able to support 120 families to remain in their homes, no longer under threat of illegal eviction.


Longford Women’s Link is a community organisation and social enterprise that works to connect women with the resources to help improve and change their own and their families’ lives. Longford Women’s Link’s Domestic Violence Service (LWLDVS) has seen an unparalleled increase in demand for assistance and funding has allowed LWL to employ a designated relief staff member for 12 weeks to respond to the surge in demand and provide women and their children with vital and time-sensitive support.


Kinship Care NI’s mission is support children in Northern Ireland who cannot be cared for by their own parents to live safely and securely within their own families and communities. Support during the pandemic has enabled Kinship Care NI to deliver one-to-one support via Zoom to 58 children and young people, in tandem with delivering online mindfulness and self-care workshops to 75 carers across Northern Ireland.


Based in Co. Cork, Active Connections is an adventure therapy organisation working with young people with additional needs such as anxiety, intellectual disabilities, or those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Through a series of therapeutic programs and adventure-based activities, the organizations aims to avoid family, foster and residential care home placement break down. Funding from The Ireland Funds is allowing Active Connections to work with 120 young people with complex needs through their ‘Embers Activity Hub’, a digital space designed to provide a virtual and COVID-safe experience similar to their in-person activity camps.


Blackwater Valley Opera Festival is Ireland’s only summer opera festival, aiming to promote classical music and opera across the island of Ireland. Due to COVID, much of their operations were forced to cease. Support from The Ireland Funds enabled Blackwater Valley Opera to carry out a series of “Covid Care Concerts” for residents of 10 nursing homes, bringing music and musical memory to older people who have experienced significant isolation due to the COVID crisis.


Me4Mental, based in Derry/Londonderry, provides practical information and guidance in the area of mental health. Support is ensuring that Me4Mental can keep their doors (virtually) open and their phone lines active so that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can access essential and timely support.


Located in West Belfast, Upper Andersonstown Community Forum supports residents through training programs, childcare facilities and well-being initiatives. Support has funded the roll out of a COVID-19 support progam for the community, ranging from virtual adult education training classes for young people furloughed due to the pandemic, to engaging older community members in virtual ICT training as a way of combating isolation and loneliness.


FareShare NI is currently working with Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Lidl as well as 20 other local food industry partners to tackle food poverty in Northern Ireland. They are delivering food to over 100 charities on a weekly basis and have established 7 new collection points throughout Northern Ireland to maximize the volume of food distribution and minimize the operating costs. Grant funding from The Ireland Funds supported the annual salary of a FareShare van driver, who is responsible for distributing an average of 100 tons or 238,000 meals to people in need.


Based in Dublin, The Capuchin Day Centre welcomes people in need of food aid, medical care and family supplies for those who have no home or are socially excluded. Respecting their dignity, the centre provides a caring, holistic, and non-judgemental service response to their needs. Support from The Ireland Funds is providing food parcels for 1,400 people, breakfast and showers for 250-300 rough sleepers and allowed for a designated family area where families can enjoy a nutritious meal safely and in line with COVID-19 precautions.


Move4Parkinson’s was established in 2011 to educate, empower and inspire people with Parkinson’s and their families/carers to gain the knowledge and skills they need to improve their quality of life. Centered around their 5 key pillars of exercise, nutrition, treatment, medication awareness, support and emotional well-being, M4P has provided a welcoming space for those with Parkinson’s to learn how to manage their illness. COVID-19 Emergency funding from The Ireland Funds is supporting the monthly costs of running virtual activities such as choir, set dancing and exercise classes – programs which would otherwise have been cancelled in light of funding shortfalls posed by the current pandemic.


Age NI is the leading non-profit supporting older people in Northern Ireland. Funding from The Ireland Funds is enabling Age NI to enhance the newly created Check in and Chat, which will provide vital support to elderly people who may feel socially isolated, and to recruit and train 50 new volunteers for this telephone service. The Check in and Chat service provides emotional support through a weekly telephone call from a dedicated, trained volunteer to reduce isolation and loneliness. Surveys carried out by Age NI in fall 2020 highlighted that 81% of service users had increased social contact, 94% of service users felt the service had reduced their feelings of isolation and loneliness and 97% of service users reported an improvement in their physical wellbeing and health.


