Gas Networks Ireland has been shortlisted for the 'Outstanding Community Support' award as part of the 2021 CCA Excellence Awards.

It comes as the semi-state organisation exceeded its corporate social responsibility goals throughout 2020, contributing over €250,000 to more than 30 charities.

This was up 15% on 2019, as the gas network operator worked closely with a number of groups supporting the most vulnerable in the communities during the pandemic.

Among its partnerships in 2020 was Gas Networks Ireland's programme with Age Action. 

As well as funding support, the utility’s staff participated in an online tech-tutoring programme for older people, teaching simple technology skills such as making video calls to family members, a hugely important part of staying connected with one another throughout the pandemic.

Another area of support was education, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

Gas Networks Ireland has partnered with Junior Achievement Ireland to run the STEM education programme, Energize for the last decade. 

A student from Mother of Divine Grace School in Finglas at the launch of STEM Energize programme

Energize was delivered to 5,000 sixth class students in 19 counties last year and was also made accessible online. 

Other organisations and charities to benefit from Gas Networks Ireland’s support last year included the BT Young Scientist, Co-operation Ireland, Engineers Week, Time to Read Cork and Dublin, Skills at work Beneavin College Finglas and Nagle College Cork.

Christina van der Kamp, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Gas Networks Ireland, said volunteering is a key part of their social engagement. 

"Our staff contribute to a range of causes in their communities. 

"Many reported that staying engaged in volunteering, even online, helped them to cope with the pressures of lockdown," she said.

The 2021 CCA Excellence Awards will be held on 19 March.