Small Fish, Big Heart

Having received the warmest of welcomes when he arrived in Galway from France, Sébastien Locteau was keen to return the warmth in at least one of the ways he could. By jumping into the cold green sea!

Small Human Fish, Large Heart

“A human in the open ocean, is like a small fish”, he says.

Not one for holding back at getting crazy things done, Sébastien has run marathons, partaken in triathlons, and an odd swim or two – some of them very odd! But nothing like his latest target, swimming the Wild Atlantic bay that rocks and rolls between Clare and Salthill. Not just for the kudos, though, Sébastien has those who have suffered even more than a long cold swim in mind, those who are on a tough mudder of a journey through the foul weather of cancer.

Having had serious health issues himself, he was lucky enough to have a doctor who knew the need to run, and who said to Sébastien, I know that “you can’t” won’t work for you. Now back on his feet, Sébastien will do whatever he can for those who today cannot, in the hope that one day they can.

On Saturday 22nd July, Sébastien will tackle the Galway Bay Swim, to raise funds for Cancer Care West

Your support, no matter how small will be deeply appreciated. And if you are around Salthill on Saturday, come along and cheer them home to shore.

This entry was posted in Challenge, Community and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Positivity Guaranteed

Three days of workshops, uplifting speakers, resources and fun activities for the young and those who offer them care and guidance in October @ the RDS in Dublin.


Zeminar will bring all those focused on the development and well-being of young people in Ireland to one place. Those aged between 15 and 19, their parents, teachers, mentors and coaches will learn and enjoy in a variety of ways hooking up with some of the best and most innovative organisations on this island.

Attendees will leave the event with new knowledge to help them live happier, safer, and more fulfilling lives.


Speakers taking to the main stage include: Bressie, Peter McVerry; The Parents of Donal Walsh; Mark Little of Storyful; Jamie Heaslip; David Gillick; Maria Walsh/Former Rose of Tralee; Dr. Rhona Mahony/Master of Holles St.; Dermot Whelan/Today FM; Senator Lynn Ruane; Ian Power/Spunout; Doug Leddin – to name but a few.







This entry was posted in Community, Fun, Innovation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Man Found a Dog

One evening, Joe Molloy was followed home from the shops by a cheeky Jack Russell.

Lost Jack Russell

Jack the Lad

Now Joe was fond of dogs, he already shared his home with two canines, but they weren’t interested in a new four-legged lodger in the house. In fact were dead set against it. So Joe needed to find Jack’s owner and fast.  Enter the Internet. Joe a keen Website developer himself, realised the only way to spread the word, especially outside office hours, was via the Web and social media. And so the birth of Lost and Found Pets Ireland, which helps owners report or find their missing hairy or furry friends.

Lost and Found Pets Ireland Logo You enter your pets info which feeds out to Twitter, and you can even generate a poster to print and pin to trees, lampposts, or the local postman.

Another great example of people coming together online to bring solace in the non-virtual world where cats and dogs bring fun and mayhem to the human idea of order.

Cat and Human Reunited

Amanda and Bella reunited thanks to the on and offline community “What do you mean say cheese? I say milk, or even chicken!”



This entry was posted in Community, Innovation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Mentors Corner

People who have managed or worked on various projects kindly offer to share their experiences, and in some cases offer mentoring to those considering or starting similar projects.

If you have worked on a project, your shared experience will be much appreciated. Your contact details can be kept private or made public as you wish.

If you are considering, or up to your ears in a project and would like some support, feel free to contact us, as someone may be able to offer some words of guidance or more…

Currently available to mentor:

Krystian Fikert of MyMind

John Evoy of Men’s Sheds

Christophe Lombardi



Heart and Sole


Man’s got Soul!

Eamonn Keaveney is currently walking around Ireland to raise funds for Pieta House. Fair play to him you’ll say…you might say a bit more when you hear he’s taking this very long stroll, barefoot! And then you might have a gasp or two when you see the cut of his feet. His sister, Maureen, one of his many supporters shares a few thoughts…

When Eamonn first came up with the idea, most of us didn’t believe him and here he is on day 94 of his epic journey. He is walking just over 2,000km around Ireland in his bare feet – for two reasons. He’d read about the longest barefoot journey in the Guinness Book of Records and he thought to himself “I’m going to break that”.

A good friend of his died by suicide and this made him decide to fundraise for Pieta House, and help raise awareness of suicide and self-harm along the way. With little preparation, no diet plans or support team, except for his family at home, he packed a tent and other essential items in a rucksack.

