Posted By:
Bank of Ireland

13th Apr 2022

  • £416,000 Fund focuses on projects that improve financial, mental or physical wellbeing.
  • £1.25M in supports distributed by Begin Together Fund since 2020.
  • Advice NI (pictured), through their Digi Money provide support to migrant communities, helping them to access technology to improve their Digi skills and financial wellbeing

12 April 2022 – Groups working with migrants, supports for mental wellbeing, resilience for people out of employment, and financial literacy for young people are among 68 community projects that will receive financial support from Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together programme in 2022.  In total, more than £416,000 is being allocated to groups across the island of Ireland in year three of the fund, bringing the total value of grants issued to over £1.25M since 2020.

The Community Fund is one strand of the Bank of Ireland Begin Together programme, a three-year, multi-million pound initiative to support community groups, local enterprise and the arts across the island of Ireland. The Community Fund aims to support initiatives that are improving the financial, mental, or physical wellbeing with initiatives receiving up to £16,500 each for projects spanning financial literacy and wellbeing, mental health, disability, inclusion and diversity and social isolation.


George Higginson, Director of Northern Ireland, Partnerships & Mortgages, Bank of Ireland UK, said: “We’re immensely proud to support a wide range of community groups, charities, and social enterprises working across Ireland through our Begin Together Community Fund. These groups play a vital role in our society while supporting and protecting those who are the most vulnerable.

“Now, more than ever, migrant groups across the Island of Ireland are faced with many challenges. The work that Advice NI do, through their Digi Money and digital inclusion programmes, and other free advice services around Benefits, Personal and Business Debt and EU Settlement Scheme provides these communities with the support that they need, ensuring a society of confident, informed, and active citizens.”

Advice NI’s Digi Money project trains up Digital Money Champions from migrant and refugee communities who speak a language in addition to English. Each volunteer Digi Money Champion who completes the training will get to keep a digital tablet and be supported to deliver digital skills training to those in their own community needing help to access technology to improve their Digi skills and financial wellbeing. This project will be rolled out over 2022.

Patricia Donald, Advice NI Head of Communications & Digital said: “A total of 14 multi-lingual Digi Money Champions from migrant and refugee communities have now completed Advice NI’s Digital Champion course thanks to the support of the Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Community Fund. The newly trained Digi Money Champions, who between them speak Somali, Urdu, Shona, Cantonese, Swahili and Yorùbá, in addition to English, will deliver digi sessions in their local communities.  Sessions will include topics such as staying safe online, how to use cost comparison websites, online banking and helping newcomers access their rights and entitlements online.

“Further support from Bank of Ireland will enable Advice NI to gain accreditation for the Digital Champion course and deliver it to a further cohort of volunteers who in turn will support their local communities to get online. Achieving accreditation will also help the volunteers gain access to employment opportunities.”

A full list of 2022 grantees is available here: /begintogether

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