Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Social Protection, Joe O’Brien T.D. officially visited a number of community initiatives in County Galway, including the Galway Simon Community.
Commencing the two-day event in Connemara, the Minister, hosted by FORUM Connemara, visited the Wild Goat Café in Letterfrack where he met with staff involved in the Community Services Programme (CSP), who organise in-house and meals delivery services and day care activities for the elderly. He also met with the team working in Forum Connemara Local Development Company involved in environmental and foodbank projects.
Moving onto Galway City, the Minister met with the Ukrainian Community Response Forum who are providing local supports to help people arriving from Ukraine to settle into their new communities. He also met with the secretariat of the Galway City Community Network (GCCN), Public Participation Network (PPN) who co-ordinate and support the representation of the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Galway City.
Minister O’Brien said, “on my visits in Connemara and Galway City I have once again had the opportunity to see first-hand the varied and vital work undertaken by community and voluntary organisations in their local communities. The commitment, energy and passion that underpins the work that these groups do has been palpable and I am glad to be able to show mine and my Departments continued support.”
Minister O’Brien continued to the Druid Theatre where he launched the Galway Simon Community 2021 Annual Report. The report highlights the range of supports and services that Galway Simon Community provide to people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
The Minister also met with participants in the Community Employment (CE) Scheme providing supports to long-term unemployed to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities. The Minister also discussed CE opportunities for members of the Travelling community.
The final visit in Galway City was to An Mheitheal Rothar, a successful social sustainable enterprise that recycle bicycles and provide servicing and repairing. This award winning enterprise also hosts workshops that show you how to fix and maintain your own bike.