Friday 28 October 2016

Charities in the chase for share of a €35m pot as 'rounding' begins


Miriam in change for charity week
Miriam in change for charity week

As smaller coins begin to go out of circulation, charities are asking people to put their pennies towards a good cause.

Yesterday, the Central Bank rolled out the rounding of 1c and 2c coins, which will leave €35m worth of loose change in people's pockets.

That is according to Change for Charity, which yesterday launched its National Coin Week, which runs from November 2 to 8.

Present at the launch at Merrion Square Park were Minister of State Jimmy Deenihan, Miriam O'Callaghan, Fred Cooke, founder of Change for Charity, Norma Smurfit and Irish Heart Foundation chief Barry Dempsey.

"We have 3,000 units all over the country and we are asking people to put their unwanted, unused coins into those units," said Dearbhla Mooney of Change for Charity.

"Everyone has a jar or box of coins. They don't need to sort them or count them, just bring them to us.

"There is €35m out there in coins and we have over 47 registered charities with us on a list."

The proceeds of the campaign will be divided between a number of organisations, including the Irish Heart Foundation, St Francis Hospice, Our Lady's Hospice and Care Services, and Gaisce - The President's Awards.


A number of other charities, community projects and youth groups will also benefit depending on the amount of money raised. Applying to be part of the initiative was open to all forms of voluntary groups.

"No one was excluded from applying," said Dearbhla.

Collection units for Change for Charity are located in every AIB and Bank of Ireland branch, as well as schools, shops and workplaces.

Big names who have previously showed their support for the initiative include Sonia O'Sullivan, Henry Shefflin and Keith Duffy.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DPSCA) is also asking for donations.

"Why not use these coins to help raise much needed funds for the DSPCA by collecting and donating," said Gillian Bird of the DSPCA.

The Central Bank yesterday began the rounding out after a successful trial period in Wexford in 2013.

Similar rounding out of small coins has occurred in the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Finland, Canada and Australia.

The total amount of any bill will be rounded to the nearest 5c. Rounding will be on a voluntary basis and will only apply to cash payments.

"Consumers may be surprised at first but, judging from the experience in Wexford, they will embrace rounding very quickly," said Ronnie O'Toole of the Central Bank.

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