In Changing Ireland: My Big Idea, a TV show brought to us by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and broadcast on Irelands main TV station RTE, we meet people working to solve some of Ireland’s biggest social challenges — from health to housing, to food waste — people whose big ideas are Changing Ireland.
We talk so much about social enterprise and the wonderful impact social projects have in our communities but often times we don’t always get to see first-hand the people directly affected by the issues involved and given an insight into how their lives have been transformed for the better because of the work done by social entrepreneurs. My Big Idea gives us that opportunity.
Although this is a TV show documenting social enterprise in Ireland a lot of the issues dealt with are universal and speak to people from all walks of life.
One of the organisations included are FoodCloud, Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward and their team are working to realise their vision of a world where no good food goes to waste. They highlight the issues around food waste, with 30-50% of food being wasted internationally, FoodCloud has developed smart local solutions to a global problem that can sometimes seem too big to tackle. So far, they’ve helped ensure that the equivalent of a staggering 75 million meals have gone to people and not to waste. And not only is there a social impact, but there’s an environmental one too — FoodCloud’s big idea has already helped avoid approximately 100,000 tonnes of CO2 being produced.
Another organisation that features heavily is Men’s Sheds. Some 10,000 men a week visit one of over 450 Men’s Sheds across Ireland. In Kilbeggan Men’s Shed, the members are busy having a laugh, baking scones, playing hurling and sharing news with each other as part of their weekly ‘news-round’. When one of the members, Johnny Hannify, was invited to join following the death of his wife Maureen, he didn’t know what to expect. However, when he left the shed after his first visit, Johnny had already made fifteen to twenty friends that he still regards as friends to this day.
All episodes can be viewed on YouTube via the links below.
*Changing Ireland: My Big Idea is produced for RTÉ One, in association with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and with the kind support of Permanent TSB, The One Foundation and DCC plc.