Laois-based farming accident support charity wins Social Enterprise fund award

Express Reporter


Express Reporter

Laois farming support charity wins Social Enterprise fund award

Aoife Hammond, Manager, Dublin Food Co-op; Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland. Photo credit Marc O’Sullivan.

A Laois social enterprise charity formed to support farm accident survivors, has won an award that will help it expand and grow into the future.

Embrace FARM was founded by Laois farmer Brian Rohan (below), after his father Liam died in a farming accident.

The network now holds with support group meetings as well as being an advocate for those facing varied injuries following a farm accident.

It has won a place on Rethink Ireland’s Genesis Programme.

The Genesis Programme is an intensive two-day residential workshop that will focus on building the skills and knowledge needed to develop a sustainable social enterprise and be successful in future funding opportunities.

Today Rethink Ireland announces the 40 Awardees of their Social Enterprise Development Fund; 16 enterprises will receive cash grants and business support. A further 24 enterprises including Embrace FARM, will receive strategic support to help expand their impact through a ‘Genesis Programme’.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million Fund being delivered from 2018 – 2022. The fund was created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development is Joe O’Brien TD

“Embrace FARM and all the recipients of funding and support from Rethink Ireland are doing vital work in their communities to promote social and economic wellbeing, and I wish to congratulate them on their achievements. Now, more than ever, we need innovative leaders to re-think the way we live and work at an individual, local and national level to create a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable society for everyone. These Awardees are excellent examples of the importance of social enterprises to Irish society and the economy.”

The CEO of Rethink Ireland is Deirdre Mortell.

“Social enterprises like Embrace FARM are at the forefront of achieving positive social change for communities across Ireland, using business skills and clever thinking to drive their social mission. Rethink Ireland was founded to support these organisations, and our Social Enterprise Development Fund will enable the Awardees to go from strength to strength in enhancing the economic and social wellbeing of their communities.”

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have all been reminded about the value of strong community and supporting one another. Therefore, the role Rethink Ireland plays in promoting community and social enterprise is now even more important. I would like to congratulate Laois Counselling Services on their success today.”

John Mulholland is Chief Executive of Laois County Council.

“We would like to extend our congratulations to Embrace FARM on their success in receiving a Social Enterprise Development Fund Award from Rethink Ireland.

“The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted many challenges and opportunities for our local communities in recent months – at both a social and economic level. Social Enterprises can contribute an enormous amount to creating strong communities and to agile responses as our context continually changes.  Thanks to Rethink Ireland and the Social Enterprise Development Fund, innovative organisations like Embrace FARM will continue to bring about positive social change, while also boosting the local economy by creating jobs," Mr Mulholland said.

Speaking on the ongoing partnership, George Jones, Chairman of IPB Insurance, commented "Supporting communities to achieve resilient and sustainable solutions to the problems they face has been part of our company's DNA since our founding. That's why we believe so strongly in the investment we are making through this fund, when you invest in a social enterprise you know that it's a sustainable investment that will be used wisely to reach all those in society who need their help."

Deirdre Mortell added: “I look forward to seeing the Awardees continue to make a positive social impact.  The calibre of the Awardees is reflective of the strong social enterprise spirit that exists in Ireland. I would like to thank all our partners in creating this fund who enable Rethink Ireland to provide our financial and strategic support to enterprises delivering positive social change. I would encourage more enterprises to apply for the fund next year.”