Friday, December 14, 2012

JUST PUBLISHED! 24 spectacular pages of local & community development work from around Ireland

It's out! Packed with news & features, the Winter 2012 edition of 'Changing Ireland' has reached many thousands of readers around the country by post, 
is in Easons and you can flick through as easily as the paper version at

ORYPoliticans Promise The Sun, Moon & Stars, but Martin delivers!

COLLECTIVE ACTIONOlder People Speaking Out (Limerick)
Tackling the Jobs Crisis (Wexford)
16 Days of Action - What did you do?
Santa joins protests against austerity!

INTERGENERATIONAL WORKMonaghan's Cross-Border initiative
East Wall, Dublin's pride of place win

Cats building cars & finding work

SOCIAL INCLUSIONPreventing Early School Leaving
Duhallow's answer to anti-social behaviour: Boxing
Youths go under the hood
Fun flows for teenage revellers
Anon - How we got the criminals out of our lives

INTERNATIONALImagine if only 36% of your organisation's funding came from Govt!

West Cork interview
Laois initiative

Conference briefs
Like ·  · 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Taste of What's To Come

Participants on the 2012 Work Taster Programme
--> Work-taster programme lands two participants permanent jobs in Ballymun 

Most employers hate sifting through CVs. It's just black and white text to them. There's no personal feeling or relationship with the person whose achievements and experience are listed within the pages.

What if you are from an area that the media has targeted as disadvantaged? Would you have the confidence to apply for a job?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to get the digital edition of Changing Ireland

It's now easier to get Changing Ireland then ever before. Here is a quick 'how to' guide on accessing the magazine using various technology.

 1. On your computer - Just click the link below and you can scroll around and turn pages just as you would the print edition.

2. On your iPhone - Select your browser. Log onto and search 'changingireland'. This will give you access to our library where you can select issue 40. Alternatively go to and click the link on our homepage.

3. On your Android phone - Go to and select the link on our homepage.

Should you experience any problems, please give Robert a call at 061-458090. Print copies will be with readers soon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

LCDP Progress Report published; community groups await "alignment" proposals

Some of the 10,000 people who got a training boost through the LCDP in 2011

(1) This week Community Minister Phil Hogan is reportedly due to discuss his "alignment" proposals with Cabinet which could see local authorities gaining far more control over State-funded community and local development initiatives. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Track down LCDP projects around the country

Did you know Changing Ireland has the most comprehensive database of LCDP projects in the country? We can tell you where they are, how to contact them and you can even virtually stand outside their front door using our map. Above is our 'how to' guide to using the map.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do it yourself! Cavan-Monaghan LEADER paves the way for local festivals

Casteblayney goes green in their successful attempt to break the Guinness world record for the most Hulks in one place. Photo: Glenn Murphy who is a voluntary member of the festivals committee in Castleblayney.
Cavan-Monaghan LEADER have helped to find a solution to a lack of sponsorship and sustain festivals and events in the two counties for years to come, by assisting in the purchase of equipment that would normally have to be hired at at a high cost.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mid-West substance misuse support service launched

L-R: Chairperson of the Regional Drug Task Force Mick Lacey, Minister of State Jan O'Sullivan, Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin and Project Manager at CSMT, Maria Finn
A new service which aims to provide a free support service to under 18's, who are affected by substance misuse in the Mid-West, has been launched in Limerick City.

The Community Substance Misuse Team will provide one to one, "specifically tailored" programmes to youths, as well as personal development, group, educational and parenting support programmes.

Opening the service, Minister of State Jan O'Sullivan said there was a real need for the service within the region, while CASP Project Manager Maria Finn added, "It's about positively reinforcing the resources that people have and communities have to support their own members. There are brilliant services already here but sometimes people get lost between the gaps. We want people to realise they are more than the problem itself."

For more information visit their into their office on the 3rd floor, Theatre Court, 15 Lower Mallow St., Limerick.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Programme work explained in 3 mins by RTE

RTE's most popular radio programme 'Morning Ireland' this week broadcast a feature showcasing the success of the Local and Community Development Programme in helping over 5,000 people last year to set up businesses.

