Talk About The newsletter of Bray Partnership Number 8 Winter 2007/2008 Who we are and what we do: Bray Partnership is one of 38 local development companies in Ireland. Our mission is to tackle social exclusion and disadvantage in the Bray area, using a partnership approach. We do this by working with the whole community to identify local needs and issues and develop effective collaborative responses. Welcome to our winter newsletter, designed to let you know a bit more about our work and the supports and services we offer. During 2007 we supported and funded more than 40 local projects and initiatives, each designed to tackle the disadvantage, poverty and exclusion experienced by individuals and communities in the Bray area. Examples of some of our new work during the year included an event-packed Entitlements Awareness Week; the development of a new Human Rights training module for use in local communities; and the setting up of a new project designed to support older people to stay in their own homes. We also continued in 2007 to offer a wide range of direct supports through our various work programmes to individuals and community groups – from training and support to local community groups to our employment and enterprise support programmes working with individuals. Our education grants gave funding to more than 140 individuals experiencing financial or other barriers in their pursuit of further and higher education. You can read more about all of these activities in the following pages. For more information on our work in the Bray area, you can also log on to www.braypartnership.ie. Inside this issue: Ready, Steady…Go! Entitlements Awareness Week Equality and education Supporting people to set up in business Our enterprise support service Are you considering setting up your own business or becoming selfemployed? You may already have a business idea but feel you need support, advice or training before you take the plunge. Or perhaps you just want to find out a bit more about what might be involved in setting up a business. Either way, our enterprise company, Bray Community Enterprise, can provide you with all of the supports you might need: from one-to-one advice on set-up and planning to a range of Start Your Own Business courses and other specialised training. You could come in for an initial chat, get advice on specific issues, try a taster course, get basic computer skills training, or sign up for one of our more comprehensive Pre-Enterprise Training courses – some are tailored courses, for example specifically for women or non-Irish nationals. We also run regular seminars throughout the year in areas such as tax returns or Health and Safety. And finally, you can get ongoing support and advice after you have started trading. Last year, Bray Community Enterprise supported 130 individuals to pursue their goal of becoming self-employed. The service is free and we give priority to certain groups – for example, people who are unemployed or in receipt of a benefit, non-Irish nationals, and women considering self-employment. Courses we have starting in the spring include the Pre-Enterprise Training Programme and the Start Your Own Business course for non-Irish nationals. To find out more, contact Bray Community Enterprise on 01 205 0111. Enterprise courses starting in spring 2008 Bray Community Enterprise will be offering the following courses starting this spring for people who want to set up their own business: Start Your Own Business course for non-Irish nationals – April 2008 Pre-Enterprise Training Programme – May 2008 Contact BCE on 01 205 0111 to find out more. Entitlements Awareness Week Pictured is Eamon Burgess from Bray CIC giving a talk to older people in St. Peter’s Parish on the state supports and entitlements available to them. The talk was part of the Entitlements Awareness Week run by our Information Givers Network in October 2007. The week was packed with events such as radio pieces, clinics and seminars designed to give information on state supports, rights and entitlements in a range of areas such as social welfare benefits, education and housing. We also distributed a magazine to every household and business in Bray with information on entitlements. The idea for the week came from local groups we work with who felt that many people using their services were not fully aware of all of the supports and benefits they might be entitled to claim. Talk on Rental Accommodation Scheme The picture shows Caroline Fox from Wicklow County Council giving an input on the operation of the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) in the county. Organised on behalf of the Bray Partnership Marginalised, Disadvantaged and Unemployed Cluster Group and attended by over 20 people from 12 organisations in Bray, the talk covered the operation of the RAS to-date and the plans for its future operation. Equality and Education conference Photo of speakers at the Equality and Education conference Our education work in the Bray area is focused on working with the whole community to increase the participation and achievement of socially-excluded individuals, groups and communities in education. In October we held a conference on Equality and Education in Bray. It was attended by more than 80 people from a wide range of organisations providing education in the Bray area - from schools and statutory agencies to community education providers. The day provided them with the opportunity to share ideas and explore different and practical approaches to equality and inclusion in education provision in the town from pre-school right through to adult education. Speaking at the conference, Dr. Anne Lodge from NUI Maynooth said that some of the current approaches to achieving better levels of