Students from Dundalk Grammar School secured €460 in funding recently to advance their social innovation project for a sensory room.
The teenagers, who are taking part in Young Social Innovators (YSI), pitched their idea to a Dragons’ Den panel including representatives from The Community Foundation for Ireland, Virgin Media, and Young Social Innovators for access to a Social Impact Fund dedicated to advancing teenagers’ ideas for social good.
The project entitled Silver Linings aims to support the neurodivergent students in their school, or indeed anyone whose mental health may be suffering due to the hectic schedule of their day.
They are designing room at the school and piloting mental health breaks where a class on the timetable is replaced with sport or a coffee break so a student may take some time for themselves.
Funding awarded from the Social Impact Fund at The Den will go towards furnishing the sensory room with second-hand furniture, to keep the project as sustainable as possible.
Almost €10,000 was granted to 18 YSI teams through the Social Impact Fund that is supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.
The students in receipt of funding are developing innovative ideas around a wide range of issues including biodiversity, plastic reduction, ocean pollution, inclusion, social media and online safety, racism, and more.
Some 7,000 students throughout Ireland are currently involved in similar projects with Young Social Innovators in 2022.
Rachel Collier, CEO and Co-founder, Young Social Innovators said: “The applications submitted by young people to the Social Impact Fund were of a very high calibre and we are delighted to provide direct support to eighteen inspiring youth-led projects to help them advance their innovations which will make a real difference in their communities.
“Witnessing the professionalism in which these students presented their ideas was truly remarkable and we wish them the very best of luck.
“We are grateful to The Community Foundation for Ireland for supporting the Social Impact Fund this year, a fund which is dedicated to advancing youth-led ideas for social good.”
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland said: “We believe in ‘Empowering Generations’. It is a key part of the equality mission we share with our donors and the 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable groups we work with across Ireland.
“We are proud to work with Young Social Innovators as it promotes the vision, creativity and talent of our young people to address some of the biggest challenges facing our communities today.
“We wish all those involved every success and look forward to seeing the freshness and energy they will bring to finding solutions to a range of issues.”
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