Dr. Jacob Gayle, VP Philanthropy at Medtronic and President of the Medtronic Foundation, Karl Flynn and Joy O'Shaughnessy, KICK, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne T.D, and Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland

Tallaght KICK project selected for 2017 Animate Fund Award

South County Dublin Partnership’s KICK (Kickboxing to Inspire and Challenge Kids) programme has been awarded a €25,000 awards package to address rising levels of obesity, mental health issues and anti-social behaviour among teenagers in Tallaght.

The Animate Fund is a commitment between Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions and the Department of Rural and Community Development from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Fund was set up to support innovative, early stage projects or organisations focused on addressing a health or social issue in local communities across Ireland.

South County Dublin Partnership’s KICK Project is one of the ten national Awardees who will share €220,000 to develop their community projects promoting good health, wellbeing and inclusion.

KICK was developed in response to a need in Tallaght for an innovative programme that addresses rising levels of obesity, mental health issues and anti-social behaviour among teenagers.

Students participate in a free 12-week programme that combines challenging youth work activities and kickboxing techniques.

Upon completion of the programme, students are invited to come back and develop their leadership skills and act as KICK mentors to the next group of students.

Participants are young teenagers from different backgrounds and cultures, varied physical ability, and motivations, often with behavioural problems and from families that live in marginalised communities that experience various levels of deprivation.

The 2017 Animate Awards were presented by Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne, T.D, and Dr. Jacob Gayle, Vice President of Philanthropy at Medtronic and President of the Medtronic Foundation at an event at Medtronic’s Customer Innovation Centre in Galway.

To mark its second year, the Animate Fund was expanded to include the Healthy Community Awards, supported by Medtronic, with nine of the ten awards granted to projects promoting good health and wellbeing, and healthy lives for all and one dedicated award granted for early stage innovations that have smart responses to general community issues. The 2017 Awardees were selected based on their commitment to these values.

In addition to a cash grant, all awardees will receive a place on Social Innovation Fund’s Accelerator programme that is designed to help them to grow and develop their ideas into powerful community solutions through ongoing support and advice.

Speaking about its support of Animate and the impact of the partnership with Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Dr Jacob Gayle, Vice President of Philanthropy at Medtronic, and President of the Medtronic Foundation said:

“Medtronic is committed to maintaining good citizenship and strengthening communities around the world through philanthropy and global health programmes.

“Through our partnership with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland, we are proud to support innovative Irish healthcare leaders and empower Irish communities to build strategic programs that promote good health and wellbeing.

“This important work is designed to create wide-reaching impact toward a healthier Ireland and contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Speaking about the event, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Seán Kyne, T.D said:

“I’m delighted to announce the recipients of the Animate Awards here at Medtronic in Galway. Administered by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and supported by my department, the Department of Rural and Community Development and Medtronic, the Animate Fund is supporting innovative projects which will have a highly positive impact on communities across the country.

“The range and diversity of the projects shows the significant contribution that non-profit and community and voluntary organisations are having in our communities. With targeted support and investment their impact can be nurtured, developed and expanded to benefit Irish society. I congratulate the recipients and wish them well on the Social Innovation Fund’s Accelerator Programme.”

Commending the 2017 awardees, Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland said:

“Our goal with Animate is to select impactful projects that have the scope and the potential to create real change and improve health in their local communities.

“We believe that we have found ten outstanding projects that are going to make a real difference to health in their own areas and wider, and most importantly, improve the lives of those who participate in them.

“I’d like to congratulate all the awardees who will each spend the next number of months working with the Social Innovation Fund Ireland team and our expert network, to develop their skills and position their projects for growth. These ten Animate projects demonstrate the power that strategic corporate philanthropy can bring to solving our key social issues.”

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