St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is Ireland’s largest independent, not-for-profit mental health service provider. The organizations provides care and treatment for a range of mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, psychosis and more, as well as mental health difficulties in older adults and young adults. In addition to inpatient care, the organization has introduced a new homecare service involving the highest levels of one-to-one mental health support, delivered remotely through daily or more frequent contact through phone, video and online technologies. Funding from The Ireland Funds is being used to create a suite of digital content and online resources to enrich and strengthen the organization’s remote programming. An example of video content the funding will support is an online resource for adolescents with a complete overview of what to expect of services, from virtual admission to meeting with multidisciplinary care team members.


Founded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minding Creative Minds offers free mental health, well-being and support programs to anyone working in the Irish music industry, both in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Funding from The Ireland Funds is being used to develop and roll out an app in conjunction with Spectrum Life that enables users of their 24/7 well being services to contact and chat with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist, and to have immediate access to information and resources to enable them to cope, prosper and reach their potential within their creative field.


Children’s Books Ireland is the national charity and arts organization that champions every child’s right to develop a love of reading in Ireland. With support from The Ireland Funds, Children’s Books Ireland will gift a library of excellent, educational books to four schools in need. An author or illustrator will be appointed the Champion of Reading in each school, and this individual will build engagement around reading in classrooms and establish a culture of reading through a series of six virtual visits.


Mercy Law Resource Centre provides free legal advice and representation to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the areas of
social housing and related social welfare law. Funding from The Ireland Funds is ensuring that MLRC can continue its services which include; free legal
advice clinics in a number of hostels for homeless people; legal support and training to organizations working in the field of homelessness, and its
befriending service which helps people navigate the legal system who may find it difficult or alienating.


Teen-Turn provides teenage girls with the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM experience and the support to acquire qualifications and employment. Through after school activities, work placements, alumnae networking, mentorship and career development programs, Teen-Turn aims to positively influence educational choices, inform participants on career options, and combat stereotypes about women in technology. Support from The Ireland Funds has allowed Teen-Turn to hire a part time staff member to ensure the delivery of its core programs and activities.


Based in Dublin, Inner City Helping Homeless provides support, assistance, food and clothing to homeless people in Dublin. The ICHH outreach volunteers are on the streets 7 nights a week, 365 days a year offering practical supports to people that are sleeping rough in doorways, parks, squats and places off the beaten track. The organization’s nightly walking and mobile teams are stocked up with food, drinks, sleeping bags, toiletry packs, clothes and also offer accommodation supports and most importantly a non-judgemental compassionate ear. Funding from The Ireland Funds is being used to provide food and sustenance to those most in need.


Based in the West of Ireland, Helplink Mental Health provides accessible, free or low cost mental health services locally, nationally and internationally 7 days a week and out of hours. The organization provides a range of services including gambling, addiction and alcohol counselling services, as well as bereavement therapy and youth counselling. Support from The
Ireland Funds is ensuring that Helplink can respond to the COVID-19 crisis by offering free counselling, in person and online, to those who have lost their job or are their struggling with their mental health and emotional well-being.


Founded in 2007, Leitrim Calling is a confidential friendly telephone call service available to elderly and vulnerable people experiencing isolation and loneliness. Operated by a team of highly trained volunteers, funding from The Ireland Funds is ensuring that the line can remain open and that new volunteers can be trained to accommodate the rise in number of clients availing of the service.


 

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Opportunity

This is an extraordinary opportunity for donors to support pressing needs, while also striving to ensure the longer-term provision of services. We encourage donors and corporations to contact us to discuss tailored opportunities for impact.


Make a Gift to support much-needed services to communities across Ireland.
100% of your gift goes directly to organizations making a significant impact.

Make a Gift

We thank our friends for coming together to care for Ireland at this incredibly challenging time.