ESB celebrates €10 million charity funding milestone
Tuesday, 1st December 2015
ESB celebrates €10 million charity funding milestone
Over 400 community and voluntary organisations on island of Ireland supported in past ten years
Corporate Social Responsibility should chime with national policy to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact. That’s according to Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, Ireland’s foremost energy company, at a celebratory event which took place today (01.12.15) to mark a decade of ESB’s charity funding programme.
At today’s event ESB also announced Christmas funding to eight community and voluntary organisations across Ireland. This is an annual funding event, in addition to the four funding rounds a year from the ESB Energy for Generations Fund.
Commenting at the event, Pat O’Doherty said: “Since ESB’s foundation in 1927, we have always had a strong sense of responsibility towards the people and communities we serve. Before the language of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was ever coined, we have been supporting communities and programmes that enhance our economic and social fabric.
“ESB’s rural electrification programme, which started in 1946, created strong links with local communities and an understanding of their needs. We recognised from an early stage that as a leading Irish corporate citizen, we had to show leadership by adopting responsible business practices and contributing to the vibrancy of community life – from sponsorship of Irish Countrywomen’s Association educational courses in the 1950s, supporting The National Children’s Choir in the 1990s, to our involvement in Feis Ceoil.
“With such a strong legacy, we have learned many lessons and honed our way of delivering CSR. One of the crucial informants to our CSR work is that we never work in a vacuum. National policy and structured ways of adding value to existing, high-quality services is something we consider before embarking on any new CSR programme.
“We look at national problems, and at how we can support robust solutions. One of the key areas of work in the past decade has been around suicide prevention and support. To reflect this, ESB has given over €5 million towards suicide prevention services over the past ten years. Suicide is a very serious issue that has touched every community in the country, and we identified the need to support robust, resilient services and capacity building in this sector.
“We work with the National Office for Suicide Prevention to identify and support organisations who have the capacity, skills and training to make effective suicide-prevention interventions. By aligning our CSR efforts with national policy, ESB is committed to playing a key role in contributing to the broader improvement of society – something we believe is a responsibility of all companies throughout the country, and indeed across the world.”
The following eight organisations were awarded Christmas funding
- Capuchin Day Centre;
- City Church, Belfast;
- St Patricks SVP Hostel, Limerick;
- Merchants Quay Ireland;
- Dublin Simon;
- Peter McVerry Trust; and
- Cork Penny Dinners.
Speaking following the funding announcement, Kristin Quinn, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at ESB, said: “In the past ten years, in consultation with our staff, ESB has focused our community group support on three areas: education, homelessness and suicide prevention. With over 400 community and voluntary organisations supported with €10 million of ESB funding in the past decade, we know that our investment has made some real impacts across the island of Ireland.
“Through our Christmas funding programme, we are focusing on homelessness services in particular and through the Energy for Generations fund, we are able to ensure that grassroots organisations can continue to provide consistent service to local communities where they are needed most.”
For more information, visit: https://www.esb.ie/main/community-sponsorship/index.jsp.
Contact: Sarah Harte / Emily Brennan, DHR Communications, 01-4200580 / 087-9858259 / 086-1658629
Notes to Editors
- Interviews available on request.
- Fennells Photography has been commissioned to cover this event and will circulate photographs to all picture desks.
Energy for Generations Funding Recipient Case Studies:
- An Cosán Virtual Community College
- An Cosán is an education centre based in Tallaght,providing local people with pathways to learning, leadership and enterprise. They offer a variety of programmes for all age groups including early year’s education and care, parenting programmes, community education and higher education.
- ESB supports its recently established Virtual Community College, which brings third-level education to communities around Ireland using virtual learning technology. ESB has funded a three year pilot project to help An Cosán scale the programme, and they are currently in year two of the programme.
- TechSpace, whose partner organisation is Camara Ireland, is a network of digital media ‘TechSpaces’ within youth services and schools inspiring and fostering a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in young people. TechSpace works through a network of youth organisations, projects and schools to enable participants to creatively express themselves using technology. Activities in a TechSpace range from digital film to web design and mobile app development to robotics, all following a creative learning process driven model.
- ESB has supported TechSpace since 2014 and are currently helping them bring their network of TechSpaces nationally. Stephen Daly, the Managing Director of TechSpace, has participated in a number of initiatives with ESB over the past year, and ESB sponsored him to attend the One Young World Conference in Dublin and also provided funding to build the TechSpace stand at Web Summit 2014.
- MyMind is a social enterprise, which started off offering counselling and psychological support for the Polish community and other new communities in Ireland. An innovative organisation, offering low cost online and group support, they have now widened their reach and more than 60% of their clients are Irish. They have also extended to Cork and Limerick. ESB has supported MyMind since 2009.
- Foyle Marine Search and Rescue
- Regularly supported since 2005 by ESB where funding has gone towards a new rescue & recovery boat, re-equipment of Shore Patrol Teams, equipment for rescue & recovery from low-tide mudflats on the River Foyle, rescue, first aid, VHF radio & sea survival training inputs for volunteers, etc.
As Ireland’s foremost energy company, ESB is working towards a brighter, more sustainable energy future by investing in low carbon generating technologies, building smarter electricity networks and working with others to find innovative solutions to today’s energy challenges. ESB’s corporate social responsibility fund, which was established in 2005, disburses approximately €1m each year across a range of community and issues-based initiatives. Follow ESB on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. For further information, visit: www.esb.ie