Siobhan Cronogue, Co Longford PPN Coordinator
Covid-19 has not stopped community groups in Longford registering with County Longford Public Participation Network bringing its total voluntary group membership to 448.
Siobhan Cronogue, PPN Coordinator, said, “I am delighted that the PPN continues to grow and we can continue to keep groups informed, link them with decision making agencies or relevant support services while also providing support to ensure the longevity of all the great voluntary work groups do in our county. The PPN also facilitates the great work of the Disability Network and Intercultural Forum who have risen to every challenge Covid-19 has thrown at them.”
She said the Community Wellbeing Vision Statements that groups developed in 2018 continues to be the focus of the PPN Secretariat when developing and implementing the work plan.
Ms Cronogue welcomed the invitation from Social Justice Ireland to take part in a podcast to discuss the process and implementation of wellbeing visions around the country.
Siobhan referenced the Government’s National Framework for Wellbeing document and said although the document was currently a scoping exercise, she hoped that the final indicators would follow those of the PPN Wellbeing Visions.
Longford PPN groups were the first in the country to develop both Municipal District and County Wellbeing Visions and most importantly put them into practice.
Ms Cronogue also highlighted that since March, the PPN has had to adopt a different way of delivering their services like many other organisations.
She explained that the first County Plenary meeting of the PPN to be held as a webinar is on Thursday, November 26, 7pm – 8.30pm.
The PPN Secretariat, who represent all the groups, feel it is extremely important to keep members informed and connected and they have invited three guest speakers who will provide vital information to the community during these challenging times.
Barbara Heslin, Director of Services, Community & Enterprise section, Longford County Council will talk about supports and services available from the Council.
Ms Heslin said “Longford County Council plays an important role in the ‘Keep Well’ campaign which supports individuals and communities to mind their physical and mental health and strengthen their resilience.
“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on local businesses. The Local Enterprise Office is running a shop local campaign #ShopLongford, highlighting Longford businesses and encouraging people to shop local this Christmas.
The response by individuals, groups and agencies to the challenges presented by Covid-19 has highlighted the unique strengths which exist in our communities and highlights one of the reasons why Longford is the place to be. By working together we are stronger.”
Seán Regan, Social Inclusion Programmes Manager with Longford Community Resources clg (LCRL), who will also speak on the night remarked, “In times of crisis, disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and communities are most at risk. The Covid 19 pandemic highlights these risks even more, and the need to support and build resilience amongst the most marginalised groups in society.
“During the crisis LCRL continues to deliver a range of programmes supporting unemployed people, people living in deprived areas, people with disabilities, lone parents, people on low income, members of the Traveller and Roma community and other minority and disadvantaged groups.”
The final guest speaker is Karen Ciesielsk from the Irish Environmental Network. Karen will talk about recent changes to the criteria for community groups who wish to join the PPN Environmental College.
Ms Cronogue welcomed these changes and said they may be of particular interest to Tidy Towns and other environmental interest groups.
She encouraged all PPN members to join the webinar through the link which will be emailed out to all group contacts for circulation.
The PPN Secretariat is mindful that not all members have internet access, the technical know how or computers or phones available to them so please contact Siobhan on 087 261 5583 , firstname.lastname@example.org or Helen on 043 33 44223 and they will do everything in their power to support your participation.
Useful contact details:
Longford County Council Community Call – 043 33 44255 or 1800 300 122
LCRL SICAP Programme - 043 3345555 or 087 9478650 (Sean Regan)