Stephen O’Connor, Kilkenny County Council; and Albert Perris, Respond Support Kildare, Nass County, Kildare at the seminar
Lindsey Butler, Community and Culture Department at Kilkenny County Council gave a local perspective on enabling inclusive communities and provided examples of work that target disadvantaged areas and groups at a recent seminar on promoting social inclusion in communities in Carlow Town.
Community and local development groups from across the south-east and midlands attended the event hosted by Pobal, who work on behalf of Government to support communities, the seminar was an opportunity for community groups to reflect on future challenges to address social exclusion and poverty in a local and regional context.
Over 80 representatives from community groups in Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow attended the seminar. Speakers included Jerry Murphy, Pobal Deputy CEO; Lindsey Butler, Community and Culture Department at Kilkenny County Council; and Dr Chris McInerney, Department of Politics and Public Administration University of Limerick (UL). The seminar discussed the vital role the sector plays in enabling inclusive communities in a changed and diverse environment. The importance of co-ordination within the sector, at local, regional and national level, to avoid duplication of effort and intervention is the responsibility of all those working in the respective sectors.
Looking at the wider challenges for the state, Dr Chris McInerney of the Department of Politics and Administration in UL, discussed the need for active policies and resources to support community work and community development to achieve the ideal of inclusive communities.
Speaking at the event, Jerry Murphy Pobal Deputy CEO said, “communities are at the centre of what Pobal was set up to do so we are delighted to be out meeting so many local groups through our Regional Seminar events. In 2016 we held a conference, ‘Creating an Inclusive Labour Market’ and these regional events are a follow on to this, exploring the current context and experience of the community and voluntary sector in promoting social inclusion. I want to thank all those that attended our seminar in Carlow, it was fantastic to see so many community groups come together to share their knowledge and passion for the sector and the community in which they work so hard.”