I remember his phone call. He called me, a prison officer, for help.

“The day they arrested him it was raining and all his clothes were soaking wet. Two years later he was released with a black sack over his shoulder wearing the same clothes. He told me about getting onto the bus and people would move away or get off because of the smell of his clothes. You would see him walking around in the prison with a fresh newspaper under his arm every day, pretending he knows how to read… What do you expect from people who are released this way? He was in and out of institutions from the age of five. Every time he got out of prison he would travel back to the same city where he was born, even though he didn’t have anybody there. No parents, no relatives… but that was the only life he knew. Same people, same mistakes and soon he would be back in jail again. His story is far from unique, it’s a constant cycle. And these people often feel hopeless. Nobody cares about them. They are prisoners. I remember his phone call. He called me, a prison officer, for help. He said he felt so small and helpless and he was afraid to go to a homeless shelter because he knew they were going to offer him heroin again… and it had taken so much time and struggle to get rid of it. I thought, if not me then who?”

This is Stephen Plunkett. He set up U-Casadh, an organisation helping people to transition from prison and find a pathway to employment when they are released. He won the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award in 2015, giving him funding and support for his project. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is now OPEN for applications from people with ideas and projects to solve social problems. Funding and support available.

350,000 euro in funding and support available for people with projects and ideas to tackle social problems. Social Entrepreneurs Ireland is OPEN for Applications. Deadline March 20th. Don’t let a good idea go to waste! Apply/find out more HERE! #ad