Community and Voluntary Groups invited to Join Sustainability Challenge

Posted on 5 Dec 2018

Community and voluntary groups are invited to sign up to a new national initiative designed to help communities become more sustainable. Community projects that join the Spark Change Challenge by 31 January 2019 will be given access to expert advice, information resources, free training and small grants for local information events. In 2019, Ireland’s top sustainability projects will be showcased at the inaugural Spark Change Awards.

 The Spark Change Challenge was developed by The Wheel, the national association of nonprofits and Trinity College Dublin to help communities become more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Programme, the project will illuminate how community and voluntary activity is contributing to Ireland’s commitment to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Commenting on the Spark Change Challenge, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said, “We live on a fragile planet with finite resources and our individual actions have a global impact. To ensure that future generations have enough resources to meet their needs, we have to take steps today to make our communities more sustainable. Spark Change provides an incentive for communities to take the first step Spark Change Challenge and sharing their success stories to inspire other communities. The Spark Change website [] is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to set their community on a path to a more sustainable future. Here you will find case studies, free resources and all the information you need to complete the Spark Change Challenge.” towards becoming more sustainable." 

Dr Vincent Carragher, Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin added, “Sustainability is often associated with the environment, but there are also economic and social sides to sustainable development. It is something everyone can work towards, whether it is picking up litter, planting a community garden, creating a sustainable employment scheme, campaigning for gender equality or promoting health and wellbeing, anyone can help to make their community, Ireland and our planet more sustainable.”

Any community and voluntary organisation, individual or group of people with a shared vision can sign-up to the Spark Change Challenge. All participating projects must be based in the Republic of Ireland.

Shane Colgan from the Environmental Protection Agency said, “The EPA’s vision is of a clean, healthy and well-protected environment supporting a sustainable society and economy.  We welcome the launch of the Spark Change initiative as a vital step along the way to helping Ireland make the necessary transition to a sustainable future.  Spark Change will work to connect great projects in local communities all across Ireland to the worldwide sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations.”

You can sign up for the challenge at