Innovative community groups shine with KBC Bright Ideas funding awards

A number of innovative organisations across Galway have been awarded funding through KBC Bank Ireland’s Bright Ideas community support initiative.

Bright Ideas involves a pool of €80,000 donated by KBC as a way to offer support to 28 organisations across the country who are making a real difference in their communities and who require funding to continue with the great work they are doing.

Among the eight winning Galway groups from is Tribesmen Rowing Club which received €3,500 in funding. The club hopes to purchase special lighter oars and a bespoke trolley to assist with launching two boats which will be used by women recovering from breast cancer who are learning how to row as part of a new, volunteer-led programme on the River Corrib. The lighter oars will make it easier for the women to pull through the water, helping them benefit from the therapeutic rowing movement which is recommended for recovery. The new trolley means that the women will be able to launch and remove their boats from the water without the need for heavy lifting, giving them greater independence and freedom.

Craughwell Athletic Club received €4,000 in funding. The club promotes and provides an environment for people to take part in athletic activities in a fun and safe way while developing their potential, whether as a competitive athlete or as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. The funding will go towards a long-jump facility which forms part of a new eight-acre sports and recreation park being developed for the club. With the second largest juvenile membership in the country the club’s members, including 430 children from 300 local families, will benefit from the new long-jump, not to mention the many organisations and groups who use the club, including the local ICA, Craughwell Primary School, other neighbouring sports clubs and the wider community.

Other not-for-profit groups from Galway to benefit from Bright Ideas funding include: Galway Autism Partnership (GAP ) which will use the €4,000 funding to fit out a new kitchen in the ‘life skills room’ and to make it wheelchair accessible as part of GAP’s new family centre for people living with ASD (autism spectrum disorder ); St Patrick’s Primary School Tuam received €3,500 funding for ‘One Book, One Community’, a student literacy project and ‘Maths Eye’, a numeracy initiative rooted in the local town; Galway Equine Training which received €2,000 for therapeutic riding services for groups and individuals who are vulnerable or have special needs, enabling them to improve their physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing through interaction with horses; Galway Sea Scouts, who will use the €1,500 funding towards building a currach-inspired rowing boat for the sea scouts to train and compete with other clubs across Ireland, while giving unemployed people supported by the Men’s Shed Group the opportunity to work on a boat building project; Tearmann Éanna Teo received €1,000 to help deliver an Irish language Seniors Helpline Service for older people living in the Connemara Gaeltacht; and Gort Resource Centre received €1,000 for a training initiative for the local Men’s Shed Group to assist older people with small DIY jobs around the house during the winter months.

Commenting on Bright Ideas, Aidan Power, head of brand and marketing KBC Bank Ireland, said: “We launched our Bright Ideas initiative earlier this year in order to offer support for not-for-profit groups who are making a real difference in their communities. We were particularly heartened to see the level of commitment and creativity in the concepts throughout Galway, where volunteers are developing unique and innovative projects in order to benefit others. As the ‘Bank of You’, KBC Bank Ireland is delighted to support these initiatives and we look forward to seeing the results of all the hard work.”

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