Community Development

Supporting communities is at the very heart of South Kerry Development Partnership’s activities.  Our community development work encompasses a very broad range of activities.  We support communities in South Kerry by:

Overview of SKDP’s Community Development Activities

  • Providing grant aid through the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme to support investment in critical community infrastructure – to include construction of new  facilities and refurbishment and renovation of existing facilities – See Rural Development (LEADER) Programme Section
  • Providing grant aid through the Rural Development (LEADER) programme to support community tourism initiatives – See Rural Development (LEADER) Programme Section
  • Providing grant aid through the Rural Development (LEADER) programme to support community groups to enhance the attractiveness of their villages, towns and surrounding countryside – See Rural Development (LEADER) Programme Section
  • Providing grant aid through the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme to support community groups to protect the local heritage (natural, built or cultural) of their areas –  See Rural Development (LEADER) Programme Section
  • Supporting Community & Voluntary groups in providing new and maintaining existing community services, in carrying out a broad range of community projects, by providing a labour resource through the Rural Social Scheme and Tus – See Rural Social Scheme & Tus Sections
  • Providing training opportunities through both the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme.
  • Putting structures and processes in place through the work of the Local & Community  Development programme to ensure effective dialogue between marginalised & disadvantaged communities and policy makers & funding providers, facilitating greater engagement in priority policy and decision making processes by members of identified disadvantaged communities. See SICAP Section
  • Providing networking opportunities and disseminating information on SKDP activities through the SKDP Community Fora Meetings.

South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd’s core community development objective is to:

Community Development – SKDP CLG – Core Objective

To provide local rural and urban development through initiatives which empower local communities, enhances quality of life and promotes social inclusion in our area.

Key Strategies and actions to achieve our core objective

South Kerry Development Partnership’s key strategies, to support our core Community Development  objective, and their related actions are outlined below:

Support, maintain and improve community infrastructure, environment and heritage

a)       Identify, provide and maintain general community and recreational infrastructure.

b)       Identify and improve the visual appearance of villages, towns and rural countryside in South Kerry.

c)       Support conservation and the upgrading of rural heritage.

d)       Support community environmental initiatives for sustainable energy and waste reduction.

e)       Provide Social & cultural supports

Support the creation, maintenance and improvement of community services

a)       Provide a labour resource to community initiatives through the Rural Social Scheme.

b)       Support community groups in undertaking needs analysis.

c)       Source and disseminate examples of good practice to community services.

d)       Support the development of partnership arrangements between community groups and other agencies.

e)       Support and develop new and existing childcare services in conjunction with Kerry County Childcare Committee.

f)         Support and develop new and existing transport services in conjunction with Kerry Community Transport.

Support minority and community groups to empower and enable them to a position of self help

a)       Provide technical assistance to new and established community projects and groups.

b)       Provide financial assistance to community groups, both directly and indirectly.

c)       Provide networking opportunities to community groups.

d)       Provide training opportunities to community groups

e)       Support marginalised individuals to participate in group structures.

Support the participation of marginalised and disadvantaged groups in local and county decision making bodies

a)       Encourage existing decision making bodies to become more inclusive.

b)       Promote an understanding of local government and decision making bodies to members of marginalised and disadvantaged communities.

c)       Facilitate and support the participation of marginalised and disadvantaged groups on decision making bodies.

Funding programmes

South Kerry Development Partnership accesses a number of state & EU funded rural development programmes in order to implement the actions listed above.

Local & Community Development Programme

The Rural Development Officer working under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) also supports and provides information to low income families and farmers in South Kerry.

RSS Participants on Sea Finn Mountain

Rural Social Scheme (RSS) provides income support for farmers and fisherpersons who are currently in receipt of specified social welfare payments, to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities.  It allows low-income farmers/fisherpersons who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding/fishing to earn a supplementary income. South Kerry Development Partnership has 130 participants throughout south Kerry on the scheme along with 7 supervisors.  The Rural Social Scheme participants provide an invaluable labour resource to local communities and it enables rural communities undertake a range of projects.  Projects undertaken by communities utilising Rural Social Scheme participants labour will generally fall into the following categories:

  • Maintaining and enhancing way-marked ways, agreed walks and bog roads
  • Energy conservation work for the elderly and less well off
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of the elderly, community care for both pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work, maintenance and care-taking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres
  • Community administration/clerical duties
  • Any other appropriate community project identified during the course of the scheme.
TÚS project in Beaufort – Wall rebuild

TÚS  is a community based labour market activation scheme that provides short-term work placement opportunities for unemployed people to the benefit of both urban and rural communities.  This programme commenced in 2011.  South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd currently has 80 participants on the TÚS programme along with 4 supervisors.  TÚS  provides community and voluntary groups with an invaluable labour resource.  Projects undertaken by TÚS participants will fall in to the following categories:

  •  Energy conservation work in homes and community buildings
  •  Social care of all age groups and persons with a disability or with limited mobility
  •  Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
  •  Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation and  sporting spaces
  • Work in support of the promotion of the Irish language, other cultural and hertiage activities
  • Community administration, research and community event management
  • Coaching for sporting activity (where operated by designated sporting organisations)
  • Repair of equipment for developing world.

Community Forum

The ‘bottom up’ approach to Rural Development is a core ethos of South Kerry Development Partnership CLG and it provides the organisation with a methodology of working which informs the design, development and implementation of its rural development initiatives.

All groups on the county register of community and voluntary groups (Kerry PPN) are automatically members of the forum and are invited to attend local area forum meetings annually. As well as providing opportunities for networking, exchange of information etc. the forum plays a very important role in facilitating the elections of community representatives onto the Partnership Board. These election meetings are normally held each September and groups eligible to take part are informed of vacancies and offered the opportunity to nominate a representative.

The SKDP area is divided into 4 sub-areas:

  • Greater Killarney
  • Greater Kenmare
  • Mid-Kerry/Slieve Mish
  • Iveragh

Each area appoints two representatives from the election meetings as Community Directors on the Partnership Board.   This is called the Community Pillar and is a key element of the Board of SKDP. These Board members are also an important part of the sub-committees for the Partnership.

The AGM of the Board of Directors takes place every September, the presentation given at this by the CEO is published every year on our website.  It can be viewed in the News section or via ‘Latest Posts’ on our Homepage.