Bank of Ireland unveils €3m Begin Together initiative

Bank of Ireland has launched a three-year €3m all-island Begin Together initiative to improve the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of Ireland’s communities, while supporting the underlying local economies.

The initiative consists of three key annual strands: the €500,000 Begin Together Fund, the €200,000 Begin Together Awards and the €300,000 Begin Together Colleagues component.

Each strand has a specific purpose and combined will deliver a significant positive impact on communities across Ireland.

“The power of community in Ireland north and south is impressive. When we come together to do something we can really make a difference”

  • The Begin Together Fund (€500,000 per annum) will provide funding of up to €5,000 to over 100 local groups to support physical, mental and financial wellbeing projects in communities across the island. The Bank is working with The Community Foundation for Ireland, which will administer the fund, and a number of expert partners – the Society of St Vincent de Paul, Sport Ireland, Action Mental Health and Sport NI – who have supported the development of the fund and will assist in shortlisting applicants for funding.
  • The Begin Together Awards (€200,000 per annum) will support the great work done by those striving to improve their communities and empower local economies. Working with local authorities across Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Begin Together Awards will stimulate economic development while celebrating local economic success.
  • Begin Together Colleagues (€300,000 per annum) is designed to support the voluntary efforts of colleagues to support local projects. Up to €5,000 will be awarded to local charities and community groups working to improve physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

Enabling communities to thrive

“As a leading lender in Ireland we are supporting families and businesses across the island – north, south, east and west,” said Francesca McDonagh, group CEO, Bank of Ireland.

“The Begin Together initiative will further enable communities to thrive, and make a tangible positive impact on the communities where we live and work.

“The power of community in Ireland north and south is impressive. When we come together to do something we can really make a difference. At Bank of Ireland, we’re proud to support communities develop their financial, physical and mental wellbeing over the coming years.”

The Begin Together Fund opens today (20 February). Local groups interested in applying can enter through the Bank of Ireland website ‘Begin Together’ page. Applications for the Begin Together Awards will open in March.

Pictured at top: Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh and Florence Marlow-Ward (5) from Walkinstown launching Bank of Ireland’s ‘Begin Together’ campaign

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 20 February, 2020