IMG_20160506_211146He’s been extremely fortunate as he has only had to camp three times so far. Many followers and businesses kindly offered him a place to stay along the way. People have literally spent hours driving around looking for him, bringing him picnics, ice creams or snacks and love to stop and have a chat with him. People are curious when they see him on the road and offer him lifts or shoes!


Measure a journey not in miles but in friends made on the way

He’s received so many lovely messages of support, thanks, and encouragement on a daily basis and is overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.  

We are thrilled that so far, as well as avoiding major accident or injury during his walk, Eamonn’s donation link has raised over €16,000, far beyond the €1,000 euro target our humble brother originally set. He is so down to earth, a very relaxed fellow. Nothing is ever too much trouble. He has stayed up many nights, talking to supporters even though he has been ready to collapse from exhaustion after a long days walk, but he never complains. He has undertaken such a selfless act in trying to help others. He’s an inspiration and we are so very proud of him.

We expect Eamonn to complete his journey and arrive home in Claremorris to a hero’s welcome on August 12th. I’m sure he will have many amazing stories to tell. Hopefully, he will make it into The Guinness World Book of records as he broke the record on July 13th. It would be lovely to get him a copy at Christmas. He has had the pleasure of seeing our beautiful country, meeting some of the nicest people and in turn leaving footprints in their hearts.IMG_20160709_140449

We wish him well on the last legs of his journey…if you catch sight of him, remember to offer him encouragement or snacks, but please no shoes!

Donate here

Tweet all about him  @baringmysoles


This entry was posted in Challenge, Community and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Good Food Wasted? We Need an App for That


Two ladies from different educational backgrounds cross paths and discover the same interest in channelling good food going to waste towards those short of food. And their solution? Let’s make an app for that! The fruit of their joined up thinking is the innovative and inspiring FoodCloud. Food businesses upload information about food they have available, and this info is promptly sent to charities signed up to the FoodCloud. Volunteers get their skates on to collect and distribute the food. Or take it back to a soup kitchen where it is turned into something delicious (and maybe unusual).

Many of us are now working towards a zero waste society…a great place to start has to be zero waste of good food! Sign the FoodCloud Pledge @


This entry was posted in Community, Innovation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Good Food Wasted? We Need an App for That

  1. Pingback: Extra Food+Hungry Folk+Your Time=Fulfilment |

Get Your APP Cap On

Apps4Gaps Logo Everyday more data than any one person can eat is produced all over Ireland (and the world), data that can be used to benefit us all…if only someone would come up with an app to analyse it, and grind out the gems and patterns that could help us make small and large decisions wisely…? Maybe you, and a friend or two? Oh and by the way, this BIG Data is just sitting there, freely available and accessible to all!

So Apps4Gaps is a clever competition to get people thinking and designing and building to wrestle some good from all this free data.

your idea+her idea+his idea+another idea=app

app+free data=social good

app+win Apps4Gaps=€5000  !!!

It’s a no brainer, just get your brain in gear and get thinking and creating. There are two categories, Student and Open. A few small terms and conditions, like you have to hook up with others (called a team), and design or build the app. Who knows, society could be so grateful, and you (and your team) could have €5000  to spend on something nice or your next BIG idea.


Apps4Gaps Competition

This entry was posted in Challenge, Community, Innovation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Gardening Communities

Social community gardening has been growing in popularity over recent years for many reasons but if you haven’t discovered this enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours outdoors, you might be wondering what these kind of gardens are, and who gets involved…

People around a table in a sunny garden

Hot tips

Community gardens are places where people of all ages and experiences come together in an outdoors setting to share the work and share the harvest. This makes them ideal places to make the most of your strengths. If you have a bad back, someone else does the digging, if you love weeding, someone else will hate it! Then when it’s time to share the food grown, recipes are swapped, new vegetables tried and tasty meals shared.

There are no two community gardens alike but they have lots in common. They are usually inter-generational, socially inclusive, cross all socio-economic barriers. Above all, they are places where people talk about, grow, care for and share food, and maybe more besides, shoulder to shoulder. If you ask people what they enjoy most about being in a community garden, you’d be hard pushed to split them between loving the social aspects or just being outside and working with nature.

two gents laughing one holding a spade

So that’s how you hold a spade!

There are lots of reasons you might enjoy being in a local community garden, and usually you only have to be there for a couple of hours each week to experience them.

