Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Fund helped nearly 100 Charites and not for profit groups in 2021.

This is part of Bank of Ireland’s efforts to support the resilience and recovery of communities across the island of Ireland.

The Begin Together Fund provides investment for initiatives that will make a real difference where we work and live. We will be focusing on some of these organisations and the work they do for the month of January.

One of these initiatives is New Horizon, based in Athlone.

New Horizon Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support is a community group which has been working with international protection applications in Athlone since 2000.

With the support of the Begin Together Fund, a new project was started to help support 30 teenagers and their families living in Direct Provision in Athlone and to enjoy outdoor activities at Birr Outdoor Education and Training Centre.

The ‘Teen Adventure’ project gave these young people days away from their accommodation centre that brings much needed release and enjoyment for both the teenagers and their families.

Opportunities were limited during 2021 due to Covid-19, and Gerry O’Callaghan, a volunteer with New Horizon says this was a welcome addition to their calendar: “I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for the help and support shown by the Begin Together Fund over the past year. Covid restrictions have meant that we have had to redesign and revamp almost all of our traditional activities.

“The Begin Together Fund is particularly valuable in that it allows us to create and develop new initiatives that meet the changing needs of residents.”

For more information on New Horizon and their services, please see their website.