The Irish Youth Foundation

The Irish Youth Foundation is a registered charity and grant making foundation in the Republic of Ireland dedicated solely to meeting the needs of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We do this by supporting a wide range of outstanding projects and organisations across the country and by working closely with Ireland’s dedicated youth workers and project leaders to help give Ireland’s underrepresented young people the tools needed to reach their full potential in life.

We receive no government funding.

All our funds are raised through donations from people like you. Philanthropic individuals and companies who want to reverse the social and personal damage caused by poverty, educational disadvantage, homelessness and social exclusion, and are committed to working towards a fairer, more inclusive Ireland.

I’ve seen how hard it is for some vulnerable kids.

They need support and activities in their life to give them belief and focus. They need facilities and stability and guidance.

Then they can be the best they can be.

The Irish Youth Foundation funds amazing projects and programmes. And that’s why I’m urging you to put your money where your heart is.

Kelly Harrington

Irish Boxing Legend


Our aim each year is to create a better future for as many children and young people as possible by choosing to support charities, projects and programmes that can make the greatest impact in the communities they work in. We support children and young people through their key transitions in life which is why we focus on projects that enhance mental wellbeing, support education and build skills and employability.

Over the last 30 years


Over the last 4 years



As a teenager with goals and ambitions it was amazing to have an adult believe in you and give you backing. When it came time for me to do the Leaving Cert, Declan had a room made up for me with a table and chair to do study. Just having this private space to study was a goldmine as there was no way I could study in the flats. I graduated from UCD with first class honours and won thesis of the Year.

I can honestly say that my career and life today would not be possible if it were not for the work that Declan and his team do.

Chris O’Brien

Head Physiotherapist,
Scoliosis Unit at Temple Street
Children’s Hospital

Meet the team

Lucy Masterson
Chief Executive
Prior to joining IYF Lucy was CEO of Charities Institute Ireland. During that time she was a member of the Consultative Panel on the Governance of Charities established by the Charities Regulator. In 2012 she co-founded Hireland, a multi award winning social initiative which started as a kitchen conversation with friends discussing the economic crisis that had hit Ireland and grew into a national movement calling on the nation’s small and medium enterprises to kick-start Ireland’s economic recovery by pledging to hire 1 more person. Over 5,400 jobs were created since Hirelands inception in 2012. She has been recorded by Forbes magazine as leading the charge with social entrepreneurship. Lucy has 20 years experience marketing national and international brands. She lectures NFP Marketing  at US University Champlain College where she is also a board director and she  has worked closely with the UCD Innovation Academy as a mentor. She is a graduate of Philosophy from UCD and a post graduate of Marketing from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is currently completing the Diploma in Corporate Governance at the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School.
Email: lucy@iyf.ie
Sarah Edmonds
Head of Grants and Programmes
Sarah joined the IYF in May 2017 as Fundraising & Events Manager, with a degree in French & Spanish and a postgraduate diploma in Event Management & PR. Last year Sarah moved into the role of Head of Grants & Programmes where she oversees all grant-making activities for the Foundation. Sarah focuses on connecting with the projects, young people and youth leaders supported by the IYF around the country, as well as ensuring the IYF is up to date on the most relevant research focused on Ireland’s youth. Her priority is to ensure that the IYF understands what are the greatest needs facing children and young people in Ireland today, and to guarantee our funds are channelled into the grassroots and national organisations supporting young people as they negotiate these hurdles. Sarah also has a masters in Psychotherapy, and is committed to supporting mental health awareness.
Email: sarah@iyf.ie

Christy Vickers

Communications Manager

Christy took up the role of Communications Manager at the IYF in June 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Sociology and an EFA-Certified Certificate in Fundraising. Prior to his role with the IYF he spent six years in the international education sector and more recently served as part of the membership team at Charities Institute Ireland – the leading membership body for Irish charities. Christy’s role at the IYF is to ensure that the foundation effectively communicates the impact of its work in meeting the needs of vulnerable children and young people living in the Republic of Ireland. His role includes managing the IYF’s media relations, its digital media and website, as well as maintaining effective communications with the foundation’s donors and beneficiaries.


Michael McLoughlin

Bryan Bourke
Deirdre O’Reilly

Lorcan Tiernan

Niall Woods
Aedín O’Leary
Mairead Mahon

How you can help

Our aim is to reach 45,000 children and young people who are living in disadvantaged circumstances across Ireland. 

To do this, we need to support a wide range of youth projects as well those incredible youth workers who work tirelessly, and often voluntarily, to ensure children and young people have a future to look forward to.

But we can’t do it without you.

Whether you are a business or an individual you can help.