Mace launches national fundraising initiative alongside Down Syndrome Ireland

Partnership renewed for another two years

Campaign will support the launch of a new online education course for every adult aged 29+ with Down Syndrome in Ireland

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9 February 2021 | 0

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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.

The ten-week course, titled 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 15 February, 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.

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.

“In the last 12 months, 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,” said Mace sales director, Daniel O’Connell. “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 and Johnny Sexton are ‘Match Ready’

In further good news for Mace retailers, Mace has also launched a new radio and digital campaign featuring brand ambassador and Irish rugby captain Johnny Sexton that will run throughout the 6 Nations rugby tournament.

The radio campaign, running on national and local stations, makes a play on the moment when the crowd traditionally falls silent just as Johnny is about to take a kick. It draws a parallel from this to the in-store experience at Mace, with the store falling silent as someone makes the all-important decision of what to pick up to enjoy whilst watching the match at home. Delivered in a commentator style it is sure to grab people’s attention.

The accompanying digital video series demonstrates the many magic moments that Johnny has created with Mace…with many more to come.

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