NI charities enjoy share of £85K Energia Group Greener Possibilities Fund

The environmental work of two Northern Ireland charities is to be significantly enhanced after securing their cut of £85,000, through Energia Group’s newly launched Greener Possibilities Fund.

Through the Fund, groups from across Ireland were invited to propose a project that showcased their commitment to the climate crisis, climate resilience, or biodiversity protection. Local charities Grow NI and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful were both successful in securing funding for their respective projects due to their strong commitment to combatting the climate crisis.

Administered by Community Foundation Ireland, the five-figure total is being shared between the two organisations and will be split over a two-year period, allowing them both to increase their presence and ensure they can develop new and existing initiatives.

Gwyneth Compston, CSR Manager at Energia Group, commented on the importance of making such funding available, and the vital work carried out by the various projects:

“We know that these groups are catalysts for supporting those that might be vulnerable and experiencing difficulties, and we are proud to be able to bolster their valuable work and enable them to increase their capacity to implement positive and lasting change. The aims of the Greener Possibilities Fund are closely aligned with UN Social Development Goal 13 on Climate Action, as well as the Energia Group’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and the community.”

Greener Possibilities Fund

Grow NI works with local communities to create bespoke gardens in West Belfast and places a strong emphasis on raising community engagement by growing flowers and fresh food, including vegetables. Claire Peacocke, of Grow NI, said: “We are delighted with the support that Energia Group is giving us through their Greener Possibilities fund which will help us build on our existing Gáirdin an Phobail revitalisation project and expand our work into a partner garden at the Forthspring Intercommunity Project / MUMO. At Grow NI, we are focused on continuing to deliver a grassroots cross-community growing, rewilding and nature connection project, building skills & knowledge amongst those involved in West Belfast and beyond.”

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful is an environmental charity dedicated to making the region a cleaner and more pleasant place to live, whilst increasing people’s appreciation of nature. Carol Forster, Head of Business Development at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, added:

“We are delighted to be a recipient of Energia Group’s Greener Possibilities Fund in 2024. These funds will help us progress our project, ‘Generation Nature’, which will create an innovative demonstration site at Stranmillis University College Belfast, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. Trainee teachers will use the site, which will include a mini orchard, raised beds, native hedges and other facilities to develop their environmental knowledge and skills in a practical setting. Generation Nature will make ‘POWERful Eco-Champions’ of teachers, ensuring they have the environmental skills and confidence to develop the resilience of our next generation through the Eco-Schools programme and energise them to become catalysts of positive change, for a brighter tomorrow.”

The two groups based in Northern Ireland are part of an overall group of four that will benefit from the support via Energia Group’s Greener Possibilities Fund. In the Republic of Ireland, Global Action Plan and Food Cloud – which are both Dublin-based – have also been selected to receive assistance.

Denise Charlton, Community Foundation Ireland Chief Executive said: “Climate action starts in communities. As a philanthropic hub, the Community Foundation works with partners who share our vision of Equality for All in Thriving Communities. Energia Group is one of those important partners. By working together, we are delivering support and expertise to ensure sustainable futures for all.”

Energia Group has a long-standing reputation of working in collaboration with groups across Ireland, with over £2.6m (€3m) invested through their community benefit funds. Additionally, the Group helps several climate action education initiatives and sets aside hours of volunteering jobs to charities yearly.

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