Dec 09 2016 Posted: 00:00 CST

CÚRAM, The Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, joins the Druid Theatre’s FUEL programme, Galway Simon Community and Irish League of Credit Unions Foundation under St Anthony’s and Claddagh Credit Union (SACU) Community Engagement Programme.

Inspired by similar successful credit union projects internationally, SACU’s funding programme supports long-term projects in five key areas, namely arts, education, sport, community development, and international aid.

Improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illness, supporting artists in their career development, providing access to finance in developing countries, and reducing social isolation are some of the initiatives that form part of St Anthony’s and Claddagh Credit Union’s new Community Engagement Programme.

Speaking about the benefits of the SACU funding, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said “Our aim is to radically improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes. With the support of St Anthony’s and Claddagh Credit Union, our public engagement programme will forge collaborations between our scientists and the wider community, inspire the next generation of Irish scientists and engineers and raise awareness about the cutting edge research happening here on our doorstep."

According to SACU CEO Gerry Joyce, the aim is to develop a more strategic approach to funding as the organisation "understands the importance of supporting our community and this has always been demonstrated through our donations to, and sponsorships of, a wide range of groups here in the city over the past 50 years".

Louise Shields, risk and compliance manager at SACU, said by providing funding to various organisations over five years, it allows partners to engage in long-term planning and seek matching funding for specific projects, something they often found difficult in this current economic climate," she explained. The programme was launched this week by Senator Alice Mary Higgins at the Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane, Galway.

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