Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Health Corr gives CDPs a ringing endorsement


The author of the most penetrating book written in recent years on the Irish health service has given CDPs a ringing endorsement in a 7-minute interview on RTE's Drivetime. (Click 'community health workers').
Sara Burke has described the work that CDPs do as exceptional value for money and she paid tribute to volunteers' involvement and the ability of projects to do a great many things with very limited resources. While focusing chiefly on CDPs, Sara also drew attention to equally good work done by drugs projects, Family Resource Centres and a range of others.
Her interview was broadcast on Thursday last, September 24th, and Sara has just published a written report on CDPs on her blog.


National Community Development Forum says merger "an attack on the poor"

The National Community Development Forum, the representative body for the country's 180 CDPs, has said it rejects proposals by Minister of State John Curran to merge two programmes, arguing that in the course of that process the "scheme will disempower the most marginalised of local communities across Ireland."

The Forum said there was no consultation, the plan was "an attack on the poor" and made a mockery of community development educational initiatives.

Forum chairperson Larry McCarthy said, “This move... will terminate the involvement of 2000 volunteers in deciding a little of what happens in their own communities and that undermines everything that Community Development stands for.”
The Forum called for talks with the Minister so he could "clarify some of the issues around the lack of consultation with, not alone the CDPs, but the service users."

For the full text, check the Forum's blog.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blanchardstown: Bonus for Volunteers!

Volunteers who work at the Vincent De Paul shop in Blanchardstown got a pleasant surprise last week when members of the local Traveller Community Employment scheme presented them with a variety of organic vegetables.
The vegetables were grown on the Travellers Allotment.

Our picture – from CE worker Tom Toner - shows Geraldine Collins of Blanchardstown Travellers CE (right) presenting a basket of mushrooms to shop manager Marie Murray (left) surrounded by shop volunteers and one of the gardeners.
The CE scheme is sponsored by the local CDP, the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

QUESTIONS about the new programme - ANSWERS on our NEW BLOG

'Changing Ireland' has set up a NEW BLOG OF 10 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS for you to ADD COMMENTS. The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs issued the answers today on behalf of the Minister for Community Affairs, John Curran.
- What about our communities, our project, our volunteer management, our jobs?
- How will the merger will take place between CDPs and Partnerships?
- When will it happen?
These are among the questions that are dealt with on our new blog.
Check it out and add YOUR COMMENTS.
I'm looking for critical, practical, positive comments. Of course, being positive about Community Development does not necessarily mean you have to respond positively to the Minister's proposals, but be realistic at the same time.

- Allen Meagher, editor


The Community Development Programme, first established in 1990, is to be absorbed into a new unnamed programme that also incorporates the Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme.
The announcement was made on Friday (Sept 18th) by Minister of State (MOS) John Curran at a Community and Voluntary Forum conference in Co. Cavan, although details on the plan were not given.
'Changing Ireland' has requested an interview with the MOS on questions that arise from the announcement.
In his speech in Cavan, he said:
"I am seeking improved alignment and focus across the range of programmes for which I have responsibility in the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. In this regard, I have been giving particular attention to the redesign of the Local Development Social Inclusion and the Community Development Programmes.
"I have to say that I am not convinced that two separate programmes and two separate delivery structures is the best way to serve the community. In the current economic climate, the case for a single focussed effective programme is, in my view, indisputable and I will be fighting for resources for the measures covered by the programmes on this basis in the context of the 2010 Budget."

An accompanying press release, which described the process in terms of the "integration" of the 2 programmes, quoted MOS Curran as saying: “We will continue to do everything we can to improve efficiency and prioritise the provision of frontline services to those who need them the most. One single, focussed programme will ensure that services will be more streamlined and will best serve those who use them.
“We are currently undertaking a thorough review of the Community Development Programme and will shortly have a full report on the findings and recommendations that arise from that review.
“Programme redesign work by the Centre for Effective Services is underway. Overall, we are preparing for a roll-out of a single, redesigned programme in 2010, in the context of the budgetary position.”

John Curran is the Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. He is from Clondalkin in Dublin.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A letter from Crawford College of Art & Design - Some places still available

Dear Editor,

Please check out link below for updated information about a new course starting in October delivered through Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork. There are still some places left on our course in ARTS PARTICIPATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Creative approaches to Global Education and Action. It's an Accredited Programme.
I would be grateful if you could include application information in your news feed.

Kind Regards,
Nora Furlong

Monday, September 14, 2009

1200 "positive outcomes" marched against CDP cuts!

If you were there you know the score and well done for standing up for your community, your project and your jobs!
If you didn't make it, check out these marvellous photos on Indymedia by Paula Geraghty and this 3 minute video report by 'Changing Ireland'.

The National Community Development Forum held a meeting prior to the march and discussed the pressure on volunteers, the latest (CES) review of the Programme and related issues. More details in the next post.

Well done to SIPTU and to everyone involved in the march. Many projects are now starting to engage regionally in lobbying their politicians. The CDP cuts will be raised in Dail questions very shortly and more regional/local protests are on the way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tell us what you think of 'Changing Ireland'

Tell us what you think of 'Changing Ireland' by filling out our 2 minute, 1-page questionnnaire and email it to:
You can download the questionnaire here!