‘Future is social’: Limerick-based social enterprise highlights new campaign

‘Future is social’: Limerick-based social enterprise highlights new campaign

Dr Declan Sweeney fits Joseph with his new orthotics

DOORADOYLE-based social enterprise St Gabriel’s which provides orthotic treatments for children with disabilities, are helping to raise awareness about other companies like it.

Put simply, a social enterprise is a company set up to further a particular purpose in a financially sustainable way.

And St Gabriel’s Orthotic Services is among 40 awardees of the Social Enterprise Development Fund.

Social Enterprises across the State have provided services to more than 266,000 people, as well as supporting 500 people to obtain employment.

They’ve generated €22.2m in turnover – and engaged 16,000 volunteers over the last three years.

“Being a social enterprise is really, really important to our service, all orthotic services in Ireland are run by commercial companies, but we're different. The core element of our work and our ethos is about providing the best possible care and I believe that under the social enterprise umbrella we can really do that and really achieve that.” says Dr Declan Sweeney, the manager of St Gabriel’s Orthotic Services, who set up the services and now provides services for over 700 children with disabilities to help them achieve a better quality of life.

“I would encourage people to discover their own local social enterprises and see what they can offer”. 

“Social enterprise is at the heart of the inclusive economy we need to build in Ireland, creating sustainable jobs at the heart of local communities, while adding value and meeting local needs,” says Deirdre Mortell, the chief executive of Rethink Ireland.

‘The Future is Social’ campaign will be running over the next few months to help build awareness of the power of social enterprises and how they can help the post-Covid-19 social and economic recovery in a more inclusive way.

People are being asked to get involved in the campaign by supporting social, buying social and even creating social enterprises themselves.

The campaign will provide regional seminars on the internet, information and resources about social enterprises, what they can do, and how everyone can get involved. 

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