Contracts signed for new Social and Community Activation Programme
Seated at front are:
Mr Joe Potter, CEO Westmeath Community Development, Mr Dermot Leavy, Chairman Westmeath Community Development, Cllr John Shaw, Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Annette Barr Jordan, Community Development Westmeath County Council.
Mr Frank Murtagh, Assistant CEO Westmeath Community Development, Mr Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Westmeath County Council, Mr Hugh O Reilly, Chief Officer Westmeath Local Community Development Committee.
Supporting communities and getting people into employment are the two main Goals of the new Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022. This programme has been secured for County Westmeath when contracts were signed on Friday 15th December 2017 between Westmeath County Council, Westmeath Local Community Development Committee, and Westmeath Community Development for the delivery of a new programme over the next 5 years.
The new SICAP Programme is focussed on the most marginalised in Irish society. It aims to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement and partnership between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.
The current SICAP Programme comes to an end on 31st December 2017. Following a public procurement process, the contract for the implementation of the new SICAP programme has been awarded to Westmeath Community Development. Implementation of the new programme will commence in January 2018.
Welcoming the completion of contracts for the new programme, Mr Pat Gallagher Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council and Vice Chair of Westmeath Local Community Development Committee stated,
“This new programme will help to improve the quality of life in Westmeath by providing assistance to people living in disadvantaged areas or to disadvantaged groups in the county. We look forward to working with Westmeath Community Development to implement this programme for the next five years to improve the life chances of all of our citizens.”
In Westmeath the SICAP programme commenced in April 2015, and the success of the current programme can be seen in the numbers of people and groups who engaged with the programme over the period, with almost 2000 individuals and 90 groups benefiting from SICAP.
“Of particular note has been the numbers of people moving from unemployment to employment or self employment. While employment has been rising and the live register falling nationally and in Westmeath, Westmeath Community Development SICAP employment and enterprise initiatives have assisted in over 700 people moving from unemployment to employment or self employment in the current programme, and we are very excited that we will get to continue this work over the next 5 years”, commented Westmeath Community Development CEO, Joe Potter.
Westmeath Community Development Chairman, Dermot Leavy said, “The achievement’s in the current programme are a testament to the dedication and professionalism of our staff. The Board and I are very aware that the securing of the SICAP for 2018 -2022 is a huge vote of confidence in our staff, the work they carry out and the relationships they have built up with stakeholders throughout the county. We look forward to continuing this under the new programme.”
The new SICAP contract covers the period up to the end of 2022. The budget for implementation of the programme in County Westmeath will be in the region of €750,000 per annum. Westmeath Community Development will have at least 9 staff employed to implement the programme across the county and the programme will be monitored by Westmeath Local Community Development Committee.
For Further info:
Hugh O Reilly SEO
Community Development Section
Westmeath County Council.
Tel 044 9332194
Westmeath Community Development
Tel 044 9348571