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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 2 September, 2014

Social entrepreneurs were honoured by President Michael D. Higgins tonight

Over €750,000 in funding was presented to the winners of the 2013 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award in Christchurch tonight.

PROJECTS TO SUPPORT mental health problems, isolation among men and emergency services in rural areas were among those presented with awards by President Michael D. Higgins tonight.

The 2013 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards took place in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin earlier tonight with the primary ‘Impact Award’ winners being John Evoy of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, John Kearney of Irish Community Rapid Response and Krystian Fikert of mental health charity MyMind.

Each Impact winner was awarded €200,000 for their organisations.

A further five social entrepreneurs received €32,000 each in the ‘Elevator Award’ category. They were Natasha and Toby Haslam Hopwood of The Galtee Clinic, Peter Johnson of Jobnet, Graham Jones of Solas Project, Brian McCormick of Adtruism and Mags Mullarney of Move4Parkinson’s.

President Higgins said on the night that, “The range of endeavours shortlisted for this evening’s award is impressive and the empathy, generosity of spirit and commitment to society that has driven each one is inspiring.”

The €200,000 winners

John Evoy of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association

The community-based organisation provides men with a place to socialise and interact with each other with the common goal of advancing the health and well-being of its members. The IMSA currently supports over 6,000 men in 170 Sheds around the country.

John Kearney of Irish Community Rapid Response

Initially established in West Cork, Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) teams enhance local emergency services by providing additional medical personnel to respond to emergency callouts. ICRR teams have responded to over 300 call-outs, dealing with approximately 500 patients to date.

Krystian Fikert of mental health charity MyMind.

Krystian established MyMind with the goal of offering flexible, affordable and accessible mental health care using both web-based and in-person supports. MyMind delivers early intervention and prevention and currently works with over 80 fully qualified and accredited professionals, operating two centres in Dublin and one recently opened centre in Cork.

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(L/R: (Winners holding awards) Krystian Fikert, John Kearney and John McEvoy)

The awards

The awards have supported 161 social entrepreneurs with €4.9 million over the last eight years with current sponsor DCC announcing tonight that they will be renewing their sponsorship for at least another two years.

Seán Coughlan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland said his organisation will continue to work closely with the winners:

Each of our social entrepreneurs is addressing a real need in Irish society. The finalists were chosen for their outstanding leadership and the huge potential they have to bring about major changes in our country.

Read: Irish Men’s Sheds and other social entrepreneurs who want to make Ireland better >

Read: Social entrepreneurs with big ideas win €775k prizes >

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