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Coastal Communities Invited to Work with TCD Researchers on Climate Crisis Projects

19th October 2023
“LEVERS”, a Trinity-led Horizon Europe education project, is inviting applications from “cross-sectoral alliances” around the country to collaborate on a climate justice project in their area.
“LEVERS”, a Trinity-led Horizon Europe education project, is inviting applications from “cross-sectoral alliances” around the country to collaborate on a climate justice project in their area Credit: Afloat

Coastal communities interested in taking action on the climate crisis are being invited to work with researchers from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) on a locally-led 18-month project.

“LEVERS”, a Trinity-led Horizon Europe education project, is inviting applications from “cross-sectoral alliances” around the country to collaborate on a climate justice project in their area.

The chosen project will ideally be formed by schools, community groups and other organisations within a region, and span a range of ages and demographics.

The winning group will be supported by Trinity researchers and LEVERS partners to create a community project through which learners of all ages will work together towards a sustainable and just future for their area.

The selected group will receive:

  • Financial assistance up to €15,000 to realise their project
  • Access to expertise in climate change and sustainability education, design thinking and community co-creation
  • Professional learning for teachers, youth educators, community leaders and others involved in the project
  • Support to design, activate and promote a community project
  • Assistance to create a long-term plan for the project beyond the 18-month period.

The call out was launched at an event in Trinity on Wednesday, October 18th, as part of Trinity’s Climate Action Week programme.

LEVERS is a €2.4m Trinity-led education project working with eleven partners across nine countries.

Led by Mairéad Hurley, Assistant Professor in the School of Education, the LEVERS project has been funded by the European Commission, UK Research and Innovation and Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland.

It aims to investigate the potential of localised learning ecosystems which will support community climate responses in nine countries: Ireland, the UK, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Slovenia, Serbia, Greece, and Cyprus.

Dr Hurley says that “as the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, it is becoming ever clearer that we need to move beyond our old ways of planning for the future”.

“We need to break down boundaries and borders if we are to work together for a flourishing future for all. Education has a huge role to play in that, but we also must remember that learning happens in so many settings beyond the walls of a school, throughout our entire lives – and now, more than ever, we need to learn new ways to live together in changing times,”she says.

“The LEVERS initiative is looking to promote a cross-community, intergenerational, localised and creative approach to learning about how to care for our locality and everything within it – including one another,”she says.

Applicant groups must consist of multiple organisations, including at least one educational organisation and at least one community/voluntary organisation or NGO.

Susan Heffernan, Project Manager, Mary Robinson Centre, said that “climate action at community level is perhaps the most empowering way for communities to achieve climate justice and address the issues they face directly”.

“The Mary Robinson Centre is excited to see projects like LEVERS which embolden schools and communities to take a central role in climate justice projects in Ireland.”

Since its launch in March 2023, LEVERS has been consulting with artists, activists, adult educators, biodiversity champions, charities, cultural organisations, community groups, educators, government bodies, local authorities, libraries, NGOs, researchers and scientists working on topics related to climate justice in Ireland, it says.

Over the past four months, the LEVERS team has been carrying out interviews with experts, attending conferences and networking events, as well as hosting three public consultation workshops. The aim of this work was to map climate change education and community initiatives in Ireland, and to understand some of the challenges facing those working in the field.

The insights from these workshops were submitted to the Department for Environment, Climate and Communications’ Climate Conversations Consultation in August 2023, and used to shape this Open Call.

The key findings that emerged among these stakeholders were “a desire for more professional support and networking opportunities, an emphasis on the importance of equity and inclusion in the climate change conversation, and a request for sustainability and climate issues to be more central to all subjects in Irish education”.

For more information on the application process, eligibility, selection criteria and key dates please email [email protected] or visit

Interested organisations may also avail of a free workshop delivered by LEVERS in partnership with Dublin City Council (DCC), on Thursday, November 16th, from 6:30-8:30 pm, which will support applications to this open call and DCC’s Community Climate Action Fund.

More information on the LEVERS project can be found at

Published in Coastal Notes Team

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Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

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Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

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In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.