Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Arthur Guinness Fund - 'My Good News, My Guinness'

The Arthur Guinness Fund has joined forces with Sile Seoige, Alan Brogan, Baz Ashmawy, Jamie Heaslip and Shane Horgan, to share the good news of the projects benefiting from the Arthur Guinness Fund. Each of them will follow the progress of a specific project, and report back on a variety of milestones and good news updates via video messages and personal updates on the Guinness Ireland Facebook.

Activities that have already benefited from the Arthur Guinness Fund include:
* Failte Isteach with a national office in Meath has grown from 22 to 33 English language centres in three months
* Speedpak based in Clonshaugh, has provided FETAC level 4 qualifications to 40 people
* Pieta House has opened two new support locations in Limerick and Ballyfermot in Dublin
* GIY Ireland has increased its GIY groups in towns around Ireland by 13 since June to a total of 82 groups
* Growing Locally has recruited their first fifteen people for a yearlong training programme - the programme is underway
* Camara has opened computer recycling centres in Belfast and Galway

Speaking today Jamie Heaslip, who will be reporting back on the achievements of Camara Education, an organisation that reuses computers for educational purposes in Africa, said, “The work these different projects do is so inspiring. It is amazing how one simple idea can benefit a whole generation. I am really looking forward to following the journey of my old PC through Camara’s online tracking system as it makes its way to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, RTE presenter and DJ Baz Ashmawy added “I signed my name in support of the Arthur Guinness Fund to help raise €2.5 million, so I am delighted to have this opportunity to show just where that money is going. My chosen project, Failte Isteach, does fantastic work uniting Irish people with those from other cultures, with the common goal of teaching and learning English.”

Dublin Football captain, Alan Brogan will be providing regular updates on the work carried out by Speedpak. Based in Clonshaugh, this innovative company has developed a Workplace Accreditation scheme, which captures workplace learning and skills development and converts them into a recognised education qualification in the form of a full FETAC level 4.

Meanwhile Irish Rugby star, Shane Horgan will be getting in touch with his green fingers whilst working alongside GIY (Grow It Yourself), a network of online and community based groups from all over Ireland who are committed to encouraging more and more people to grow their own food. The groups meet regularly to share information learn from each other and exchange tips, ideas and produce.

Radio and TV presenter, Sile Seioge who is also lending her support to the Arthur Guinness Fund, will be sharing Anam Cara’s good news. Anam Cara offers help and comfort for bereaved parents and siblings, through their loss. Since receiving the funding, Anam Cara has set up a sibling support group enabling them to deliver a schedule of support presentations nationally for bereaved parents.

The Arthur Guinness Fund 2010 Awardees were:
* Anam Cara – bereavement support service focusing on the needs of parents and siblings
* Camara – re-using technology to tackle global waste and education in disadvantaged areas
* Growing Locally – training people on low incomes to grow their own produce and improve their diet and exercise
* Fáilte Isteach – supporting older people to make a difference especially within migrant communities
* Grow It Yourself – promoting and encouraging food growing skills and the sharing of knowledge
* Kanchi – driving best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities within society
* Pieta House – service focused on suicide prevention and intervention in a supportive environment
* Rediscover Fashion – recycling textiles establishing a new generation of eco-conscious socially aware consumers
* Speedpak WAM – a social enterprise providing employment and up-skilling for the long term unemployed
* Suas – a Service Learning Programme for young Irish people to help them become the leaders of the future

The Arthur Guinness Fund Globally
The Arthur Guinness Fund, which was born out of Guinness’ 250th celebrations, is a recognisation of the original social entrepreneur of his day, Arthur Guinness. Since establishing the Arthur Guinness Fund in 2009, a total of €7.4m has been invested in the Fund. This figure includes the €2.5m allocated to the Arthur Guinness Fund in Ireland. Guinness has also invested in some remarkable projects in Africa, Indonesia, United States and the UK. Most recently, Guinness announced a global partnership with Ashoka to enable the deployment of the funds to new social entrepreneurial projects around the world.

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