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UL Social Enterprise ReStart awarded €5,000 from Community Integration Fund

UL Social Enterprise ReStart awarded €5,000 from Community Integration Fund  

ReStart is a social enterprise set up by students of the University of Limerick in Enactus UL. The project aims to integrate refugees and asylum seekers into the local community through various initiatives. The ReStart team pursues this integration of International Protection Applicants into our communities through a successful portfolio of initiatives.   

ReStart has been awarded a grant of €5,000 from the Community Integration Fund. The Community Integration Fund is granted by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration within the Department of Justice. The objective of the Community Integration Fund is to supply funding to community organisations in the efforts to promote the integration of migrants within communities. The fund provides practical support to enhance the efforts of social inclusion between the migrant population and the surrounding communities. The previous Minister responsible for Equality, Integration and Migrants believed that this fund is instrumental in promoting integration, stating that, “What happens at the local level is critical to successful integration, and I believe strongly in the power of communities when it comes to bringing about lasting change”.  

ReStart holds a significant amount of gratitude for the Community Integration Fund as they have been provided with the maximum amount of funding. Moreover, they are extremely delighted to be one of the 113 chosen organisations across Ireland to receive this grant.  

 

Ciara O’Flynn, a ReStart team member said, “This funding will have a powerful influence on the growth of ReStart. It will allow us here at ReStart to develop our cookbook! This book provides the opportunity for International Protection Applicants and local community members to become connected through food. The grant will also facilitate our growth as a social enterprise. This funding enables us to pursue our focal objective which is creating a sustainable positive impact in the community through integration and inclusion.”  

 The ReStart initiatives compose of ReStart Cooking, ReStart Gardening and ReStart Education.   

ReStart cooking is an initiative that empowers and connects International Protection Applicants. The collaboration on cooking practices has allowed International Protection Applicants to share their skills and their culture. It too has granted International Protection Applicants some soft business skills. In a pre covid time, the meals cooked by International Protection Applicants were sold at our weekly market in the University of Limerick. This weekly market stall also furthered the Applicants integration into our community as they could connect and meet with people.  

 ReStart Gardening is another one of their very successful initiatives. It provides a positive outlet for mental health and wellbeing, while also enabling International Protection Applicants to enhance their agricultural skills and integrate with the local community in the process. Furthermore growing crops on the land allows us to have a sustainable, environmentally friendly supply chain for ReStart Cooking.  

ReStart Education is an exceptional initiative that offers International Protection Applicants educational and upskilling opportunities. It has a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of International Protection Applicants as it allows them to have high opportunities to integrate into the communities and connect with its workforce.   

Ciara O’Flynn, ReStart team member added, “The future of ReStart is something we regard with great excitement. Our development will be prosperous and it’s through the generosity of initiatives such as the Community Integration Fund that we have access to such a bright future. Do stay up to date with our team here at ReStart. We have some fantastic plans for the next few months, and will have opportunities for local community members to get involved in the social enterprise too! You can follow our journey on social media @ReStartIRL on all platforms.”  

 

For other stories on the University of Limerick go HERE  

 For more about Enactus go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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