If you don’t have a garden or any idea how to garden, you’ll be welcomed. You might have a large garden that’s unmanageable, live alone and don’t have the energy to garden on your own; in a community garden you’ll meet people who enjoy sharing the workload and the company. You might want to meet new people and grow new friendships. In a community garden you’ll find like-minded people who care about food and nature. There’s a range of experience in a community garden, from none at all to years and years of greening fingers. You’ll always go home having learnt something new about food, the environment, gardening and of course humans.

ladies potting up

Linking up with local Education Training Boards, community gardens often run free, fun or accredited training courses that might include beginners gardening, preserving, cooking skills, recycling, composting stonewalling or landscaping. Trips to other gardens (on invite), talks or events often take place too.

2 lads in among flowers and plants

Sweet peas and guests

Are your green fingers getting twitchy? The Community Garden Network (CGN) is a voluntary organisation that supports community gardening in Ireland and Northern Ireland. They’ve started to map all the gardens on their website so if you’re looking for a garden close to you, take a look there first. Alternatively why not start one up? The CGN offer advice and virtual support and meet two or three times every year in different counties around the island.

For more information or Facebook

We are grateful to Dee Sewell for this Post. Dee is owner of Greenside Up, a social enterprise in Carlow where she works as a community garden tutor and volunteers with a new 2 acre Carlow community garden. Dee is one of the founding members and a coordinator of the Community Garden Network  set up in 2011 to offer support to community gardens in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This entry was posted in Community and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Fun Corner


Extra Food+Hungry Folk+Your Time=Fulfilment

Food Cloud Logo

Got some time and energy to spare? The good food people over at Foodcloud need volunteers to help rescue unwanted food, and get it to those who need it, and maybe a few little jobs in between…so if you like to roll up your sleeves and maybe wear a funny hat or tee-shirt, they would love to hear from you.

And just to show how professional they are over there, you’ll even get training…next session takes place on Wednesday 25th of February, and is the last one for a while! Email

Related post

This entry was posted in Challenge, Community, Innovation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Electrons, Neurons, and a Lotta Grey Matter

Yes we can…host tourists, events, and every kind of digital…


Host in Ireland, a marketing initiative created to drive interest in hosting digital assets in Ireland, will host From Electrons to Neurons, Why Hosting Matters to Ireland. The half-day event, co-located with DataCentres Ireland and Cloud & IT Security Ireland, will be held November 11, 2014 from 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM @ the RDS. …Ireland: your data HQ, when it comes to your data, we mean business

This entry was posted in Challenge, Innovation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Extra Food+Hungry Folk+Your Time=Fulfilment

Food Cloud Logo

Got some time and energy to spare? The good food people over at Foodcloud need volunteers to help rescue unwanted food, and get it to those who need it, and maybe a few little jobs in between…so if you like to roll up your sleeves and maybe wear a funny hat or tee-shirt, they would love to hear from you.

And just to show how professional they are over there, you’ll even get training…next session takes place on Wednesday 25th of February, and is the last one for a while! Email

Related post

This entry was posted in Challenge, Community, Innovation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Crisis Response Volunteers

CCRTTlogoThe Community Crisis Response Team are on call from 5pm to 6am each day, every day. They respond to those in mental distress who make contact directly, or when alerted by a concerned passer-by, a friend or family member.


Team members have appropriate training, and also carry out patrols, and community awareness outreach. Operating for some time now in the Limerick area, the organization wishes to make its wonderful service available nationwide and is calling for volunteers. Can you help?

Contact                    Twitter                  Facebook



This entry was posted in Challenge, Community and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

All the Lonely People? Not for Long…Enter Generation Accommodation


It’s a ridiculously simple idea…like most genius light bulb moments! Students desperate for somewhere (reasonably decent) to live, and older folk who are living alone, and maybe feeling a bit solitary…what if the two should meet? Enter Generation Accommodation: a group of outwardly-minded students who, to quote “provides a unique matching process, community, and facilitates the accommodation process seamlessly taking into account the needs of the participants”. Socially responsible students get to share the home (and company and life perspective) of a senior member of society, as part of a networked community. And usually for a lower rent…win-win all round. Their message is simple: reach out, connect, care. 


