Blossom Ireland peer mentor Conor chatting to Ailbhe in The National Gallery of Ireland at The Taking of Christ, 1602, by Caravaggio (1571–1610). On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin, who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, 1992. Photographer: Mark Stedman

In partnership with DAFNE (The Donors and Funders Network of Europe), Philanthropy Ireland celebrated European Day of Foundations and Donors 2019 via an online photography and postcard campaign. The campaign was designed to showcase some of the projects funded by the more than 147,000 foundations in Europe.

Joining other DAFNE members from across Europe, Philanthropy Ireland nominated the above photo from Blossom Ireland, an organisation that supports young people with intellectual disabilities to be independent, active participants in their community.

As well as being available online, the postcards were shared on 1 October 2019, at a DAFNE and EFC debate at the European Parliament entitled ‘Single Market for Philanthropy: Helping Unlock the Potential for Public Good across Europe’.

All entries will also be displayed at a photo exhibition at the Philanthropy Europe Forum 2020 in Madrid.

The Story behind the image:

Our photo shows Conor chatting to Ailbhe about a Caravaggio painting in The National Gallery of Ireland. Conor joined the Blossom Ireland staff as a Peer Mentor in 2018 having graduated from their programme in 2017. His Dad said “Conor’s confidence level has soared since he started as a Peer Mentor and he just loves putting on his uniform and heading off to work at Blossom.” Blossom Ireland gives young people with intellectual disabilities the chance to explore the world and to gain independence away from their families. Their Programme teaches valuable life skills such as using public transport, shopping, road safety and enjoying cultural experiences. Blossom is passionate about enabling young people with intellectual disabilities to simply have the chance to live a life like any other.

Blossom Ireland receives support from PI members: Community Foundation For Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Hospital Saturday Fund, The Ireland Funds, Mount Street Club, and Social Innovation Fund Ireland