Bank of Ireland launches ‘Begin Together’ initiative to improve financial, physical and mental wellbeing

Three year, £2.5million programme will support communities across the island of Ireland

February 20, 2020 – Bank of Ireland is investing £2.5 million in the ‘Begin Together’ initiative, a three year campaign to improve the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of Ireland’s communities while supporting the underlying local economies.

Begin Together is an all-island initiative with three strands – the Begin Together Fund, the Begin Together Awards and Begin Together Colleagues. Each strand has a specific purpose and combined will deliver a significant positive impact on communities across Ireland.

  • The Begin Together Fund (£400,000 per annum) will provide funding of up to £4,000 to 100 local groups to support financial, physical and mental wellbeing projects in communities across the island. The Bank is working with The Community Foundation for Ireland, which will administer the fund, and a number of expert partners including Action Mental Health and Sport NI – who have supported the development of the fund and will assist in shortlisting applicants for funding.
  • The Begin Together Awards (£165, 000 per annum) will support the great work done by those striving to improve their communities and empower local economies. Working with local authorities across Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Begin Together Awards will stimulate economic development while celebrating local economic success.
  • Begin Together Colleagues (£250,000 per annum) is designed to support the voluntary efforts of colleagues to support local projects. Up to £4,000 will be awarded to local charities and community groups working to improve financial, physical and mental wellbeing.

Ian McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland UK said

“Bank of Ireland is delighted to announce our new ‘Begin Together’ initiative that we believe will make a big difference in communities across Northern Ireland. 

“We know there are many people doing great things at grassroots level and today’s announcement is intended to encourage local community groups, clubs and societies to apply for our support in helping them to achieve their goals and I encourage their representatives to come forward and apply.

“We look forward to supporting a variety of activities and seeing what great things can be achieved when we work together in this way.”

Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland said:

“As a leading lender in Ireland we are supporting families and businesses across the island – north, south, east and west.  The Begin Together initiative will further enable communities to thrive, and make a tangible positive impact on the communities where we live and work.

“The power of community in Ireland north and south is impressive. When we come together to do something we can really make a difference. At Bank of Ireland, we’re proud to support communities develop their financial, physical and mental wellbeing over the coming years.”

The Begin Together Fund opens today.  Local groups interested in applying can enter through the Bank of Ireland website ‘Begin Together’ page. Applications for the Begin Together Awards will open in March.