Saturday, 5 December 2015

400 community and voluntary organisations on island of Ireland supported in past ten years

 Corporate Social Responsibility should chime with national policy to have a meaningful and long-lasting impact. That’s according to Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, Ireland’s foremost energy company, at a celebratory event which took place today (01.12.15) to mark a decade of ESB’s charity funding programme.

At today’s event ESB also announced Christmas funding to eight community and voluntary organisations across Ireland. This is an annual funding event, in addition to the four funding rounds a year from the ESB Energy for Generations Fund.

Commenting at the event, Pat O’Doherty said: “Since ESB’s foundation in 1927, we have always had a strong sense of responsibility towards the people and communities we serve. Before the language of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was ever coined, we have been supporting communities and programmes that enhance our economic and social fabric.

“ESB’s rural electrification programme, which started in 1946, created strong links with local communities and an understanding of their needs. We recognised from an early stage that as a leading Irish corporate citizen, we had to show leadership by adopting responsible business practices and contributing to the vibrancy of community life – from sponsorship of Irish Countrywomen's Association educational courses in the 1950s, supporting The National Children’s Choir in the 1990s, to our involvement in Feis Ceoil.

“With such a strong legacy, we have learned many lessons and honed our way of delivering CSR. One of the crucial informants to our CSR work is that we never work in a vacuum. National policy and structured ways of adding value to existing, high-quality services is something we consider before embarking on any new CSR programme.

“We look at national problems, and at how we can support robust solutions. One of the key areas of work in the past decade has been around suicide prevention and support. To reflect this, ESB has given over €5 million towards suicide prevention services over the past ten years. Suicide is a very serious issue that has touched every community in the country, and we identified the need to support robust, resilient services and capacity building in this sector.

“We work with the National Office for Suicide Prevention to identify and support organisations who have the capacity, skills and training to make effective suicide-prevention interventions. By aligning our CSR efforts with national policy, ESB is committed to playing a key role in contributing to the broader improvement of society – something we believe is a responsibility of all companies throughout the country, and indeed across the world.”

The following eight organisations were awarded Christmas funding

· Capuchin Day Centre;

· City Church, Belfast;

· St Patricks SVP Hostel, Limerick;


· Merchants Quay Ireland;

· Dublin Simon;

· Peter McVerry Trust; and

· Cork Penny Dinners.

Speaking following the funding announcement, Kristin Quinn, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at ESB, said: “In the past ten years, in consultation with our staff, ESB has focused our community group support on three areas: education, homelessness and suicide prevention. With over 400 community and voluntary organisations supported with €10 million of ESB funding in the past decade, we know that our investment has made some real impacts across the island of Ireland.

“Through our Christmas funding programme, we are focusing on homelessness services in particular and through the Energy for Generations fund, we are able to ensure that grassroots organisations can continue to provide consistent service to local communities where they are needed most.”

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