Christmas Jumper Day

In Partnership with Republic of Work Cork Foundation held a Christmas Jumper Day on the 13th of December last from 11am-1pm in aid of Edel House and Cork Path to help combat homelessness in Cork. It was a great event for a very worthy cause. Thank you to everyone attended our event and to those who adorned their Christmas Jumper on the day. We really do appreciate the continued support. 

We would also like to thank our Friends at TAPSTAK, Scoozi’s Restaurant for providing the yummy mince pies, Republic of Work and of Course Edel House  and Cork Path for their tireless work to help fight homelessness in Cork.

If you would like to support The Cork Foundation and give back to one of our worthy projects you can text FRIEND to to 50300 to donate. Text costs €4. Cork Foundation will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278. All donations are welcome and very much appreciated. 


Tee off for Cork

Fundraising Golf Day, Fr Murphys GAA, Cork Foundation, Field of Dreams


Hack for Good 2- Breaking News

We are delighted to announce that CPL have come in as key note sponsor for our upcoming #HackforGood event taking place in partnership with Republic of Work, 12 South Mall, Cork, Friday 13th October from 8am-8pm.

Cpl is a recognised leader in workforce solutions, specialist recruitment, managed services and outsourcing. They are passionate about ‘giving back’ and about technology, with over 50 specialist recruiters placing top technology talent in organisations every day. We feel Cpl are a natural fit for the promotion and roll out of our HackforGood campaign.

The five projects chosen to take part in HackforGood Part II are:

  • Equine Assisted Learning aims to facilitate children and adults to become emotionally resilient and self- aware through Equine Assisted Learning
  • Mna Feasa is a women’s domestic violence project established in 1991
  • S.H.A.R.E – S.H.A.R.E provides support to the elderly of Cork city by providing accommodation and friendship.
  • Surf To Heal East Cork  Surf2Heal East Cork is a local non-profit organisation which provides Summer surf camps for young children aged 4-18 with Autism.
  • Togher Family Centre  Togher Family Centre is a voluntary, community-based project located in the heart of Deanrock Estate, Togher, Cork.

 There is still time to register your interest and give back to worthy projects from Cork. We need you to offer your time and services if you have the following skillsets:

  • Web Designers,
  • Web Developers,
  • Graphic Designers,
  • IT Experts,
  • Communication & Digital marketing experts,
  • Photographers and Videographers

If you would like to give back for Cork, email


Hack for Good, CPL, Republic of Work, Cork Foundation, Mna Feasa, SHARE, equine, Togher Family Centre,Surf to Heal,


Cork Champions – Cork Foundation Chairperson, Aine Collins

Áine Collins Chairperson of Cork Foundation.
Picture: Darragh Kane

Over the next few weeks and months we are going to introduce you to individuals who have really been champions in Cork Businesses. These people will include the members of the board of Cork Foundation. This is an opportunity for you to get to know who they are and what they do for Cork.

The Cork Foundation is an organisation which was established in 2013 as a registered charity. Their objective is to match donors to social enterprises who through this funding, can create sustainable jobs and have a positive impact on local communities. The board works together to help deliver projects and create sustainable jobs in the Social Enterprise sector across Cork City and County.

Áine Collins, a former TD for Cork North West is the Chairperson of the Cork Foundation. She also has her own consulting business called Blueprint Consulting, offering advice and support to medium size companies. Aine was the founder of the Cork Foundation to begin with. Back in 2009 she got the idea when she was mentoring transition year students for Millstreet Community School, which was under the supervision of Jerry Kennelly and run out of Tralee IT, helping them with a project which was all about starting up a new business. It was on a particular day called the blue skies day, which had about 700 17-year-olds in a room and the energy was amazing that businessman Denis O’Brien, one of the speakers talked about the fact that there are 70 million people around the world who call themselves Irish. He also reflected on the fact that as he was building Digicel in the south pacific the work that Irish brothers and sister had done to help develop these counties meant that they were very grateful to Ireland, as some of these counites business and political leaders had been educated by Irish Missionary.

   Mary Galvin, Chairperson Aine Collins and Leah Fleming at the first HackForGood 


This got her thinking about how best to connect with these Irish people abroad and on what an impact this little country of ours has had on the rest of the world. She says that she felt a shiver down her spine when she heard about what Irish people had contributed to the rest of the world. From then on, she saw this as an untapped resource that no one had done anything about. She started the conversation and realised of course that we have all been affected my immigration and by people leaving our shores. That conversation, as well as getting people around the table is what led to the creation of the Cork Foundation. Cork seemed like the perfect place to start as Aine is from Cork herself and because the largest diaspora in Ireland is also from Cork.

