Get Involved

Get Involved – The Sustainable Communities Initiative

Community has always been important to us here is Ireland. We might be famous for our globe-trotting ways but we are passionate about our home turf – in the most local sense. Get Involved encourages communities to come together to preserve the best aspects of their local areas, to protect their environment and to create local jobs.

It’s an initiative that’s built around a competition. Since 2013, projects all over Ireland have competed to share in a significant prize fund. In 2016/17 the winning projects will share a fund of €10,000. However, above and beyond the competition, Get Involved is about encouraging people to take positive action and to become responsible for their local areas.

Projects gain enormous support through Get Involved. The initiative was developed by Local Ireland, a group that represents 51 local newspapers and each of the Get Involved projects is paired with one of these local news brands. The partner newspaper provides coverage of the project as work progresses and sometimes even offers hands on assistance too!

Local Ireland, our newspaper members and our sponsor, SEAI are extremely proud of Get Involved. The initiative brings clear benefits to local economies and the environment by helping communities to become low-carbon, resource-efficient and economically resilient.

Get Involved 2017 will focus on the following eight areas:

  1. Energy
    Projects based around community co-ops for local energy; building energy efficient retrofits; or producing renewable fuels for use locally to provide heat, transport and power.
  2. Food
    Projects that are involved in growing and processing local food produce for the needs of their community through community food co-ops.
  3. Nature/Biodiversity
    Community projects that enhance, restore and protect nature and ecosystems.
  4. Ecotourism
    Projects that foster sustainable tourism and ‘eco-tourism’ in their locality.
  5. Water
    Locally-based projects that recognise the requirement for water sustainability and/or raise awareness of how critical this invaluable resource is to localities.
  6. Resource Efficiency
    Projects that aim to develop markets for recyclables in Ireland.
  7. Sustainable Employment
    Community projects that innovate and stimulate local, sustainable enterprises and generate new livelihoods.
  8. Community Energy Champion Sustainable Employment
    The community energy champion can be an individual or a group. They will have made a difference in their community in terms or energy conservation or clean energy production. The winner of this category may be a person or group that is eligible for the overall prize too.

It should be noted that projects do not need to be completed by the end of the calendar year. However clear and demonstrable project progress will have to be proven as will fulfilment of the judging criteria. The competition will be judged by a panel or four, including a representative of SEAI and will be chaired by broadcaster and environmentalist, Duncan Stewart.

The Prizes

Overall winner SEAI/Local Ireland Get Involved Community Project     €5,000

2nd prize     €1,500

3rd prize     €500

Community Energy Champion     €3,000

Get Involved Catalyst

Davie Philip of Cultivate has been a judge since Get Involved first launched. This year, he will act as catalyst. This means that Davie helps the organisers to identify the most suitable projects and he mentors the entrants to help them to make a greater impact in their community

Contact Davie:

Last Year’s Winner

The Cottage Shop and Community Tearooms in Loughmore, Co.Tipperary won the overall prize in last year’s competition.


  • Selection of projects by November 2016
  • Commencement of projects from December 2016
  • First round judging based on submissions, early April 2017
  • Site visits to shortlisted projects, mid/late April 2017
  • Awards ceremony, May 2017

Get in touch

If you have any queries please contact us at

Get Involved catalyst, Davie Philip: