Longford Volunteer Centre –three volunteers helping out at the recent Longford Live and Local concerts
The 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Longford Community Resources (LCRL) was held on Monday, September 13.
The Chairperson, Pat O’Rourke, in his report to the Board, acknowledged that 2020 proved to be a difficult year for individuals, communities, and businesses as they had to face unprecedented challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
LCRL likewise was challenged on how to effectively deliver its services whilst staff were restricted to working from home.
Pat stated ‘The organisation embraced those challenges and instead of personal interaction and group meetings, the staff reached out to those most in need through phone calls, text messaging and video conferencing. Programme activities were planned and delivered, adhering to public health advice and Covid-19 restrictions, making 2020 another successful year for the organisation’.
Pat stated, “I would like to thank on behalf of myself and the Board, the CEO and staff for their work throughout the year and how they adjusted to working from their homes during Covid-19 to deliver quality services and supports to individuals and communities. The supports and services carried out through the various programmes has made a significant impact on County Longford from community development to supports for infrastructure, economic development, employment, training and enterprise supports.”
Pat also thanked the Directors, past and present, for their support and continued dedication to the Board.
Adrian Greene acknowledged the effort put in by hardworking community groups and special issue groups whom LCRL staff work closely with. The board members and the staff of LCRL were thanked for their support and commitment.
Adrian stated, “Without the engagement of the community in County Longford, our work would not be as impactful. It is only through the Directors’ support and staffs’ commitment that the work undertaken by LCRL impacts positively on the groups and individuals in Longford. I would like to thank Pat, as Chairperson, for his leadership of the organisation. I would also like to thank the other Directors for their support and commitment throughout the year and the staff for their continued dedication and commitment to the company.
The staff have continued to work with and empower the most marginalised and vulnerable groups and individuals in society such as individuals from ethnic minorities, disadvantaged young people, Travellers, older people, lone parents and homeless people. This would not be possible without the funding and support of many agencies and Departments including: Longford Co Co; Longford LCDC; Department of Rural and Community Development; Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board; Department of Social Protection; Health Service Executive; Youth Work Ireland and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their help, support and funding provided in order to make this work possible.
The members also heard that the LEADER Programme is continually progressing with total commitment to date of €5,620,913.20. In 2021, Longford was allocated two additional tranches of funding under the LEADER Progamme: €1,165,544.00 under the LEADER Transitional Programme 2021-2024 and €518,020 under the EURI Fund.
In 2020, under SICAP, staff worked with 20 groups and 338 individuals. 31 individuals progressed into self-employment and 18 progressed into employment/placement. To date in 2021, 15 groups and 256 individuals have been supported with 30 individuals progressing into self-employment and 16 individuals having progressed into employment/placement. SICAP will continue to focus on supporting the most excluded and marginalised individuals and communities using community development approaches.
In 2020, Rural Social Scheme (RSS) had 62 participants placed with 44 community groups. After restrictions were lifted in May 2021, all vacancies were filled with 65 participants now working on the scheme. RSS will continue to support community groups throughout the county while at the same time continue to give financial and social support to as many low income farm families as possible.
In 2020, Tús had 187 participants on their payroll placed with 70 community groups. To date in 2021, Tús has 84 participants supporting 71 community groups. Tús will continue to support participants in their work placements thus supporting community groups countywide. They will address the additional allocation of 56 placements to the organisation.
Longford Volunteer Centre had 980 volunteers registered at the end of 2020, with a volunteer placement rate of 88%. The Volunteer Centre continues to support individuals and groups and is continuing to process garda vetting applications.
The Youth Service worked with 1146 young people in 2020. They are currently working with 484 young people.
In the 2020/21 academic year, CLYS held bullying awareness programmes, peer mentoring programmes and facilitated Top Class (Alternative Education programme). They worked with 20 groups of young people and carried out detached work in Longford Town, Granard, Edgeworthstown and Ballymahon. The Youth Service will continue to support at risk and hard to reach young people.
The Traveller Primary Healthcare Project worked with over 300 individuals in 2020. In 2020 the health promotion team focused on cardiovascular health, mental health and cancer campaigns.
In 2021 the project continues to focus on mental health as well as men’s health and substance use. Pop-up clinics targeting the Traveller community were set up in Longford, in partnership with Public Health Midlands and the Traveller Health Unit, to deliver Covid-19 vaccines, testing and information.
The project will continue to focus on traveller health, increasing active traveller participation and representation, improving accommodation and upskilling of health workers within the team.
In 2020, the Friendly Phone Call Service supported 61 individuals. 2021, has seen a significant increase in the number of individuals accessing the services, with 71 individuals currently being supported. The Friendly Phone Call Service will continue to advertise and reach out to those individuals experiencing loneliness, anxiety and depression.
LCRL’s Food Bank in association with Food Cloud continues to see a rise in the number of families who are now availing of the food parcels.
If you wish to seek further information on any of the services provided by LCRL, please contact the office at 043-3345555 or email email@example.com. Updates on programmes and activities run by LCRL can be found on the LCRL website, Facebook page and Twitter.
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