Ballymun’s Innovative Communities in line for honours

by Rose Barrett

Rose Barrett

Innovate Communities, a leading social enterprise and registered charity based in Ballymun, has been announced as a finalist in the New Frontiers category of The Irish Times Innovation Awards 2022.

 Established in 1995, Innovate Communities rebranded in 2005 and has been nominated for their new online mentoring programme, ‘Inspire Mentoring’, which has been designed to help 18 to 25-year-olds realise their full potential through further education.

Inspire focuses on students who are part of HEAR, (Higher Education Access Route) a third level scheme that offers places to those underrepresented in higher education due to their socio-economic background.  The programme matches students with experienced professionals from similar social backgrounds who can act as a life role models, help them to see how education can change their lives, open doors to their networks and provide insights into the world of work.

Since the programme started, over 100 volunteer mentors have signed up and 100 young people have been through the mentoring process.


Elaine McGauran, Inspire Programme Manager from Innovate Communities, said: “We are delighted to be recognised for our innovation. At Innovate Communities, we work with communities to help devise local solutions to local problems.”

She noted that the programme recognised there are students with no access to professional networks who are in need of additional guidance and support, and to help them successfully navigate today’s professional world, the Inspire Programme was born.


Innovate Communities will be competing against two other finalists in the New Frontiers category at an awards ceremony in Dublin on March 9, 2022. The overall ‘Innovation of the Year’ award winner will receive a communications and advertising package worth €100,000. Category winners will receive a €10,000 communications package in Business+Innovation and a one-year premium digital subscription to The Irish Times.

PHOTO – Innovate Communities – (L-R) Tom Doyle, Anne Orrock, Elaine McGauran, Fiona Descoteaux, Annabelle Conway 




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