Aine believes that there is a huge benefit in connecting with our diaspora because it gives people who have left Ireland a link to home and an opportunity to give back to their own community. This contribution can be a financial one or it can be through donating their time or simply recognising the impact Ireland has had worldwide. Aine say’s “people who have left Ireland, first, second, third generation, they still see themselves as Irish. There are a lot of people who would like to help but they don’t know how”

Aine sees that connecting with so many people can sometimes be a struggle, as everyone has busy lives but that is the challenge that the foundation faces. Technology is fantastic of course and a great resource but it is also important that there is a real presence both here and abroad, so people know who we are and how they can get involved. It is important that we reach out to people and gather their stories as well as information. Aine says, Irish people abroad see themselves as part of the Irish community and that is a national asset that we’ve never really focused on.”

Aine Collins, Chairperson Cork Foundation, Colette Quinn, Shine Centre for Autism, Mary Galvin, Leah Flemming and Padraic Vallely, Cork Foundation pictured at the presentation of cheques from the live crowding event where €12,000 was pledged for non profit support from businesses in Cork.
Photo Joleen Cronin

According to Aine reaching out and helping Social Enterprises to grow in Ireland is also very important for the foundation. It can be a great way of connecting with people in the community. “Social enterprise can solve a lot of our social problems in different communities” she remarks. These enterprises can help to aid the community around us and help it from dying out as we move into a more digital world. We still need social enterprise organisations so that people can socialise, meet and communicate with each other. However, they do need funding and many people aren’t even aware that social enterprises do struggle to survive. That is where the Cork Foundation can step in. We can be the eyes and ears for Irish people at home and abroad, helping to keep their home place vibrant. Aine says, “if you can give people help with investment you can create sustainable jobs and this improves lives”

All the organisations that the Cork Foundation helps to fund have a special place in Aine’s heart. She does however especially mention how proud she is of the work done to help fund the Cork Life Centre as there is a huge need to help young people who have fallen out of the educational system. Aine explains that this organisation has changed many young people’s lives forever as well as their family and their environment. She says, The Cork Life Centre are so passionate and we all know that If we can help people when they are young it has a huge impact on their future

Setting up the Cork Foundation and developing it is, Aine says has been an incredible passionate journey and would not be possible without the help of so many other people it is a huge achievement to get it thus far. She says it is great to see our number two employee starting and continuing to see the organisation grow. She is immensely proud of the work that the foundation has done so far. She explains that at times it seemed impossible but now she feels confident about the future and where the foundation is headed. Aine says “We are still the only organisation in the country who is focused on building our diaspora and helping social enterprise. It is unique!”  She hopes that the Cork Foundation will become a model that others will look at and say we can do this too. Aine wishes to grow the foundation so that it can operate in Europe and Asia in the future, as well as the UK and the US. For now, though she is focused, as are the other members of the board on growing the foundation at home and launching our first network in London in September 2017 as well as making a positive difference to those involved.



HackforGood – Part 2

Applications are now open


Cork Foundation are delighted to announce Cork’s second Hack for Good will take place on Friday 13th of October from 8am-8pm in REPUBLIC OF WORK, 12 South Mall, Cork.


#HackForGood was a one-day event, which took place on May 12th 2017, whereby five causes; charities and social enterprises got an online makeover through the skills of volunteers. €40,000 worth of services and time were donated by the Cork business community, for worthy projects including,  Benchspace, Path Trust, Rebel Wheelers & Down Syndrome Centre Cork.

Cork Foundation with Down Syndrome Centre Cork, one of the successful projects chosen for HackforGood

This October, Five Cork causes will again be given the opportunity to develop their online presence with the help of a voluntary team of graphic/web designers, marketers and programmers.  

As demonstrated in the inaugural #HackForGood we were overwhelmed with the support of the tech community giving back to worthy Cork organisations.We are calling on projects across Cork city and County to apply for this unique opportunity to enhance and develop your online presence. Applications are now open, so get hacking and get giving” commented CEO of Cork Foundation Padraic Vallely

Applications are now open for charities and social enterprises to be selected for the online makeover. Charities, Companies or individuals interested in taking part can apply online: or email:

Cork Foundation, Republic of Work, HACKFORGOOD2
Pictured from left to right Aisling Weldon,Republic of Work, Padraic Vallely CEO Cork Foundation and Ella Griffin Republic of Work announcing Cork’s second #HACKFORGOOD taking place October 13th.


