Promoting wellness and personal development : The Mens Shed


There are currently almost 400 registered Mens 'sheds' around the country and each week almost 10,000 men (from both north and south of the border) gather to enjoy a few hours of companionship and purpose. In Carlow there are a number of Sheds and Carlow County Development Partnership CLG is proud to support the work of the Sheds in Carlow town and Leighlinbridge. The Carlow Shed also links in with other community development and inclusion initiatives. For example, it is currently constructing a roof for the cob oven in an Gairdin Beo which was constructed with the assistance of the La Nua Special CE Scheme for persons in recovery.

Here is a link to a nice article in the Irish Independent which talks about the beneficial effects of being in a Shed for mens well-being:


Garda Community visit in Graiguecullen


On  next Monday  26th June   Carlow Garda will be out meeting older persons in the Graiguecullen area, visiting homes and saying ‘hello’

This is an initiative in partnership with Carlow Older Persons Forum and Carlow Carlow County Development Partnership

This Garda presence in the area is not related to any incident so please don’t be alarmed – Lets meet our local Gardai!

Promoting Inclusion: The Failte Isteach Graduation

On Thursday June 15th the 2016- 2017 Graduation Ceremony for the Carlow Failte Isteach Programme took place in the Seven Oaks Hotel.  22 different nationalities were present to see Certificates presented by Jim Deane,  the Lord Major of Carlow to 45 students who had completed the Programme in the past year and to hear encouraging words from Pat Deering TD and Micheal Brennan,  Chief Officer at Carlow County Council. There were also inspiring and moving testimonials from Zena and Jason, two of  the volunteer tutors on the programme as well as from some of the participants themselves. There was also a lovely musical ending to the evening with Beiba, one of the students, performing two songs for the assembled group.

In his opening words, Karl Duffy,  Social Inclusion Manager with Carlow County Development Partnership spoke of the dramatic changes which have taken place in Carlow and the rest of Irish society over the past 25 years:

"In its essence, migration is an expression of a desire for happiness and quality of life which is proper to every human being, a happiness that is to be sought and pursued. And now in Ireland we are in a position to offer a welcome to people coming to us in search of a better and happier life, and to accompany  them on that very human quest. One of the goals of the SICAP programme is to support people on their journey towards personal development and greater participation in the social and economic life of Carlow. And the way we like to do this in Carlow County Development Partnership is by supporting those members of the Carlow community who are motivated to work for greater inclusion and,  in the case of Failte Isteach, to welcome people who have come to Carlow in a very practical way, by helping them with their English.

Sadly, we hear reports from all over Europe and from Ireland of responses that are rooted in fear saying that we should close our doors. But what we see in Failte Isteach is an attitude aimed at overcoming indifference and countering those fears by a generous approach of welcoming those who knock at our doors. So I welcome you to this evening -  a celebration of steps made on a journey together, an acknowledgment of a job well done and a looking forward to a positive future. We are very proud of this programme -  of the work done by Carlow County Development staff, of our coordinator Sandra, of the volunteer tutors - and intend over the next few months to reshape, expand and make the Programme even stronger"



Tús : Paul’s Story


Paul Doyle is a former Tús participant who took up an opportunity as a handyman with the ‘Care and Repair’ programme in Carlow County Development Partnership CLG. Having spent 20 seasons working in the sugar factory in Carlow, Paul found himself out of work following its closure. He had turned his hand to many jobs and worked in quarrying, building and in security before he found himself without work.

He was delighted when the opportunity arose with Tús in the ‘Care and Repair’ programme as he found he was spending lots of time with older people, which he loved:

I have always loved being around older people. I am drawn to them and I love the banter and the craic with  them. In my job with Tús I spent lots of time in the company of older people fixing something or carrying out small jobs for them. After a while they started asking for me by name and sometimes the job would be very small and you’d realise it’s the chat they really want! And that’s what I loved most about the job – the interaction with the people – and the jobs were almost secondary.’

When Paul’s time on the Tús scheme came to an end, the team encouraged him to further explore his love for work with older people. Paul was offered the opportunity to study a Fetac Level 5 Healthcare course in the VEC  in Bagenalstown, which offered the possibility of employment in the area of caring for older people upon completion.

‘I spent many years caring for my mother who only very recently died and so I have lots of experience of  working with the elderly along with the time spent on the Tús Care and Repair Programme. But these days you need the education to go along with that to get a job. I am nearly 30 years out of education so it was a big  step for me to consider going back. And it’s tough, but I hope it will be worth it in the end. If it gets me a job in  a nursing home or in the field of caring for the elderly I will be happy. All you can ask for is a job you like and a wage at the end of the week and that is what I hope to get out of this course’, says Paul.

The team at Tús continued to be available to support Paul while he was undertaking his course and he knew that he could avail of our expertise whenever needed. The routine of attending class every day was new and required discipline. While completing assignments and meeting deadlines can be daunting for those returning
to education after a long period of time, Paul’s experience shows that it is possible with support to return to  education, change career path and successfully gain employment.

Labour Market Activation: Targeted supports to Tús participants

As part of a person-centered approach to individuals who are seeking to get back into the workplace, Carlow County Development Partnership seeks to provide a comprehensive training and support programme to our clients on our Tus scheme,  through a collaborative interdepartmental approach. As part of this, we offer an  an ongoing series of training days entitled 'Road to Work' which is facilitated by Lucy Stevenson (Tus Supervisor), Fergal Bolger (Tus Supervisor) and Dylan Thomas (Education and social Inclusion Specialist, SICAP). These training sessions have received very positive feedback and are part of a structured support system, enabling participants to re-acquaint themselves witht he demands of the working environment.

Promoting greater Inclusion: Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town and the Older Persons Forum

Carlow County Development Partnership were delighted to support the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town event, which was held on Sunday 28th May in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel in Carlow.  Organised by Bank of Ireland in partnership with the local community it showcased local businesses, community and sporting  organizations.  There were over 90 stands including ones providing information on what CCDP has to offer to communities, individuals, job seekers, young people, older persons, new communities and entrepreneurs.

Carlow Older Persons Forum was chosen as this year’s charity by Bank of Ireland. Through the SICAP programme,  CCDP have been working with and supporting the development and capacity of the Older Persons Forum for more than two years now and have seen it go from strength to strength.  It celebrated its second birthday on 24th May this year. The Forum is an important element of the suite of supports that the company offer to older persons in Carlow town and county, including ‘Care and Repair’, which benefits almost 300 clients.