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Big Kids

21st Mar 2022 provides €250k grant to support Spunout for Irish Young People

Melissa Carton


Fantastic!, the philanthropic arm of Google, has announced it will support spunout to establish a peer led empathy education programme over the next two years with a €250k grant.

In developing the platform, spunout is building on its work in the areas of digital citizenship, mental health and social-emotional learning to help build a safer digital experience for young people.


The grant will be used to develop and roll out an innovative and scalable empathy education program. Offering a range of peer-led resources designed to help make the internet a kinder space, the empathy-based learning platform will support:

Young people at risk of engaging in harmful or illegal behavior online.

Young people at risk of being victims of harmful or illegal behavior online, especially young people targeted with hatespeech and discrimination such as young women, members of LGBTI+ communities, people with disabilities, and BIPOC.

Young people who have or might witness harassing, bullying or dangerous behavior online.

The programme will also provide a toolkit for building skills in the areas of self compassion, healthy communication, emotional regulation, and conflict resolution and resilience.

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Speaking with us today, Kiki Martire, Director of spunout, commented:

“The core values of spunout are empathy, equity and innovation, and this opportunity to develop the Empathy Academy with grant support from, is truly at the perfect intersection of all three.

Empathy is an undercurrent in all of our work; empathy for self, empathy for and between young people, empathy in action, empathy in information, and empathy online.

We want to be a platform that facilitates the true understanding of empathy, the practice and spread of empathy amongst young people and their communities, and providing quality information as a tool for building empathy.

The Academy will enable spunout to empower and support young people to navigate their digital worlds in ever safer and healthier ways, and to connect with each other empathetically in every step of that process.”

Today, 21st March, to mark the inception of spunout’s empathy learning platform, spunout’s Mental Health content editor, Joseph Morning, will lead a virtual panel discussion of spunout Action Panel members and volunteers to explore their experiences of empathy (or lack thereof) online.