Here's what was broadcast: 

- RTE's interview with Corkman Paul O'Carroll who was on the dole and who now employs 3 people:
- RTE's interview with Tony O'Regan, enterprise officer with Cork City Partnership:
- RTE's interview with Allen Meagher 'Changing Ireland' editor providing the national perspective:

Or you can listen to the full five minute feature here:,3346247,3346247,flash,257

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ryan Howard of East Cork says - Think positive!


Who’s your hero?
Nelson Mandela. And my late father was a great man, a hard worker.

Nationally, what do we need more of?
We need to move away from the negative and begin focussing in on the positives. There’s not enough good news being reported and it has a subliminal effect on us all.

New textbook on Community Development

A new textbook introducing the theories and practices of community development, complimented by case-studies of Irish success stories, has been published.
In 250-pages ‘Community Development: Theory, Policy and Practice achieves a lot, for example it:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A dozen useful websites - find out more about Community Development in Ireland

There are a number of useful websites worth recommending to anyone interested in the Community and Voluntary Sector in Ireland and in Community Development.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ireland Version 2 – our democracy’s due an upgrade

Gearoid Fitzgibbon
By Gearoid Fitzgibbon
Given the scale of the economic crisis in Ireland, it is no surprise that political reform was one of the key issues in the 2011 General Election. There was a sense that the “operating system” of Ireland, our constitution, needed to be upgraded.
Our democracy needed an upgrade and all parties came up with proposals including Fine Gael and Labour. Nine pages of the 64-page ‘Programme for Government’ were on the topic of political reform.
Along with a number of specific referendums, the Programme promised to establish a Constitutional Convention.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What makes Swedish childcare so different?

By Jenny Tellström 
Six per cent of those working in childcare in Sweden are men, one of the highest rates in Europe. In Ireland it’s less than 1%.
So what makes Sweden different?
Continuing our series on Men in Childcare, Jenny Tellstrom shares the experience of Sweden, where gender equality policies are transforming mens’ involvement in childrearing.

Friday, July 6, 2012

You’re never too old

Helen Callan

By Helen Callan
From Townspark, Navan, Co. Meath, Helen Callan, who is now in her 50s, volunteers with young people at risk of drug addiction. She was 40 when she returned to school and she wrote this article “to encourage some of your readers to bite the bullet themselves”. It’s most apt as we celebrate the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A lesson for the country - Ballymun kids lift school attendance by 14,000 days

The Government is planning to extend the law that holds parents to account when their child misses school unnecessarily. The new law would also cover the parents of children under six years of age. Meanwhile, Ballymun has come up with a completely new (and possibly complimentary) approach.

A Local Development Company in Dublin has used computer software and a community development approach to dramatically improve school attendances.

By Conor Hogan
In 2008, the attendance rate for primary schools in Ballymun was worse than that of other disadvantaged areas and 3.5% below than the national average.
Local community and educational organisations to take action and in the past two years the gap compared to the national average has halved. Last year, 14,000 less school days were missed in all.
Meanwhile, chronic absenteeism for Traveller boys has fallen by over 24% while the attendance rate for Traveller girls actually overtook the national average for schools in disadvantaged areas.
So how did they go about achieving this?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Village buys business and saves jobs

The village of Sangudo in Alberta, Canada, mirrors some of the challenges faced by communities in Ireland.
With a population of 360 people, Sangudo has until recently, experienced a steady rate of economic decline. Businesses were forced to close and the younger population had no option but to leave in order to find work.
Many communities in Ireland are facing similar challenges. With the onset of recession, businesses have been forced to close, and young people are compelled to emigrate.
The community of Sangudo tackled the situation by making positive changes, together. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cut to Back To Work Allowance “a concern”

