The community development department works with marginalised, disadvantaged and socially excluded communities and community groups with the aim of supporting them to develop their voice, to have their voice heard and to effectively work towards social change, inclusion and equality.
Information provision for local community groups
- Targeted information provision and dissemination for disadvantaged and very disadvantaged communities, to include: people with disabilities, older people, new communities, young people in disadvantaged communities with a particular focus on those unemployed, lone parents, and Travellers, to include information on actions and opportunities across all SICAP goals.
- Specific targeted measures for communities in Cherry Orchard including the full range of information tools, and including the development of an information hub in the Cherry Orchard Equine Education and Training Centre.
- Supporting local groups by being a central point for the dissemination of local information
Area based planning for Cherry Orchard
- Support the development of the Cherry Orchard Restorative Forum by developing the participation of community members and community organisations and co-ordinating the forum.
- Support the development of an area-based plan for Cherry Orchard, leading on to developing collaborative strategic action
- Explore opportunities for using creative tools for community engagement with a focus on young people
- Engage young people, Travellers and people with disabilities in pre-development work through initiatives that could link in with labour market activation measures
- Support for the Community Garden in Cherry Orchard.
Supporting community leadership
- Pre-development/capacity-building work with groups most marginalised from decision-making in partnership with representative groups (e.g. Travellers)
- Support for the roll out of the ‘Our Service – Our Say’ capacity-building programme for people with mental health issues
- Continued support and development of the Access group (disabled people) in strategic planning and participation in local, regional and national decision-making structures
- Continued support and development of the Senior Citizens group in strategic planning and participation in local, regional and national decision-making structures
- Support and capacity-building for community groups to facilitate their active participation in community responses to tackling social exclusion, for example, groups wishing to engage with D10 Be Well, Restorative Practice network, and other community-wide collaborations.
- Identify areas with lowest voter turn-out and work with local organisations to develop creative approaches to engage people in decision-making.
- Continue to support the development of the skills and practice of the past participants of the Fetac Level 5 community development courses.
- Bring women together to explore women’s leadership, participation in decision-making and to explore enterprise options for women.
- Build leadership and capacity among young people (across Dublin 10, there will be focused capacity building under action one of the area-based plan)] through 1) Active Citizenship Workshops in Schools, and 2) Community Development Course for LCA and youth services.
- Support community groups to participate on and engage with Public Participation Network (PPN)
- Technical support and advice to any group in developing their work around equality, anti-discrimination and social inclusion.
- Continued support, development and building capacity of the D10 Be Well group
- Continued support and development of the Restorative Practice initiative
- Continued support and development of the Community Development sub-group
- Support the Dublin 10 Childcare Network to continue capacity-building and strategic development work with local childcare services in order to promote early intervention and positive outcomes for children and families.
Food & Health training programmes
The Food and Health Project (formally named The Healthy Food Made Easy Project) has been running for the past eight years in the Ballyfermot/Chapelizod area. Non – accredited education/ training. To Provide Healthy eating and food nutrition courses to local groups and to the general community.
Training courses include:
- Healthy food made easy
- Healthy hearts
- Cool dude
- Weaning programme
Restorative Practice was introduced to Ballyfermot in 2009. It was felt that this approach, which underpins strong values of respect, equality, justice and open communication could go a long way in helping the community build relationships, problem solve and address issues in a healthy and productive manner. Along with embedding the above values, Restorative Practice encourages high expectations and support of self and others via a skill set used in formal and informal communication. This skill set consists of being conscious of using restorative language, holding restorative meetings, circles and conferences for planning and addressing concerns or issues that people or groups are experiencing.
A Restorative Practice Steering Committee was formed in 2011 with the aim of promoting and supporting the use of Restorative Practice across Ballyfermot. Since this time a lot of effort has gone into bringing training into the area to help staff develop their understanding and build this into the work they were doing. Strong links have been made and learning has taken place with other areas in Dublin and Ireland that are also promoting the use of Restorative Practice.
In 2016 the steering committee secured funding for a full time Restorative Practice Development Worker to work alongside them in further embedding Restorative Practice in Ballyfermot, with an initial focus on Cherry Orchard. Since then four staff and one resident in Cherry Orchard been trained to deliver Restorative Practice training, and 13 organisations that serve Cherry Orchard have agreed to their staff teams being trained and Restorative Practice becoming embedded within their organisation. It is hoped that this training and embedding can then be rolled out further throughout Ballyfermot.
The overall aim is to promote this approach as a means of empowering staff and residents to have a greater voice, a healthy means of communication and a sense of ownership within their lives and community.