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Back to Press Releases 14 July 2020

ESB provides special Covid-19 funding to help voluntary organisations

  • ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund increases funding to support organisations impacted by Covid-19
  • Fund recipients Jigsaw and Early Learning Initiative launch new programmes to help the most vulnerable

14 July 2020

ESB has increased its Energy for Generations funding to provide emergency support to charities and organisations impacted by Covid-19.

Each year, ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund provides more than €1m in direct assistance through a quarterly fund to organisations working in the areas of homelessness, suicide prevention, educational access and support. As part of a range of Covid-19 initiatives, ESB brought forward its funding to provide emergency support to organisations around the country.

The Early Learning Initiative (ELI) – a programme that provides parent and child learning support in marginalised communities – received funding to adopt new ways of working during the pandemic. This includes the provision of educational resource packs to assist with home schooling and improving the home learning environment for children, while giving parents confidence in their own skills as their child’s educator.

Josephine Bleach, Director of the Early Learning Initiative, commented on the importance of the funding: “We are grateful to ESB for helping so many vulnerable, isolated children and families deal with this crisis. As a loyal partner of the Early Learning Initiative, ESB recognises that vulnerable children and families needed help long before Covid-19 and will need long-term sustained support after Covid-19 if they are to overcome their unfortunate life circumstances of poverty, trauma and educational disadvantage. ESB’s contribution is ensuring that these children start school with the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed for success in their education, career and life.”

As well as providing emergency funding, ESB also commenced an initiative to encourage staff to volunteer within their own communities across the country. For instance, as part of its support of the Tech2Students campaign, ESB Networks staff distributed IT hardware to students from disadvantaged areas to help them with their studies at home, doing so in a safe manner and in-line with all social distancing guidelines. 

ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund also increased its financial support to Jigsaw, the national centre for youth mental health. As the organisation was unable to host workshops in clubs and schools during the pandemic, ESB's funding is being used to support their free phone support line (1800-Jigsaw), targeted communications plan, and licencing costs associated with developing an inbound SMS and email service.

Commenting on the funding, Dr.Joseph Duffy, CEO of Jigsaw, said: “Jigsaw has a long and hugely positive relationship with ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund over the years. They have supported our services, our research agenda, our community engagement work, our online ambitions and more, for which we are hugely grateful. To us, at Jigsaw, it is clear that corporate social responsibility for the ESB goes far beyond euros on a cheque. They understand the value of community and grassroots supports; they work alongside civil society as partners, and they have added huge value to us an organisation and to the nation as a whole.”

ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund remains open for applications from organisations in the areas of homelessness, suicide prevention, educational access and support. For more information, click here.

Video of how Early Learning Initiative is managing through Covid 19 :


Media Enquiries: Grainne Burns, ESB Press Officer, 087-9536640