Applications are now invited for the new children’s hospital 2021 Community Benefit Fund, which is funded by the project’s main contractor BAM Ireland. €50,000 is now available for the 2021 Community Grants Scheme and a number of Further Education Bursaries will be funded for students entering third-level level and further education colleges who are studying professional health qualifications and construction related subjects.
The Fund, which was launched in 2020 and will see €500,000 distributed over three years, is a voluntary corporate social responsibility contribution made as part of BAM’s tender for the construction of the new children’s hospital and developed in tandem with the project’s Community Benefit Oversight Group, which is made up of statutory, local development and community representatives and who were responsible for the establishment of the Community Benefit Programme.
The purpose of the Community Benefit Programme is to ensure that people living close to the hospital benefit from its development in their locality.
This year, €50,000 is available as part of the Community Grants Scheme and Further Education Bursaries are available for prospective students of professional health and construction related studies, who are resident in Dublin 8 and Dublin 12. Notionally this year’s bursaries will support up to three undergraduate students and up to four Post Leaving Certificate students for the duration of their studies.
In 2020, Community Grants were distributed to 22 community and voluntary organisations in Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 and bursaries were provided to seven young people commencing courses in biochemistry and nursing, and Post Leaving Certificate studies in pre-nursing, pre-paramedic and construction studies.
Additionally, the Fund also supports a pilot apprenticeship support initiative and a cultural, arts and sports programme.
Denis McCarthy, Director of BAM Ireland said: “Following the success and impact of last year’s new children’s hospital Community Benefit Fund, I am delighted that BAM Ireland can continue to build on this initiative in 2021.
“We have worked hard to become a part of the local communities of Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 and have witnessed the mutual benefits that our continued cooperation and support has brought to both the local community, local business and our own operations. I would like to thank the Community Benefit Oversight Group, who have assisted us in establishing the scope of BAM’s Community Benefit Fund for the new children’s hospital.
“BAM’s purpose is ‘Building a sustainable tomorrow’ that enhance people’s lives. As part of this strategy, we have set ourselves the target of having a Net Positive Impact on society by supporting communities where we work, educating the next generation and supporting causes people believe in. We believe this fund will be of great value to the local community, leaving with it a legacy that will support the operation of our new children’s hospital for many years to come,” he said.
Ingrid McElroy, Community Benefit Programme Manager with the new children’s hospital project said: “Last year we received far more applications than we expected, so we are appreciative of BAM’s continued support in 2021. It’s been a difficult period for everyone and never has the work of community and voluntary groups been so valuable. We hope that this scheme will serve not only to support the great work that’s being done in the area but also as a mark of recognition of the importance of community and voluntary groups in the locality.
“Both the construction industry and the healthcare sector face major workforce challenges and we need to find ways to encourage people to take up careers in these areas. Dublin 8 and 12, our catchment area, has far lower rates of higher education participation than other areas of the city so we believe it’s very important to support people who encounter particular difficulties when considering whether they can take up further education opportunities. We are encouraging anyone in the locality with an interest in going or returning to education to study construction related subjects or professional healthcare qualifications to consider applying,” she said.
Paris Cheebah, a 2020 Education Bursary Recipient, living in Drimnagh said: “The Bursary I received continues to play a crucial role in my third level education. I was made aware of the Bursary while in school in Loreto Crumlin and I applied in the hope that it might support my hopes of studying Biomedical Science.
“I have the Bursary for the four years of my studies in TUD and it is a great help to my family and I. I would encourage anyone eligible to apply. The process is simple and it’s great to know that the Community Benefit Programme is right behind me on every step of the way”, she said.
Doug Hazel, founding member of Flanagan’s Field Community Gardens, Rialto was a recipient of a Community Grant last year. He said: “We desperately needed to do remedial work on the Geodesic Growdome as it was originally built as a “proof of concept” project. It’s not only about growing food in innovative ways, the Growdome holds many community and educational events, it’s the weekly home to a local parents and toddler group and it’s become a landscape feature of the area.
“BAM’s generous grant has allowed us not only repair, but significantly upgrade the Growdome and as an added bonus, we also managed to get voluntary engineering advice and construction support from other companies working on the construction of the new children’s hospital.”
For more information and to apply for a Community Benefit Grant or Further Education Bursary: https://www.newchildrenshospital.ie/community-benefit/bam-community-benefit-fund-for-the-new-childrens-hospital/