This entry was posted in Community, Innovation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Accessible Affordable Mental Health Care – MyMind

MyMind Krystian Fikert Logo

Originally from Poland, Krystian Fikert came to Ireland in 2004 with a degree in Clinical Psychology. On seeing the difficulties faced by people seeking mental health services, Krystian set up an affordable and accessible psychotherapeutic service. By drastically reducing admin costs, and giving clients rapid access to counsellors and psychotherapists, MyMind allowed people to quickly talk to a mental health professional, and so avoid the prohibitive costs of private services or the long waiting lists of the public sector.

Key Moment

A key moment in the development of MyMind came in 2009 when Krystian was recognised by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland as an emerging social entrepreneur. This recognition gave Krystian access to a wide network of business supports that helped develop MyMind. In 2010, MyMind was awarded funding by ESB Electric Aid and The One Foundation, and became a recipient of the David Manley Award for social enterprise. In the same year, MyMind first received support from the HSE, through the National Office for Suicide Prevention.

With the help of all of these partners, MyMind grew each year, supporting more and more clients. From impacting 398 lives in 2009, by 2011 it was reaching 2,032 people.

Elevator Award

The support from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland continued in 2011, when Krystian became an awardee of the Elevator Award which provides social entrepreneurs in the early stages of a project with funding, support and training to enable them to develop and scale their idea and maximise their impact. This helped MyMind reach even more clients. A new centre opened in Dublin’s Northside to accommodate demand, while the centre on Dublin’s Southside saw an ever increasing number of appointments.

Grants from the Arthur Guinness Fund and collaboration with BoehringerIngelheim propelled MyMind’s growth in 2012 as its social enterprise approach to the provision of mental health services became increasingly well known.

Online Services

MyMind Online Services

The addition of web-based mental health support through the innovative MyMind Online platform vastly increased its ability to reach more and more clients. People can access individual counselling services via video conference, and free of charge online consultations.

Beyond Dublin

MyMind expanded outside Dublin when Minister Kathleen Lynch opened the Cork centre in 2013. Crucial to the most recent expansion of MyMind has been Krystian winning the SEI Impact Award in 2013, which helps entrepreneurs already delivering an effective solution to some of Ireland’s greatest social and environmental challenges to scale their organisations. Since the Impact Award, MyMind has opened a new centre in Limerick and the number of appointments has grown to 1,200 a month in October 2014.

Future Goals

MyMind’s goals for the next two years involve maximising the potential of existing services, expanding its network of services and reaching financial breakeven by 2016. To date, MyMind has been able to generate 73% of its own finances, and with the growth of its services is on track to meet the goal of self-sustainability in two years time.

Mental Health in the Workplace

MyMind at Work

The most recent addition to MyMind’s services is MyMind at Work, which seeks to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace through talks, seminars and workshops. In 2014, over 15 companies used MyMind at Work to help employees develop emotional resilience, a number that is sure to grow in 2015.

From its origins in a community centre in North Dublin, MyMind has grown to four locations across Ireland, with a thriving online support service and a workplace program impacting over 14,000 lives to date.

This entry was posted in Challenge, Community, Innovation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Welcome to a new website to honour and celebrate individuals, communities, innovation, great ideas, and start-ups all around Ireland. We will be sharing stories that embody a positive spirit of can-do getting-it-done at home in Ireland and across the globe.

Whether it’s a community coming together to revive their village, an individual getting well, a person or two or three or more who found a new way of making a living, or a simple act of kindness that made a big difference, we want to hear about them, and group them together here…whatever the tale, yours or a neighbour’s, we would love to hear from you…Contact

Mentors Corner – We also connect people considering or starting a project with those who have been down a similar road through our Mentors Corner.

A Bit of Networking – …and maybe help connect those who need extra hands on a project to those who have hands to spare.

For blog updates, follow us on Twitter @YesIrelandCan


A Hashtag Can

Hashtag Symbol   Have you entered the Twittersphere? A number of brave and creative people are jumping into Twitter and throwing a hashtag party for fun and more. So many hashtags bringing people together to share and support, and grow personally or professionally…to cite but a few examples:  #irishbizparty, #irishtechparty, #twiznight, #firstfortnight, #irishfictionfortnight…the list will continue to evolve, just as Twitter has and will.

People using the virtual space to make real-life communities that directly impact the personal and business lives of many. It’s an open invitation to throw your Twitter hat in the mix, and lend or receive some support. Get yourself a @handle, and maybe one day your hashtag can ripple through the Twittersphere and beyond.

Earth Hashtag

One little hashtag to change the world




This entry was posted in Community, Innovation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.