equality in education simply weren’t working. She suggested a number of new approaches that could be taken by education providers to improve this situation. Delegates then attended different workshops where they took part in lively discussions on the challenges and opportunities for tackling educational inequality locally and how best to work together to achieve this. A detailed conference report is now available. If you would like a copy, contact Lorna Lafferty at the Partnership on 01-2868266. You can also see the report online in the Publications section of our website at www.braypartnership.ie. Our Education Grants Schemes Our Education Grants Schemes have supported 151 people from the Bray area to pursue further and higher education in 2007/8. The schemes are designed to offer financial support to students who have financial or other barriers or are living in particular areas of Bray. There are two schemes. The Bray Education Access Programme (BEAP) is for individuals who want to take part in further education and training. The Bray ASSET Level (Millennium Partnership Fund for Disadvantage) programme supports students who want to pursue third level education. These grants will be open again for applications in July/August 2008. To find out more see the Grants Available section of our website at www.braypartnership.ie, or call Lorna Lafferty at the Partnership on 01 2868266. Ready, Steady…Go! Further education guide for people with intellectual disabilities Photo of students from the National Learning Network with Finula Garraghy (Inclusion Ireland) and Paivikki Hoolan (Bray Partnership) at the launch of the guide. We were delighted this month to launch a new guide on further education options for young people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Entitled Ready, Steady…Go!, the guide lists a wide range of local further education providers in the Bray area, both general and specific, and the courses they offer. It also lists the many local groups that can offer support and information, such as the Bray Advocacy Service based here in our own offices. Finally, there are sections on general supports such as social and leisure, housing, grants, rights and entitlements, and going to college. The need for this kind of information to be made available locally was highlighted in research carried out by our Disability Cluster Group – a network that involves disability service-providers from all over Bray. In developing the guide we worked with young people from the National Learning Network and Festina Lente to ensure that it was easy to use and relevant to their needs. If you would like to get a copy of the guide you can call into the Partnership offices or give us a call and we will send you a copy (see contact details on back page of newsletter). You can also read the guide in the Publications section of our website at www.braypartnership.ie. Bray Advocacy Service See ad on last page for more information about the Bray Advocacy Service for people with intellectual disabilities. Seminar on workplace learning Photo of Fiona Hartley (CEO, Co. Wicklow VEC), Senator Feargal Quinn, Olwyn Dixon (Little Bray Family Resource Centre) and Margaret Crean (Bray Partnership) at the seminar on Workplace Learning held for local employers towards the end of 2007. The seminar was run by the Bray Adult Education Network, of which Bray Partnership is a member. Information talks for local community groups Photo of Paddy John from Southill Outreach Project speaking at one of the information talks. As part of our work to support local community groups, we started a new programme of informative lunchtime talks last year. Each talk focuses on a different aspect of work in the community, and aims to bring people together to explore new ideas and, by doing this, to support the excellent work already being done by so many community groups and services in Bray. Supporting young men at risk The first talk in October explored innovative ideas on working with excluded young men in the community. Workers from local youth services, community centres and others working with young people in Bray gathered to hear Paddy John from Southill Outreach Project in Limerick describe his project’s distinctive approach to working with detached and excluded young people. Paddy’s talk was very well received by the audience, and many said that it had given them new ideas that they felt they could apply to their own work with young people in Bray. Support for families of drug users The second talk was about the role of Family Support Groups in supporting family members of drug users. An audience from a wide range of local groups and agencies came along to hear Marian Davitt give a talk on the principles of Family Support and the work of the local Bray Family Support Group. Marian described Family Support Groups as safe, welcoming and nonjudgemental places where family members of drug users could come together to share their experiences and get support. You can find out more about the local group from the Community Addiction Team on 01 2764692. Future talks These talks have been a great success with local groups and services working in the community in Bray. Talks coming up in the next few months will include Work-based Learning for People with Disabilities in April. Contact Kate Duggan at the Partnership to find out more. Better Safe Than Sorry Safety booklet for older people A new safety booklet for older people living in the Bray area has just been launched by Bray Partnership. Entitled Better Safe Than Sorry, the booklet covers all aspects of safety such as home security, health, and fire safety and is designed particularly for older people who live alone. There’s also a list of emergency numbers and useful helpline and