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Meet the social entrepreneurs of The Future Village – SEI Gathering 2022

The Gathering 2022 interactive village featured 12 of SEI’s social entrepreneurs. Meet the twelve brilliant social entrepreneur–led organisations showcased from around the country who are dreaming big and taking action to build a better future for Ireland.


Susan Adams

Susan Adams – Education for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability: The vision is to create a world where young people are actively engaged in taking action for sustainable development by making environmental education & sustainability a fundamental part of the national curriculum

EFS climate literacy programmes have reached over 18,700 students and teachers. 44 schools gone plastic free, 3000 trees planted and students won 7 Young Environmental Awards. 87 workshops over 5 years, 111 schools and community action projects.

Helen Hugel – Helium Arts

Helium Arts empowers children with health conditions through their creativity and the arts, inspiring those who care for them and supporting creative healthy environments, while creating opportunities for artistic ambition and excellence.

Worked with 5000 kids and families across 17 counties. For every €1 spent, HA almost doubles the value in social return according to their Social Return on Investment study (2019-20). HA planning to expand services into more regions.

Liz Gleeson – Shapes Of Grief; Online Global Grief Education Programme

Shapes of Grief is offering the only training of its kind in Ireland and abroad, to address the death in Grief Training among healthcare professionals.

SOG podcast listened to 200,000+ times. SOG training programme over 600 users in the first year (professionally developing)


Ray Burke – Active Connections

Active Connections is Ireland’s leading activity-based intervention service for young people at risk. They offer rapid response support with a particular emphasis on avoiding family/foster/residential care home placement breakdown, working in partnership with statutory and non-statutory agencies across Ireland.

AC have supported over 1,500 people since its foundation in 2014. Ember programme supported over 600 children, adults and families allowing for access and inclusion in outdoor activities. Kerry Tusla have expanded services by 200% under AC Respond programme.

James O Neill – Property Marking Ireland

Property Marking Ireland is a crime prevention program which allows An Garda Siochana to detect, identify, and return stolen property or lost property to its rightful owner through a mixture of marking goods and property with a specially designed machine and the provision of signage at community, premises and property item levels.

PMI has contributed to an 80+% decrease in burglaries in Monaghan. They are running in 21 counties and over 800,000 household valuables marked. There have over 550 community Gardaí trained and volunteers in 450 communities.

Mick Kelly – GIY Ireland

Founded in 2008, GIY supports people around the world to live healthier, happier and more sustainable lives by growing some of their own food. The mission is to educate and enable a global movement of food growers whose collective actions will help to rebuild a sustainable food system.

Engaged 1.2 m ppl in food growing in 20201. 1 m primary school kids have taken part in GIY food programmes. In 20201, 5000 schools took part in Big Grow in Ireland and UK. An entire school year worth of food growing was achieved at 32 schools using GIY support re-raised garden beds + seed.


Caitriona Watters-Crehan – Prepare Me

Prepare Me is an online platform that allows a user to access step-by-step preparation resources, like picture stories, video models and multi-media explainers which prepare children and adults to feel informed, included and actively involved in their activities of life, reducing stress and improving autonomy.

PM has provided support to almost 10,000 children and adults. PM and AsIAm have built an online platform which will increase impact and further afield, launching in 2023.

John evoy

John Evoy – Grow Remote

Grow Remote is a not for profit with a mission to enable people to work, live and participate locally. They help companies transition to remote work, they also support remote workers to upskill and find remote work for free.

In 2018 made Building Local Communities toolkit public. 2020 there were 130+ local community leaders building local communities. GR working closely with companies like eBay, HubSpot and Totonomee to explore the benefits of remote work at corporate level, and discuss learnings w/the board

Damien Quinn – Spéire Nua

Spéire Nua assists people to rebuild their lives after criminal conviction by identifying the necessary support available to them, their families and people that have been victims of criminal behaviour.

SN developing video content and a CV portal. SN collaborating with Care After Prison regarding peer mentoring. Linking w/ gov’s Working to Change Socia Enterprise and Employment Strategy


Killian Redmond & Shane McKenna – DabbleDoo

Dabbledoo makes music education more accessible, engaging and fun for all, by supporting teachers to teach the primary school curriculum while instilling a life-long love of music.

Joan Henderson

Joan Henderson – Sólás

Sólás deliver interactive, practical support for children & young people with additional needs and their families through educational and social programmes, therapeutic interventions, networking and collaboration.

David McCann – The Sea Collective

The Sea Collective develop and facilitate programmes that engage people in marine biodiversity, citizen science and heritage activities – reaping the physical and mental health benefits from blue spaces, while inspiring and nurturing curiosity, pride and responsibility for our oceans.

The team at Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has been working to bring our website up to date, adding our 500 alumni and sharing their case studies! View the case studies below of just a selection of the social entrepreneurs that SEI has worked with. For ease of use, you can filter by county, region, sector or programme.

If you want to find out more, read the What is a Social Entrepreneur? #ARISE blog post.

 This blog post is a part of a larger project for the Awareness Raising Initiatives for Social Enterprises (ARISE). This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

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