Get Involved – The Sustainable Communities Initiative

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Picture Conor McCabe Photography


Leitrim had a national award winner last year

Manorhamilton’s Seamus Dunbar took home a national award in last year’s Get Involved competition winning as a Community Energy Champion. This year’s competition is open for applications now. You need to get your application by Friday 23rd February 2018.

What is the Get Involved Initiative?

Get Involved encourages communities to come together to preserve the best aspects of their local areas, to protect their environment and to create local jobs.

It’s an initiative that’s built around a competition. Since 2013, projects all over Ireland have competed to share in a significant prize fund. In 2017/18 the winning projects will share a fund of €17,000. However, above and beyond the competition, Get Involved is about encouraging people to take positive action and to become responsible for their local areas.

Who runs and supports the Get Involved Initiative?

The initiative was developed by Local Ireland, a group that represents 43 local newspapers and each of the Get Involved projects is paired with one of these local news brands. The partner newspaper provides coverage of the project as work progresses and sometimes even offers hands on assistance too!

The initiative brings clear benefits to local economies and the environment by helping communities to become low-carbon, resource-efficient and economically resilient.

What will the Initiative focus on in 2018?

Get Involved 2018 will focus on the following four areas:

  1. Sustainable energy
    Projects based around community co-ops for local energy; building energy efficient retrofits; or producing renewable fuels for use locally to provide heat, transport and power.
  2. Food Production
    Projects that are involved in growing and processing local food produce for the needs of their community through community food co-ops.
  3. Nature/Biodiversity
    Community projects that enhance, restore and protect nature and ecosystems. Eco-tourism projects will also be included in this category, particularly those projects that can demonstrate the creation of sustainable local employment.
  4. Water-Resource Efficiency
    Locally-based projects that recognise the requirement for water sustainability and/or raise awareness of how critical this invaluable resource is to localities. This category will also include projects that aim to develop markets for recyclables in Ireland.

Projects do not need to be completed by the end of the calendar year. However, clear and demonstrable progress must be proven as will fulfilment of the judging criteria. Projects that are already established and working to clear defined plan are also eligible to enter.

Who will judge the competition?

The competition will be judged by a panel or four, including a representative of SEAI and will be chaired by broadcaster and environmentalist, Duncan Stewart.

What awards are on offer?

Category winners will receive €2,000 with the overall winner receiving an additional  €3,000. Second placed entries in each category will receive €1,000, and third placed entries in each category will receive €500

What is the deadline to apply  and when does judging take place?

  • Selection of projects by 23rd February 2018
  • First round judging based on submissions, September 2018
  • Site visits to shortlisted projects, Late September 2018
  • Awards ceremony, Awards ceremony October 2018

Where can I get more information about making an application?

You can get more information about making an entry to the Get Involved initiative, including application forms at the link HERE

Alternatively you can contact the Get Involved Initiative via email at

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