We are calling on the Cork business community for their support. This is an opportunity for individuals and organisations to give back to community/voluntary groups from Cork City and County. If you are interested in getting involved and volunteering you can email


General Manager of REPUBLIC OF WORK, Frank Brennan added “Republic of Work were delighted to be involved in Hack for Good back in May and look forward to #HackForGood 2 this October. There was enormous support shown by Cork businesses, especially the development/design agencies and freelance community that got involved to give back to Cork communities”.


Hackforgood, cork foundation, republicofwork


Cork Life Centre – Student Profile William

William had a rocky beginning in mainstream education. He joined the Life Centre in 2014 as a 3rd year student, two years ago. He is eagerly anticipating his return in September. He described his relationship with the centre as “too strong, it is unbelievable – it’s not just another school this is a family. It has changed my life as well as my families.”

In 2008 After budget cuts, the Cork Life Centre lost all funding from the department of education. However, the centre has still managed to grow and continue to help all the students that pass through its doors. “The donations we receive benefit the students and the teachers so much.” Last year William went to Calcutta in India to help street children, an opportunity he may not have had if he had stayed in a mainstream school. “I am so grateful, it is hard to talk about and explain the experience but it has completely changed my outlook on life, the children have so little but are still so grateful for everything they have.”

The 17 year old is determined to sit his leaving certificate and has aspirations about becoming professionally involved with mixed martial arts. At the tender age of 17 William has already won 6 national titles in MMA and Jiu-jitsu and is currently preparing for the World and European Championships next year.

The Cork Life Centre works to provide services to those students who felt distant from the mainstream education system and to give young people across Cork a second chance at succeeding in a school environment. Deputy director Rachel Lucey says “the developments which have been made as a result of the funding from the Cork Foundation have been consistent and have helped to improve the lives of so many young people throughout Cork city and county.” The centre wants to see their students get a step closer to their aspirations and dreams.



Cork Home and Away

As part of Cork County Council and Cork Foundation Diaspora Strategy, we are delighted to announce Cork Foundation inaugural photo exhibition. This is part of a year long strategy with Cork County Council, linking with Corks diaspora.

The exhibition will take place October 26th at Cork County Council , and the exhibition will run for a week in Cork County Council main foyer.

We are calling Cork people  at home and abroad to submit their photos, highlighting what Cork means to you.

What does Cork really mean to you?

The photos must be sent in jpeg format because they are being submitted by email and be no less than 300 ppi. They must also be submitted by the 21st of August to or

If you would like to hear more about this inaugural photographic competition, you can email me at

One of Cork Foundation main aims is to reach out to the Cork Diaspora, and give them an opportunity to give back to their parish, community and town in Cork. By investing in social enterprises we are making a substantial difference to communities across Cork.


Cork Foundation, Cork County Council , Diaspora, Photographic Exhibition, Cork Home and Away


Dukes Coffee Give back to Cork

Thank you to Dukes Coffee who recently hosted a fundraiser on behalf of Cork Foundation.

Dukes coffee kindly hosted the Cork Foundation in a fundraising drive on Friday 7th June raising awareness and fundraising for projects in Cork City and County.  Through online and offline donations over €750.00 was raised on the day.

“The aim of this campaign is to get people active and talking about the importance of social enterprises for the community. Our key aim is to get people giving and by texting FRIEND to 50300 , a €4 donation will be given to social enterprises projects across the county” said Chairperson Cork Foundation Aine Collins.

We are connecting with the Cork Business community to create awareness and provide funding models for worthy social enterprises across Cork City and County.

Do you or your organisation want to Give back to Cork.

Contact our team today and we would be delighted with any help that you can give to Cork Foundation.

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Impact of Cork Foundation Funding


Students William Cooper, Alan Raymond and Amber O’Callaghan with Don O’Leary, Director

The Cork Foundation is a unique philanthropic model which is fueled by donations from people who are keen to support social enterprise and community groups who bring about positive social change. It’s designed to help social enterprises to flourish. The funding provided allows these diverse organisations to create jobs and make a positive impact on the local community. The Cork Foundation’s main aim is connecting with Cork network globally to support Cork people locally. They match donors by connecting local and international donors to social enterprise projects in their community. This contribution goes towards creating sustainable jobs in the area, which in turn helps to improve the lives of Cork people and provides a meaningful way to give back.

