Carlow County Development Partnership support for Bagenalstown First Responders

It was with great pleasure that Mary Walsh CEO was able to present Paddy Kelly with a cheque for 100 euros to support the work of Bagenalstown Community First Responders on the day that they officially  ‘went live’ for the very first time. Last Friday evening,starting at 8 o clock,  10 volunteer were on standby, with the National Ambulance Service,  ready to react to any cardiac, respiratory, or stroke-related emergencies in a 5 km radius around Bagenalstown. This is the first group of its kind in Carlow and only the second in the whole country.

It has been a long journey to get to this great day. The ten volunteers were in training from April to October, arising out of an idea in Paddy's head when he was involved with the Text Alert scheme in Bagenalstown. He was quick to acknowledge the support of Carlow County Development Partnership, especially through the support given to the group by SICAP Development Specialist Annette Fox: "We would have been lost without you", he said. "Until we met you we were just barely going along".

The system works in the following way. The trained volunteers are on duty for the weekend period and when a call is received through 999 at the National Ambulance service, they are notified and will make their way to the person who needs them. As Paddy explained, the first few minutes can be critical in the case of a  Stroke or Heart attack, and the volunteers will be on hand to assist the person until the arrival of the Ambulance which can take up to 20 minutes. Because of the challenging nature of the work, Paddy admits to being "a little nervous" but is proud of the support that this service is bringing to the community.

Carlow County Development Partnership looks forward to continuing its support for this great initiative in the New Year


Social Farming - presentation of certificates

 

As noted previously, Carlow County Development Partnership is delighted to be working with Cairdeas and Beam to place 6 adults with intellectual disability on a working farm on Mondays and Thursdays.  Last Thursday the participants from Cairdeas were presented their certificates by Dylan Thomas, SICAP Development Worker, who was able to report on the success of the initiative at first hand and meet the farm family Liam and Simone who are hosting the participants.


SICAP Programme supporting wellness: Carlow Involvement Centre Writer's Group book launch

Carlow County Development Partnership is delighted to have supported Carlow Involvement Centre Writer's Group in the publication and launch of their wonderful book. This book is the culmination of many months work by this amazing group, a peer support group for those with experience of mental health issues. This book is interesting, inspiring and funny in parts, it is a great Christmas present and is available from the Involvement Centre. All proceeds go towards the running of the centre. We look forward to working with the group in 2018!

 


SICAP Programme - Integration and diversity: Winter Festival

The Carlow County Development Partnership SICAP Programme was delighted to support the 'Winter Festival', hosted by Carlow Integration Forum on December 2nd in An Gairdin Beo.

 

This event was a great success with wonderful food from around the world, music, and entertainment. More than 130 children visited Santa and had lots of time to chat with him and get a small gift. A grotto was created in the garden, marshmallows were toasted and Christmas wreaths were made. There were lots of activities for the little ones and indeed for everyone. All activities, Santa visits, and the food was free to all who attended. Santa arrived in a spectacular Pink Cadillac, The garden twinkled with fairy lights and it was a magical afternoon. Special thanks to Clonmore Meats for providing the wonderful car for Santa and letting the reindeer have a rest for the big night! Special tanks to Santa for his early arrival and continued updates on his progress to Carlow. Special thanks to Kevin Kelly for the festive refreshments. Thanks to everyone who worked so incredibly hard to make this event such a success

In current Irish policy, integration is defined as the ‘ability to participate to the extent that a person needs and wishes in all of the major components of society without having to relinquish his or her own cultural identity’, thus highlighting the needs for events that allows migrants express their identity through culture, food and music.

The 2017 Migrant Integration Strategy reminds us that "successful integration is the responsibility of Irish society as a whole and will require action by Government, public bodies, service providers,businesses,NGOs but also by local communities". This event showcased the collaboration that this possible between a Local Community group (An Gairdin Beo) and the Integration Forum which supports new communities, supported by the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme. The focus of the event was to allow recent migrants to the county interact with the host community and participate in a cultural event, highlighting in this case their their own traditions and food.
The success of the event built on the excellent work being done by the Failte Isteach Programme which creates the connections and energy between the individuals who then came forward to support the Integration Forum. The warm atmosphere in the Garden was built upon the friendly informal engagement which is the characteristic of the Failte Isteach Programme.