Louise Brogan

The level of State financial support for people starting their own business – critical to 5,040 people who did just that last year - has been reduced by two years.
“This is a genuine concern. The four-year allowance added a really big strength to the Start Your Own Business scheme,” said Louise Brogan of Donegal LDC.
Crucially, the Start Your Own Business course in Donegal, as elsewhere, allows participants to avail of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. This means newly self-employed people can retain their social welfare benefit in full for the first year and receive a 75% payment in their second year of running a new business.
For example, someone on Jobseekers Allowance gets €188 in the first year and €141 for the following 12 months. Secondary benefits such as medical card and fuel allowance are also permitted.
However, after two years, the allowance stops. Previously, it was spread out over four years.
“The scheme really works, it really turns people’s lives around and if people had another year or two to wean themselves off it would be better,” said Louise.

Monday, July 2, 2012

476 new businesses sprout in Donegal - with a survival rate of 60% after three years

AIB’s Jim McLaughlin, DLDC chair Jim Slevin and winner Michael Conway.  
Ann Styles reports
Entrepreneurs in Donegal have access to a wealth of information and support from their Local Development Company (LDC).
From Start Your Own Business (SYOB) courses to mentoring and workshops, the company provides a comprehensive support system for people, many of who have been long-term unemployed, with a desire to set up their own business. The LDC has two full time project officers who co-ordinate the service which has supported over 1900 people to date.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Traveller Beoirs mean business! - Galway Traveller Women Entrepreneurs launch a toolkit

Bridget Kelly, Joanna Corcoran and Anne Marie McDonagh at the launch of the Enterprising Traveller Women' toolkit by GTM's ETWE project. Photo by Derek Speirs

In Galway, there is a drive underway at local level to support enterprising Traveller women.
Recently businesswoman Liz Cassidy, an EU ‘Ambassador for Female Entrepreneurs’, was the guest speaker when the ‘Empowering Traveller Women Entrepreneurs’ programme was launched by the Galway Traveller Movement (GTM).
Liz talked with Traveller women about how to overcome barriers they encounter in trying to set up or run businesses.
Bridget Kelly, a Traveller woman with business experience who works with GTM said, “We’re interested in working with Traveller women who are interested in becoming self-employed or getting involved in business. Some women may already be involved in their own business or a family business, but no experience is necessary.”
Tanya Lalor of GTM said training and mentoring on the programme is ongoing: “There are a range of ideas from women interested in setting up their own businesses including, alterations, flower arranging, dress making and importing different products. One woman is even interested in establishing a music career.”
Christina Ward showing off her work at the launch. Photo by Derek Speirs.

The programme allows the women entrepreneurs to have a say in how their training is delivered.
“We provide co-facilitation training where the women meet the trainer in advance. This brings in the experience of the Traveller women relative to the training,” added Tanya.
GTM and those involved in the entrepreneurs’ programme have also launched a new toolkit entitled ‘Enterprising Traveller Women - A Toolkit for Enterprise Support’ targeted at enterprise support organisations serious about working with Traveller women.
“It identifies barriers and provides a step-by-step guide for organisations. It is hoped it will engage and influence wider practice,” said Tanya.
The Galway Traveller Movement is funded through the Local and Community Development Programme.
The Traveller Women Entrepreneurs programme was funded under the Equality for Women Measure and is supported by the European Social Fund.
For more information or to request a copy of the enterprise support booklet, call Tanya Lalor in GTM on 091-765-390 or email

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Offaly men changing their lives

Keith Walsh and Michael Egan

Interviews by Robert McNamara 

 Keith Walsh and Michael Egan from Clara both did the 16 month programme and are continuing on with further education and community involvement. Community workers first approached Keith and Michael about the programme and now they are themselves recommending it to people they meet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Offaly makes a start - as 5 people get a start

A programme supporting those at risk of social exclusion has, in the past few months, helped 55 long-term unemployed people move towards paid employment in Co. Offaly.
Five of the people who last December completed the 16-month programme gained full-time or part-time employment, five more found seasonal work and most of the remainder went onto advanced courses and programmes.
They had all been long-term unemployed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Worklink: another volunteer-led support for job-seekers

