Poetry shows us what is possible

Poetry shows us what is possible

The poem you see here was written by Daniel Meehan, a participant in our “Stepping Stones” programme. Stepping Stones is a personal development programme that supports people to develop both personally and professionally. Daniel shows us poetically the impact that this programme can have. Thanks to Geraldine Lyons of Breaking Beyond for her fab facilitation!

Describing the programme, Geraldine says,

“I love to watch participants as they cultivate awareness of themselves. Appreciating how their beliefs can influence their behaviours, helps them to realise that change is possible and make a difference in their own lives. Add some action into the mix and this is where the magic happens! My heart soars as I witness them taking responsibility for the steps that are required, and the weekly sessions offer a safe space to explore challenges and successes that they encounter along the way. The only downside is that the time passes by so quickly! I am so grateful for the trust that both CLDC and especially the participants place in me to support them on their journeys. Only one question remains… When is the next one starting?!”

Stepping Stones is offered to folks through our Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) in CLDC.  We are proud to be your community organisation and to support folks in this way!

Find out more about Geraldine’s work by clicking here: Geraldine Lyons on LinkedIn

See more of our positive community impact stories here: 

CLDC is selected to deliver SICAP programme for next 5 years!

CLDC is selected to deliver SICAP programme for next 5 years!

CLDC is thrilled to have been awarded the SICAP programme in county Clare!

SICAP stands for Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, and CLDC has been selected as the organisation to design, implement and deliver the programme at a local level. 

So, for the next 5 years, we will continue to be on the ground with our communities, asking what is needed and finding ways to deliver it

It’s a huge credit to the SICAP team for all of their hard work in the past 5 years, staying innovative and responsive to meet the emergent needs of our communities in a rapidly changing climate.

SICAP puts a strong emphasis on meeting the needs of people who are farthest removed from resources and services, and on bringing more equity to our communities. At CLDC, this of course is aligned with our values, and we work hard to activate and empower our communities.  

We’re so proud and excited to continue advocating for and supporting the people of Clare, and we look forward to bringing more equity and inclusion to our communities!

Watch a short, moving video about one example of SICAP at work in Clare.

Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare – You’re invited, Monday Nov 6th!

Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare – You’re invited, Monday Nov 6th!

Communities in Clare at risk of an unjust transition, report finds. "We can’t rely on people’s goodwill one more time, what we need are resources." [Participant quote]

A first of its kind research project conducted in Clare which examined the effects on Clare communities of the transition to net zero carbon emissions has found that there is a risk of ‘an unfair transition in the county’ unless significant measures are taken to address this. The report: ‘Fair Clare: Securing Socio-Economic Rights and a Just Transition in Clare’ is jointly authored by Kieran Harrahill and Roisin Greaney both from TASC – Think Tank for Action on Social Change, who conducted a series of workshops with a wide range of communities in the county over the course of summer 2023

The report will be launched at a free event on Monday November the 6th at 7 pm in the Templegate Hotel, Ennis. Tickets must be booked in advance at this link: 

https://bit.ly/3FvX7B4

..or by calling Clare PPN on 087-1617375 during office hours.

The report can be read in full HERE and the beautiful artist-designed print copies will be available on the night for those attending the launch.

Padraic Hayes, a Shannon based steering committee member for this project said:

“We’re really proud of this work and the fact that it has been developed directly by groups of people who are affected by poverty and discrimination in our communities. One of the main things we’ve learned is that if we can improve the services needed by those of us who are worst off, that actually everyone will benefit.”

Groups who participated in the lively discussion sessions for the project included those perceived to be at risk from climate action: low-income farmers, and other people on low incomes in rural areas including single parents, older people, people with disabilities, carers and others. Dedicated workshops were held with men from the Traveller community and with people who have come here seeking protection as a result of the war in Ukraine and with people living within the international protection system in Clare. The workshops were held in a range of Clare towns – Kilrush, Ennistymon, Shannon, Scariff, Ennis and Killaloe with everything from turf to tourism coming under scrutiny.

Sarah Clancy part of the Clare PPN team who oversaw the collaborative project observed:

‘We don’t want this report to sit on a shelf, it contains real issues and real proposals to solve them gathered from ordinary people some of whom are living in very difficult circumstances around the county. We are launching it now in advance of three forthcoming election cycles- the local and EU elections in 2024, and the General Election which is on the horizon and we want to make its recommendations part of every existing and would-be politicians policy platform whatever party they are with’.

