Bank of Ireland announces over 100 charity and community group beneficiaries of the Begin Together Fund

Pictured are Ellie Iveagh and Aaron Duke aged 16 from Citywise Education, a Begin Together Fund grantee, and Angelica Santander from Clowns Without Borders Ireland, also a grantee, along with Henry Dummer, Chief Marketing Officer, Bank of Ireland.

  • €500,000 in funding for 116 projects and organisations across the island of Ireland
  • Financial literacy, social inclusion, mental health, social isolation, disability, addiction services, and cancer support among the projects being supported by the Begin Together Fund
  • Fund is part of wider €1 million Bank of Ireland support for local enterprise and community groups over second half of year

23 July 2020 – Suicide prevention, physical exercise for the elderly, and financial skills for young people are among 116 projects to receive support from Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Fund. The financial support will help local community groups and non-profit organisations continue to serve their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grantees announced today come from all over the island of Ireland and will each receive up to €5,000 to support a range of projects and initiatives spanning financial wellbeing, mental health, disability, addiction, cancer support, social isolation, social inclusion, and sport.
Bank of Ireland is working with The Community Foundation for Ireland, which is administering the fund, and a number of expert partners – the Society of St Vincent de Paul, Sport Ireland, Action Mental Health and Sport NI – who assisted in developing the fund’s focus and social impact objectives.

Other projects receiving funding include a charity that provides professional attire and mentoring to help women secure employment, an initiative to help children aged 5-12 cope with cancer in their family, a wheelchair basketball club and a rehabilitation service for those addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Commenting on the announcement, Henry Dummer, Chief Marketing Officer, Bank of Ireland, said:

“The aim of the Begin Together Fund, launched back in February which seems a lifetime ago now, is to support charities and community organisations that are making a real difference to the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of their communities. As society begins to open up again it’s important to remember that charities and community groups have seen their income severely impacted by COVID-19 but the work they do is more important than ever. For that reason I’m delighted that the Begin Together Fund is providing this timely support to more than 100 projects right across the island of Ireland.”

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Ireland, said:
“The COVID-19 Pandemic, its economic impact and recovery is causing great uncertainty for people, families and communities across the country. Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Fund, administered by The Community Foundation for Ireland, is a perfect example of partnership which can deliver real supports for people who have seen their home and work lives severely impacted by COVID-19. While this is a period of huge challenge, The Community Foundation for Ireland remains absolutely committed to working with its partners for a fair, caring and vibrant Ireland with thriving communities.”

A full list of 2020 grantees is available here:


Notes to the Editor

About the Bank of Ireland Begin Together initiative

Following the donation of €1 million in emergency funding to the Community Foundation for Ireland’s Covid Response Fund in support of communities impacted by COVID-19 in March, Bank of Ireland is injecting a further €1 million into local communities and a range of organisations over the second half of the year. This will be disbursed primarily through the Bank of Ireland Begin Together programme, which has a number of initiatives including:

  • the Begin Together Awards to support local enterprise in towns across the island of Ireland (closing date for entries is 24 August);
  • the Begin Together Fund supporting local community groups and charities, which is managed through the Community Foundation for Ireland;
  • and the Begin Together Fund for Colleagues which will further support those local not-for-profit organisations which our Bank of Ireland colleagues are personally involved with.

About the Community Foundation for Ireland

The Community Foundation for Ireland believes in a fair, caring and vibrant Ireland for now and the future. We work with individuals, families, corporates and other trusts and foundations to translate giving in the moment to giving that is strategic and impactful. We respond to Ireland’s complex needs by building deep relationships with non-profit organisations working at the coal face. We build platforms with local communities and collaborate with the public sector. We use our knowledge to help donors translate their aspirations of giving back into effective investments of their experience and resources. We have been providing grants since 2000 and in 2019 we gave out €8.15 million to communities in Ireland and abroad. We have a dedicated and committed staff; they have extensive experience of grant-making from working with over 4,000 non-profit organisations at a national, regional and local level throughout Ireland and overseas. With over 1,800 community foundations globally, the community foundation model is a proven and effective model for social change.