An expanding network of volunteers is providing help to job-seekers in Dublin, Limerick, Sligo, Athlone, Cork, Galway, and Waterford.
The Worklink project employs two paid staff in Dublin with most of the work being done by the volunteers.
Unemployed people are offered mentoring and work experience opportunities (eg through Jobbridge) as a step towards full-time employment.
The project has the backing of the INOU and this year Worklink won €50,000 and backroom support from Diageo through the Arthur Guinness Fund.
If you live in any of the areas listed and are interested, either in volunteering or in getting support to find suitable work experience, the project is worth approaching as it has direct links with a number of companies that appreciate its aims.
T: 01-2916603.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Changing Ireland issue 39 - out now

Open publication - Free publishing - More civil society
The most popular Civil Society magazine in Ireland.
LEAD STORY: Jobs you haven't heard about - 5000 people develop new businesses
Reports from: Canada, Sweden, Brussels, Meath, Donegal, Cork, Offaly, Galway, Limerick & Dublin.
  • Volunteers fill the gaps in West Cork
  • Meath woman says "Bite the Bullet"
  • 12 great websites
  • NEW: textbook about Community Development
  • EXAMINED: The social impact of adult education classes
  • 1-in-6 find jobs with LCDP support
  • Solutions and responses to long-term unemployment
  • Changing the world; changing ourselves
  • Ireland Mark II 
  • The Diary of Doris McDermott
  • News briefs

Belfast unemployed centre fuelled by bar

The John Hewitt, an award-winning bar in Belfast city centre, is owned by and financially supports the operations of the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre.
The resource centre had always relied on an unsteady series of grants and 15 years ago decided to generate their own funds by going into business.
A manager runs the bar on behalf of the Resource Centre and the idea has proved a winner.
John Hewitt, the late Belfast poet and socialist opened the Resource Centre in 1983 and the bar is named in his honour. The two premises are located side-by-side on Donegall Street.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Volunteers now running 3 job-seekers' centres

Citizens fill in where there are no staff in West Cork

By Robert McNamara
Three community led job-seekers centres, staffed by volunteers, are currently operating in the West Cork area, with plans for three more to be opened.
Only for them, unemployed people in West Cork would be left to swim.
The centres which offer free advice and confidential support in Bandon, Kinsale and Clonakilty are managed by the West Cork Development Board (WCDP) and offer a "holistic" approach to job-searching. A “buddy” system operates, with volunteers assisting the job-seekers in all aspects of the process.
The centres serve a region that comprises of eight mid-size towns, which currently have approximately 10,000 people on the live register. There are no Local Employment Services Offices, or Jobs Clubs, and only 9 per cent of the territory is covered by Local Development Plans.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The huge satisfaction in serving others - Karen Moroney, Volunteer at Clonakilty Job-seekers’ centre

Karen Moroney

Karen Moroney was unemployed at one stage and appreciated the support she got. She’s now doing the same for others by volunteering with Clonakilty Job-Seekers’ Centre which was set up under the LCDP. Her volunteering is something that’s important to her.

What are you reading at the moment?
I'm reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It's set way back in Victorian times and it's about a woman making her way in life.

Whats the last film you saw?
Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp.

Person you most admire?
I don't tend to admire people as such. I may admire actions that people take, but I don't have one particular person that I admire. I don't hold any one person up as a role model.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Robert McNamara, Journalist

Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara from Corbally in Limerick City, has joined Changing Ireland Community Media Ltd on a long-term work placement as a journalist.
He is currently studying a degree in Journalism and New Media with sociology and politics at the University of Limerick as a mature student.
Robert is the current sports editor at An Focal newspaper and maintains a popular indie music blog. He has a keen interest in current affairs, print journalism, publication design, old and new media.
Robert competes in long-distance running and can often be seen hobbling around after a marathon.
He hopes to graduate from UL in 2014 and pursue a career in the media industry.