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St. Munchin’s

Youghal CDP gets the ‘Eco Eye’ from Duncan 'ECO EYE', RTE's environmental tv show presented by Duncan Stewart, visited Cumann na Daoine CDP, in Youghal, Co. Cork in the Autumn. RTE will air the programme in January, which will focus on the CDP's promotion of a Global Action Plan on environmental issues. One of the results of the work has been the establishment of a weekly Farmer's Market in the town. The Global Action Plan involved a series of workshops delivered by environmentalist Mike Holden dealing with issues such as Energy, Waste, Consumerism and Community Activity. The workshops were very successful and the idea has spread throughout East Cork.

St Munchin’s CDP is now accessible to everyone.

New premises, new way of working By PHILIP MUDGE

WHEN St Munchin’s CDP in north Limerick city were preparing to move to new premises after spending many years in an old first floor office over a shop, the staff and volunteers looked forward to the increased comfort and accessibility of the new offices. What they did not expect was that the new premises - which are shared with the local Action Centre, Local Employment Service, and health services would also change the way the CDP works with the community. Cumann na Daoine CDP have made the Global Action Plan available to the local people (with support from ECAD, Cork Environmental Forum and the Department of the Environment). The Eco Eye programme will also feature the story of Youghal's Farmers' Market. A group of people who did the Global Action Plan at Cumann na Daoine got together to form a food group because of their common interest in food issues. They wanted to promote healthy eating and access to local food. After intensive research, they worked with the Chamber of Commerce to launch a Farmers' Market. The market has been welcomed by the people of Youghal who are turning out every Friday at Barry's Lane by the Clock Gate to support it. The only difficulty Cumann na Daoine CDP now have in getting their message out is that ‘Eco-Eye’ clashes with Coronation Street! You have been alerted! For more information, contact: Eanna Dowling at Cumann na Daoine CDP, tel. 024-91900.

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Susan O’Neill, project co-ordinator, says, "We knew that the new premises would be an improvement because it is purpose-built and in the heart of the community. Our old offices were right at the edge of the community and the two flights of stairs meant that the project was almost inaccessible to older persons, parents with buggies and many people with physical disabilities. "Most importantly the new building is completely accessible. We are now a CDP for the whole community! "What we weren’t expecting was the added value to our work that has come from being in a building that is shared with the other community agencies. The St. Munchin’s Community centre has become the hub of activity for the whole community, so the profile of all the projects has increased. "People involved in the CDP are using the other services such as the Local Employment Service and we are making contact with some of the more difficult-to-reach individuals who are coming to the centre." An example of the increased visibility of the CDP is the third level education bursaries scheme which the CDP administers. In previous years, there were about six-to-eight applicants; this year there were over 20. The CDP project is sure this is because more

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people are aware on a daily basis of the CDP and are accessing its services more often. "Obviously this means more work for our staff and volunteers," says Susan, "but we’re getting a buzz out of responding to the community. In the past it sometimes felt like the project was leading initiatives - now the community is leading us." Sharing the community centre has also enabled the various projects to work together on joint initiatives. For example, the CDP obtained funding for information technology equipment through the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the RAPID initiative and the Health Service Executive (HSE). This equipment is now being used to upskill participants identified by the CDP and the other service providers sharing the new premises. The CDP had also planned a support programme for older persons in partnership with the HSE that was to include a drop-in programme, outreach service and educational programme. Now it is hoped that the service will be enhanced with the provision of an outreach worker and drop-in programme worker through a Community Employment initiative that is being jointly sponsored by the partners in the community centre. The CDP expects that many initiatives in the community will be joint developments in the future. "A co-ordinated approach works best," says Susan Sharing the new centre also means that back up services such as receptionists, security staff, cleaners and the centre manager are not the responsibility of the CDP. "We can get on with our real function, supporting the community and assisting individuals to get involved in programmes and activities."

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CHANGING IRELAND ISSUE 16  

Hot in Issue 16: - MAIN STORY: TAOISEACH STARTLED – HOUSES FOR SALE €30,000 - ALSO: - CDP proves you can fight class discrimination by secon...

CHANGING IRELAND ISSUE 16  

Hot in Issue 16: - MAIN STORY: TAOISEACH STARTLED – HOUSES FOR SALE €30,000 - ALSO: - CDP proves you can fight class discrimination by secon...

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