The partnership with the Cork Life Centre has been a truly rewarding one for all involved. Seeing the impact that the centre has had on young people’s lives is really inspiring. Board member Frank Hannigan says “Everyone at Cork Foundation is blown away by the Cork Life Centre. The ambition and the ability to execute their strategy is motivational.” The Cork Foundation is delighted to play a small part in helping the centre to carry out their important work. It’s all about making a difference and the Cork Life Centre, through their impressive efforts does just that.

Pupils Alan Raymond and Danny O’Keeffe with Don O’Leary, Director and Pádraic Vallely, CEO Cork Foundation

Established in 2000, the purpose of the Cork Life Centre is to provide education to students who have needed to find an an alternative learning environment outside of mainstream education. Don O’Leary took over the centre in 2006 when there were just 6 students and 5 staff members. At present there are 51 students with 71 volunteers, only three of which are being paid.

The Cork Life Centre was forced to refuse 138 students this year which Don O’Leary, director of the life centre described as one of the most difficult obstacles he has been faced with. After budget cuts in 2008 by the Department of Education all funding from the state ceased. According to Don O’Leary, “while they are still receiving funding from the Christian Brothers, bursaries have decreased despite an increase in students attending the education centre.”

Director Don O’Leary explains that there is “Extremely diverse cohort of young people in the centre who have two things in common – firstly they did not have positive experiences in mainstream schools and secondly their confidence is at an all time low.” Funding is a constant battle for the Cork Life Centre and without an increase in funding and development the numbers of student being refused will continue to rise.

The Cork Life Centre is just one of the very worthy causes that the Cork Foundation helps to fund. Cork Foundation are offering a great opportunity to Cork businesses at home and abroad to invest in social enterprise projects and improve the lives of Cork people by getting involved with Cork Champions Programme. Being a champion is a chance for local people to invest in Cork and to give back to a social enterprise in a responsible and simple way.  Cork Foundation provides the framework for companies to contribute and allows donors to see for themselves the difference their donation can make to their local community.



Launch of The Friends of the Foundation Campaign

The Cork Foundation who’s aim is to connect Cork people globally to help Cork people locally are excited to announce the launch of their Friends of the Foundation campaign. This campaign is designed to allow those with a keen interest in Cork past, present and future to engage and give back to the Cork Foundation simply by texting FRIEND to 50300 and donating just 4 Euro.

Darragh Keating, Manager, Dukes City Gate; Aidan Duke, Proprietor, Dukes Coffee Co.; Pádraic Vallely, CEO, Cork Foundation; and Laura Hallissey (Front), Cork Foundation, pictured at The Cork Foundation Coffee Morning at Dukes Coffee in City Gate Mahon. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM Photo

To celebrate the launch of this campaign, Dukes coffee kindly hosted the Cork Foundation in a fundraising drive on Friday 7th June raising awareness and fundraising for projects in Cork City and County. Over €500 was raised on the day.

“The aim of this campaign is to get people active and talking about the importance of social enterprises for the community. Our key aim is to get people giving and by texting FRIEND to 50300 , a €4 donation will be given to social enterprises projects across the county” said Chairperson Cork Foundation Aine Collins.

Recent beneficiaries include Cork Life Centre, who offer an alternative learning for young people who find themselves outside of main stream education. Cork Life centre recently received €120,000 to help deliver services for the people of Cork.
Cork Foundation recently supported Field of Dreams which is a horticulture centre for adults with Down Syndrome. These among others are Heroes for the Cork Foundation and we want to continue supporting worthy projects in Cork.

All the funds raised by the Friends of the Foundation campaign will go towards supporting social enterprises in the community.
CEO of the Cork Foundation, Padraic Vallely, says ” All the funds raised by the Friends of the Foundation campaign will go towards supporting social enterprises in the community. We want the Cork community to give back and we would like to say thank you to Dukes coffee for hosting this event. We are calling on other businesses to get involved, get active and become friends of the foundation by hosting and running events, and giving back to Cork.”

Pádraic Vallely, CEO, Cork Foundation with Richard Moran, Down Syndrome Cork/Field of Dreams, pictured at The Cork Foundation Coffee Morning at Dukes Coffee in City Gate Mahon. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM Photo

To become a Friend of the Foundation:

• Text ‘ FRIEND” to 50300 and a donation of €4 will go to the supporting social enterprise in Cork or alternatively you can give a donation.

For any further information please visit