The ten awardees of 2017 Animate Fund demonstrated how local projects can work towards global goals at a showcase event hosted by Medtronic and Social Innovation Fund Ireland in Dublin on 21st May 2018.

The 2017 Animate Fund is a €220,000 fund that provides grants and supports to early-stage projects and organisations that have come up with clever ideas to address health and social issues in their community. The fund is a partnership between Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Medtronic and the Department of Community and Rural Development through the Dormant Accounts Funds.

Pictured left to right: Terence O’Rourke, Chair of Social Innovation Fund Ireland; Dr Jacob Gayle, President of the Medtronic Foundation and Vice President of Medtronic Philanthropy; Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, Professor of International Development Studies, UCD; Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland; David Donoghue, Former Irish Representative to the United Nations

In 2017, Animate expanded to include the Healthy Community Fund, supported by Medtronic, with 9 out of 10 awards granted to projects promoting good health and wellbeing and healthy lives to all. The Healthy Community Fund was designed to create wide-reaching impact towards a healthier Ireland and to contribute to solving global health issues as identifies in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

David Donoghue, who co-chaired the intergovernmental negotiations which led to adoption of the SDGs spoke about the importance of this fund at the showcase event, ‘Situating the Animate – Healthy Community Awardees in the context of the SDGs is, I think, inspired; you have set great example for Ireland.’

Pictured: David Donoghue, Former Irish Representative to the United Nations

All awardees of the Animate Health Community Fund align with SDG 3, Good Health and Wellbeing, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all. The awardees address a diverse range of issues, including mental health, maternal health and disease management. Since receiving support from the fund, the projects have increased the number of services available for marginalised communities, improved access to services, increased their own capacity and reach and have recorded improvements in mental health and wellbeing from those who access their vital services.

Some examples of the Animate Awardees are featured below:BodyRight is a programme developed by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre which aims to prevent the harm caused by sexual violence by providing a tested, coherent approach to delivering sexual health and consent education for young people across Ireland.Kickboxing to Inspire & Challenge Kids (KICK) is a free 12-week innovative programme which combines challenging youth work activities and kickboxing techniques to address rising levels of obesity, mental health issues and anti-social behaviour among teenagers.Through the Animate Fund, the Pavee Point Traveller Maternal Health Initiative developed practical, accessible and culturally appropriate resource material to empower and equip Traveller women with vital information in relation to antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and infant health.The Suicide Specific Treatment Track (SSTT) is a project developed by Dublin Simon Community which aims to bring improvement in the management and interventions used to provide support for homeless people who express suicidal ideation. On Wednesday 13th June, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, T.D, officially launched their interim evaluation report at an event called ‘Opening the Door to Hope’ in Dublin 1.