Mace Fundraising initiative with Down Syndrome Ireland renewed for two more years

Mace Fundraising initiative with Down Syndrome Ireland renewed for two more years

Ireland’s longest established convenience retailer MACE has launched a national fundraising campaign to support Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), following a renewal of their charity partnership.

The MACE fundraising campaign provide much-needed funds for the launch of a new online education course developed by Down Syndrome Ireland in response to the impact of the global pandemic on its members.

‘Ability online’

The ten-week course ‘Ability Online’ will provide supports to adults with Down syndrome who have been left more isolated with significant job losses and limited options to engage with further education and other life activities due to COVID-19.

The first €10,000 raised by MACE Retailers will allow DSI to set up and deliver the first 10-week-online course beginning February 15th, with every €5,000 raised thereafter funding an additional course.

DSI and MACE aim to raise enough funds to provide the course to every adult over the age of 29 with Down syndrome in Ireland. Up to now, the organisation has been curtailed from developing this programme fully because funding constraints only allowed registration of students younger than 29 years on the Ability online course.

 Mace stores across Ireland

Funds will be raised through a combination of countertop charity boxes in MACE stores across the country, a contribution from the sale of selected MACE own brand products and, Covid-19 restrictions allowing, a number of fundraising activities throughout the year.

Since adopting Down Syndrome Ireland as MACE’s official charity partner in 2017, MACE retailers have engaged in a number of initiatives designed to raise awareness and funds for the worthy charity and in the last two years have raised a total of €170,000 in funds.

Commenting on the launch of the fundraising campaign, MACE Sales Director, Daniel O’Connell said: “In the last 12months, MACE retailers have seen first-hand just how important our contribution is to the communities we serve and above all, in helping those most vulnerable. We are extremely proud therefore, to have renewed our partnership with DSI and to support this initiative which will provide meaningful opportunities to adults with Down syndrome to engage, socialise and look for employment opportunities.”

Commenting on the importance of the initiative, Down Syndrome Ireland CEO Barry Sheridan said: “We are delighted to have renewed our partnership with MACE, and in particular, to launch this year’s fundraising campaign for adults with Down syndrome as many of our members struggle with the impact of the pandemic.

“There are a broad range of benefits to having courses like Ability Online available. For example, adults with Down syndrome in Ireland have the highest incidence of early onset dementia. Engaging in education, working and getting to meet and socialise with other people daily are huge factors in fighting against early onset dementia. 

“Without this extra support, people with Down syndrome will struggle to engage in meaningful employment and continue to miss out on the social interaction that was absent over the past few months, as well as earning a wage and contributing to society, well after their colleagues have returned to work. 

Mace over 50 years

MACE is the longest established convenience brand in Ireland, serving local communities for over 50 years. Operated by independent retailers, the network includes local community stores as well as forecourt shopping, with over 160 stores around the country.

Established in 1971, Down Syndrome Ireland is the voice of people with Down syndrome and their families throughout Ireland. The charity has over 3,500 members with a national office and 25 branches nationwide. The charity provides ‘all-through-life’ supports to people with Down syndrome and their families across Ireland with specialists in the areas of health, speech and language, early development, education and adult education and independence that enhance the lives of thousands of children and adults with Down syndrome across the country. The charity is the biggest single group concerned with the welfare of people with a learning disability in Ireland.