The Community Foundation for Ireland, one of Ireland’s leading philanthropic organisations has today announced that over €600,000 will be awarded to community and voluntary groups across Ireland to increase the sense of belonging in Ireland. This year of #Belonging16 commences immediately with the announcement of €100,000 in grants being made available for community parties. 400 grants of €250 are on offer to communities across Ireland to host community parties, encouraging locals to get to know their neighbours. Each community will receive a toolkit from The Community Foundation, along with their €250 grant to host a community party during 2016. Tina Roche CEO, The Community Foundation for Ireland commented, “The Community Parties of €250 are open to any and all communities across Ireland and are a great opportunity to celebrate your area and bring back that age old tradition of really knowing and looking out for your neighbour”. From March 1st the remaining €500,000 will be made available in grants to groups who work with families at risk of homelessness, refugees and transgender identities and experiences. Each grant scheme is aimed at promoting and increasing the sense of belonging for these groups and their communities. Tina Roche, added, “We see 2016 as the year of belonging for The Community Foundation and for Ireland. As the centenary celebrations look back on our successes as a nation over the last 100 years, we want to look forward as to how we can ensure the most marginalised groups in our society feel a sense of belonging in their families, communities, work places and wider society.” This new fund of €600,000 for #Belonging16 will be in addition to the usual funding allocated by The Community Foundation to causes all over the country which last year totalled almost €5 million. . These funds are generously provided by philanthropic donors who utilise The Community Foundation for Ireland for their giving. “2015 was a very successfully year for belonging by ensuring the LGBT community were fully recognised and The Community Foundation and its donors were a huge supporter of this, however we cannot rest on our laurels when so many are still ostracised and unrecognised in Ireland, we must continue in our journey to ensure every person living in Ireland feels a sense of belonging” , Roche concluded. The Community Foundation for Ireland’s year of belonging will culminate in a belonging event in October where they will showcase, through a belonging report and photo exhibition the good work that will be done to improve the sense of belonging for the population and look forward to what belonging looks like for the future in Ireland. For more information on #Belonging16 and to apply for grants visit and follow the conversation on twitter @CommunityFound #Belonging16