 

 


SICAP Programme: A Social Farming Pilot with persons with intellectual disabilities

Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of social support service.

In other words, a working farm offers a welcome to individuals from  a therapeutic setting and this participation in the working life of the farm day  provides an opportunity to increase their self esteem and improve health and well-being. On the side of the farmer, these initiatives support farm diversification and help farmers connect with the wider community. The farm is not a specialized treatment farm; rather it remains a normal working farm where people in need of support can benefit from participation in farm activities in a non- clinical environment.

In recognition of the potential of initiatives like this, over €804,000 in funding has been awarded by the Department of Agriculture to initiatives to promote and develop social farming projects in rural areas.

Carlow County Development Partnership recognizes that social farming has the potential to provide daily services to people with intellectual disabilities and to involve farm families in a creative response that benefits both sides.  We note a recent report which showed benefits for all sides, including the farm family itself who were more likely to work together on the days visitors were on the farm. “It enriches our lives and the children’s lives too,” one farmer said. “The children see them too, not as people with a disability, they see them as farmers.”

CCDP in wishing to support the development of social farming,  and allow people the opportunity to participate in farming activities in their local area, is working with Cairdeas and Beam to place 6 adults with intellectual disability on a working farm on Mondays and Wednesdays.  We will post some reports on how they are getting on and interviews with the participants themselves.


Community Development: Rathvilly Development Association

 

Carlow County Development Partnership is a support structure for anyone who wants to strengthen their community, and is delighted to work with groups around the county who are actively engaged in making their town or village a better place to live. One of these groups is the Rathvilly Community Development Group who have been supported by Joanne Donohoe, the SICAP Development Worker over the last number of years. At their AGM at the start of the year a number of sub-groups were set up, one of which focused on organizing social events for the area. Recently, this group organized a Tea Dance for the Over 55's "Active Seniors" in the town which was enjoyed by all and was just one activity to reduce isolation and respond to the needs of older members of the community.

Older people are assuming a greater importance throughout the whole European Union as both their numbers and their proportion of the population increase due to the ageing of the population. As of 2013, 18% of Europeans are aged 65 or more (more than 92 million individuals ) but this is predicted to rise to 30 % by 2060.

SICAP supporting community development: Tullow Road Rethink your Space meeting

County Carlow Development Partnership SICAP Programme was delighted to be part of the recent consultation with residents of the Tullow Rd to "Rethink your Space". 25 people attended. If you want to still contribute and couldn't make the meeting you can email the designcore@itcarlow.ie with your ideas.


SICAP supports for those facing mental health challenges. Working with the Mensana Programme 2017

Mensana Fest 2017 is nearly underway.  It is running through October 9th until October 27th with loads of events around Carlow.  Have a look at the brochure and see what events interest you.


Leader Consultation with local communities

Carlow County Development Partnership was delighted to see such a great turnout at the recent Leader consultation with communities at Mount Wolseley on. Facilitated by Mary Walsh CEO, the presentation included the latest statistics from the 2016 census which proved to be of great interest to all concerned.


Carlow Age Friendly County Strategic Plan 2017 -2022

An Gairdin Beo was beautifully dressed for the arrival of Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly T.D. on 13/09/2017.  The occasion was to officially launch the Carlow Age Friendly County Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022.   Chairperson of the Carlow Older Persons Forum Joe Butler compared the event with fellow speakers Cllr. William Paton, Cathaoirleach Carlow County Council, and Eileen Brophy, Chairperson of Carlow Age Alliance.  The National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) sets out a vision for Ireland, and this vision is one that the Carlow Age Friendly Committee are committed to;-

“ ……a society for all ages that celebrates and prepares properly for individual and population ageing.  It will enable and support all ages and older people to enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential.  It will promote and respect older people’s engagement in economic, social, cultural, community and family life and foster better solidarity between the generations.  It will be a society in which the equality, independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment and dignity of older people are pursued at all times”.

The strategic plan focuses on the areas of

·         Outdoor Spaces & buildings

·         Transport

·         Housing

·         Respect & Social Inclusion

·         Social Participation

·         Communication & Information

·         Civic Partnership

·         Community Support & Health Services

There are a number of short-term, medium-term and long-term goals that are listed under the headings above that the plan will try to achieve.  If you would like to view the strategic plan please see below