information numbers. The idea for the booklet came from a consultation we carried out locally with older people. It was put together by older people and is designed to provide relevant local information and to support older people to stay living in their own homes. If you would like a copy of Better Safe Than Sorry, you can call into our offices during office hours or else contact Eileen Byrnes on 01 2868266. New Community Directory for Wicklow Photo shows Collette Ghith (CASC), Yvonne Ryan (Bray Volunteer Bureau), Anne Booth (CASC), Gillian Misstear (Bray Library), and Eileen Byrnes (Bray Partnership) at the launch of the Community Directory. A new invaluable resource for the local community has recently been launched by Bray Partnership and other agencies in the county. The2008 Wicklow Community Directory is packed with information on more than 400 community groups working in Bray and the surrounding areas and the services they offer. This year for the first time, as well as covering Bray and Greystones, the directory includes information on five new areas: Delgany, Enniskerry, Kilcoole, Kilmacanogue and Newtownmountkennedy. The directory is produced by a voluntary working committee made up of Bray Partnership, Wicklow Citizens Information Network, the Community Administrative Support Centre, Wicklow Co. Council Library Service and Co. Wicklow Volunteer Centre. You can access the directory online at www.wicklowcommunitydirectory.ie. The information will also be included in a community section of the Bray and District Chamber of Commerce directory that will be delivered to all households in Bray in coming months. Promoting a human rights approach Photo of staff from Sunbeam House taking part in Human Rights training. An exciting project that we completed in 2007 is the creation of a new human rights training module for use in local communities. We worked with local people and Bray-based group 80:20 to develop the module, which is entitled Introducing and Exploring Human Rights: a Community and Youth Education Module. The aim of the training is to support individuals, schools and local community groups to develop a human rights approach to the issues that affect their everyday lives – such as housing, healthcare and access to education. The training is also designed to increase the capacity of local communities to participate in local planning and decision-making processes. We have already provided the training to a number of groups, including Sunbeam House staff and service-users from the National Learning Network and RehabCare. If you would like to find out more about getting this training for a group of people, please contact Eileen Byrnes at the Partnership on 01 2868266. Advertisement for Local Employment Service Network Bray Partnership Local Employment Service Network provides confidential information, advice and support to unemployed people within the community who wish to return to work. We provide a one stop shop where unemployed people can learn about all the options available to them and which option best suits themselves and their family. You can use the Local Employment Service if you are: Long term unemployed A dependent partner of an unemployed person In receipt of a One Parent Family payment In receipt of Disability Allowance or Benefit An early school leaver Or a member of the Traveller community Our contact points are located at: Bray Youth Information Centre, 1 Brennan’s Parade. Tel: 276 5917 Wicklow Trade Union Centre, 97 Rear Main Street. Tel: 204 2964 St. Fergal’s Resource Centre, 107 Oldcourt Avenue. Tel: 282 8892 Little Bray Family Resource Centre, Fassaroe. Tel: 286 4350 Advertisement for Bray Community Enterprise Helping people into self-employment Would you like to start a small business? Do you want to receive training in business skills? We provide the following free services for people who want to become selfemployed: Advice and support on business set-up and planning; Help in preparing business plans; Start Your Own Business courses; Help in signing onto the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance; Information on registration requirements with Revenue Commissioners and Companies Office; and Continued support and advice once you have started trading. To find our more, contact us on 01 205 0111. Advertisement for Bray Advocacy Service Are you an adult with an intellectual disability? Do you support an adult with an intellectual disability? Do you live in Bray or attend a service in Bray? If the answer is yes, our Disability Advocate would be happy to talk to you about the service and how it might be of support to you. What can an Advocate do? Support you to get information you need; Protect your rights; Attend a meeting with you; Support you to decide what you want to happen; and Make sure your views are listened to. To learn more or to arrange an appointment, please contact: Patty O’Malley, Disability Advocate, Bray Advocacy Service. Tel: 01 2868266. Mobile: 086 8065641 Email: email@example.com. The service is free, confidential and independent. Funded by the Citizens Information Board. Advertisement for Community Administrative Support Centre Designing. Creating. All at low, low prices. Posters, flyers Booklets, brochures Newsletters, invitations Tickets, business cards With Compliments slips Databases – mailing labels Laminating, binding Emailing, faxing Photocopying Working for all community and voluntary organisations. Tel: 01 211 6808 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments and feedback on the newsletter are welcomed. Contact Michelle Rogers, Bray Partnership, 4 Prince of Wales Terrace, Bray, Co. Wicklow. Tel: 01 2868266. Fax: 2868700. Email: email@example.com. This newsletter can be made available in different formats.