22nd September 2021

Welcome to this edition of GCCN Network News. Below we have information on:

GCCN Network News
Galway Updates

Events and Initiatives
  • Make Way Day: Sep 24th - read here
  • Galway Age Friendly Positive Ageing Week 2021: 27th Sep – 1st Oct  - read here
  • Exploring the links between Climate Change, Irish Culture & the Irish People: 20 Oct - read here
  • Eyes on the Horizon: Outdoor Performances in October - read here
  • Coldtober 2021 - read here


Other Updates
  • New National Pilot Community Volunteers Programme - read here
  • Report of Women’s Voices on Women’s Health in Ireland - read here


COVID-19 Related Updates
  • Ireland is to donate at least one million COVID-19 vaccines - read here
  • Public Health Advice for Older People - read here
  • Work Safely Protocol Updated - read here
  • Statement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the Latest Phase of Re-opening - read here

  • COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - here
  • