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: http://bit.ly/MKi9c8
- RTE's interview with Tony O'Regan, enterprise officer with Cork City Partnership: http://bit.ly/NTNkB7
- RTE's interview with Allen Meagher 'Changing Ireland' editor providing the national perspective: http://bit.ly/MKhMyg

Or you can listen to the full five minute feature here: http://www.rte.ie/news/morningireland/player.html?20120718,3346247,3346247,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.