At the signing of the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022 contract were Co Council CEO Paddy Mahon, Charles Harrison and Cllr Seamus Butler
Supporting communities and getting Longford people into employment are the two main goals of the new Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018 – 2022.
The budget for implementation of the programme in county Longford will be in the region of €512,000 per annum.
This programme was secured when contracts were signed between Longford County Council, Longford Local Community Development Committee and Longford Community Resources CLG for the delivery of a new programme over the next 5 years.
The new SICAP Programme is focused on the most marginalised in Irish society and is funded through the Department of Rural and Community Development with co-financing from the European Social Fund and is managed locally by Longford Local Community Development Committee with support from Longford County Council.
The programme aims to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement and partnership between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.
Following a public procurement process, the contract for the implementation of the new SICAP programme has been awarded to Longford Community Resources CLG.
Implementation of the new programme is due to commence this month, when local community groups and individuals will be supported to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues and creating more sustainable communities.
Cllr Seamus Butler, Chairman of Longford Local Community Development Committee, stated, “We look forward to working with Longford Community Resources in the implementation of the SICAP programme for the next five years.”
Cllr Butler pointed out, “This new programme will help to improve the quality of life for people experiencing social exclusion in County Longford by providing assistance to people who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or in unemployment.”
The initial SICAP Programme in Longford ran from April 2015 to 2017 and was implemented by Longford Community Resources. They engaged with marginalised communities and a wide range of service providers using an integrated and community development approach to address issues relating to social exclusion and equality.
The success of the current programme can be seen in the numbers of people and groups who supported through the programme over the period, with almost 1700 individuals and 30 groups benefiting from SICAP.
Longford Community Resources CEO, Adrian Greene, commented, “The SICAP programme aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality, and to improve the life chances and opportunities of those who are most marginalised in our society.”
He added, “To note just a couple of statistics on the success of the programme to date, over 330 people have been supported moving them from unemployment to employment or self-employment and 486 people have been supported through educational supports.”
Longford Community Resources Chairman, Charles Harrison said, “The achievements in the current programme are a testament to the dedication, commitment and professionalism of our staff and our voluntary Board of Directors.”
Mr Harrison continued, “The Board and I are very aware that the securing of the SICAP for 2018 -2022 is a huge vote of confidence in our organisations and particularly our staff in the work they undertake and the relationships they have built up with groups and individuals throughout the county. We look forward to continuing this under the new SICAP programme.”