Poke your head inside an ordinary shed in your local town one of these days and you might just find a new social phenomenon at work.
It’s called Irish Men’s Sheds and the idea is simple. An updated version of the shed in the backyard, men come together to fix bikes for local schools, repair furniture or just have a cuppa and a chat. But really it’s helping to alleviate loneliness and isolation for men, especially those who are unemployed.
It was another blustery day on Dublin’s Howth Head when volunteer sea-cliff climber Robin Blandford got called out to another search and rescue mission. “I remember thinking that if we only had better data from previous missions, we might be able to target our search more effectively.”
It was a ‘eureka’ moment. Within three months, Robin had established Decisions for Heroes, an innovative web application which, ultimately, will help to save more lives.
When George Boyle’s employer went out of business, she chose to make the moment a catalyst for something which would enliven a local community and reinvent the way people work in a recession.
She’s helped to create Fumbally Exchange (FEx), a brand new design hub in Dublin’s Liberties where entrepreneurs, the unemployed, and small businesses come together to share not just office space - but ideas, energy and innovation.
It permeates almost every aspect of our daily lives, but what happens if you’re one of the 40% of Irish adults who have difficulty with everyday maths?
Michael Hallissy and John Hurley are finding a way to re-invigorate maths education through AdultMaths, an e-learning initiative which gives adults the chance to access the vital maths education they missed out on at school.
Combine personal experience and a passion for change in the area of mental health, and you get a powerful catalyst for innovation in one of the most needy sectors of society.
Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard established Turn2Me, an interactive peer to peer support community where over 3,500 people come together online to share their problems, and encourage and support each other.