The strikingly-designed report builds onwards from Clare PPN’s previous work which examined poverty in Clare, and also makes for stark reading. Communities ranked housing and health as their key and urgent concerns alongside cost-of-living issues and with many expressing their worries about the care available for themselves, family members and others. This report doesn’t stop there however – it makes 27 recommendations for local and national policy makers on how some of these issues can be addressed in ways that tackle both climate action and poverty reduction at the same time.

Suggestions include developing an innovative a social enterprise incubator, that the Local Authority itself should adopt ‘community wealth building’ as its approach, that the national retrofit schemes no-cost plans should be extended to low and middle income households, that existing farm supports should be tailored to local needs and landscapes and it calls for the establishment of local information and help centres, community development projects and a suggests that a trades school should be established in an area of deprivation in Clare.

The project was commissioned by four local organisations working together: Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and Clare Public Participation Network and was funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Dormant Accounts Fund and many of its findings have been fed into Clare’s draft Local Economic and Community Plan.

For more information or comments, please contact:
Sarah Clancy / 086 384 0973 / sarah@clareppn.ie

Summer camps support nearly 140 children from refugee families and Direct Provision

Summer camps support nearly 140 children from refugee families and Direct Provision

Clare Local Development Company was delighted to host 5 summer camp programs in Clare this year.

These camps focused on improving children’s English through a variety of activities, making new friends, staying active and having loads of fun.

Each camp we got to meet different children living in the area by hosting camps in Ennis, Kilkee, Shannon, Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. Activities including sports, drama, games, dance, outdoor activities, arts & crafts and loads more. Even a visit from the Ice cream van in all venues.

We would like to thank all the children who took part, and a special thanks so all at CLDC that made these camps happen. Thanks to each venue for allowing us to bring the camps to those areas, and to the camp leaders for making sure these children had a fun filled experience.

We look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon!

CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

Alina Senkova, Ukrainian Response Team

“When you think that life is over, in this moment you find people who will show you that NO, you are ALIVE, you must live. You must start. You must live your life.”

We are very proud of our staff who spoke on ClareFM this morning! Have a listen here (11min) to hear about our Ukraine Response programme, the beauty and challenges of Ukrainian life and culture and Irish integration, and how Clare is leading the way with events like this festival coming up AUGUST 18-20!!

“We would love to show our culture to the Irish people who have been so good to us.”

We especially loved hearing about the film, made by and about Irish and Ukrainian Teenagers, about this moment that is so important, with the challenges faced and the friendships that have formed.

CLARE FM INTERVIEW HERE

Refugee Week Fun Run builds solidarity, friendship and respect

Refugee Week Fun Run builds solidarity, friendship and respect

Sanctuary Runners came together to run in solidarity at Lee’s Road last Sunday for the very first Refugee Week Fun Run-Midwest. With over 70 attendees of all ages and abilities from across Clare, the midwest, and the world, it was a gathering of warmth, welcomes and respect.

The event, organised by Sanctuary Runners with the collaboration and support of the SICAP program within Clare Local Development Company, Clare Immigrant Support Centre, Clare Sports Partnership, Clare Volunteer Centre and attended by An Garda Siochana, brought people from all corners of the county to run/ walk/ jog as one. All new runners/ walkers/ joggers received one of the iconic Sanctuary Runners blue t-shirts and completed up to 5km through the beautiful surrounds of John O’Sullivan Park.

Following their endeavours, attendees gathered for tea, chats and refreshments, with goodie bags for all the children. Everyone received a Certificate of Participation to mark their part in this special first for the area.

Graham Clifford, founder and CEO of Sanctuary Runners spoke to all attendees in advance of the run: “The reason for Sanctuary Runners is to bring people together, wherever they are from, to run as one, united in our blue t shirts, sharing this experience. It is particularly special to be in Clare to mark this event and enjoy the warmth of the atmosphere created by our volunteers and everyone who has come together here today.”

With the rain staying away on the day, people basked not just in the sunshine at Lee’s Road, but also in the warmth of new connections and friendships, feeling connected to a bigger community, feeling part of a bigger movement and feeling seen and recognised for their worth and contribution.

Sanctuary Runners have recently appointed Jennifer O’Brien as the Regional Development Officer for the Midwest. With a dedicated staff member in the area Sanctuary Runners plan to continue their positive relationships, with supports and services in Clare and across the midwest to further community integration and continue sharing the values of solidarity, friendship and respect.

Sanctuary Runners Ennis meet regularly at the Fairgreen/ Tim Smyth Park. Anyone interested in joining Sanctuary Runners can email clare@sanctuaryrunners.ie

Find out more about Sanctuary Runners at https://sanctuaryrunners.ie/