Launch of Research

Remarks by Denise Charlton, Chief Executive, Community Foundation Ireland

Minister, partners, friends,

Today – not only do we amplify the barriers facing lone parents as they seek new opportunities through community education but we set out a blueprint, a way forward.

The researchers who have made this extensive and pioneering research possible are to be congratulated for making a really important contribution which if acted upon will move more and more families out of the shadow of poverty.

Community Foundation Ireland is proud to have partnered with the Beachaire Fund and the Centre for Effective Services to deliver this research.

As a philanthropic hub with an equality mission we are proud to be a source of knowledge, evidence and testimonies which change our society for the better.

Today’s research certainly ticks that box, and Minister I hope you agree raises many points not just worthy of consideration but worthy of action.

Sharon Burke, Beachaire Fund with Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Denise Charlton, Chief Executive, Community Foundation Ireland.


At the centre of the research are the voices of the lone parents. It is their testimonies, experiences and observations which have informed the work. They are the most important voices of all.

Together with the researchers they have identified actions which are not only practical but are achievable.

From a Community Foundation perspective, we do not look at these recommendations in isolation but also informed by our partnership with the Children’s Rights Alliance with the Child Poverty Monitor, and our Poverty, Income Inequality and Living Standards Research with the ESRI.

There are common themes which bind these pieces of research, themes which arise so often they can no longer be ignored.

Community Education also cannot itself be looked at in isolation.

The case for wraparound services with accessible childcare at the very centre are essential. Other empowering services may include IT classes, transport support and driving lessons.

The provision of such services gives parents the confidence that they can engage with community education safe in the knowledge that their children are being looked after, that costs are being met and that space has been created in their lives to allow for learning.

We know education opens up new horizons, new opportunities. But its impact is so much more. It benefits the entire family and their home. This research tells us about these wider benefits as children grow and develop in a more positive environment. We must recognise this and account for it when considering the benefits of delivering multi annual funding for community education.

Partnership is at the centre of everything we do at the Community Foundation. Partnership with philanthropists who share our equality mission, partnership with 5,000 partner organisations and groups nationwide and partnership with the best researchers in the country.

This is why we warmly welcome the recognition of the power of partnership in this research.

You have identified vital partnerships with further and higher education and training institutions as well as collaborative arrangements with local authorities, the HSE, philanthropy, the private sector, and other community organisations locally. At Community Foundation Ireland we agree.


Minister Foley your attendance here today gives us hope that this is research which will be acted upon.

It is evidence based, it reflects the growing body of research demanding action and it offers a pathway forward.

In the spirit of the partnership identified in the research I can also say that the Community Foundation is ready to engage with your Department to discuss how today’s recommendations can become actions.

Thank You

Watch the Stories

Pamela’s Story

Alana’s Story

Inga’s Story

The Research

You can download a full copy of the research Here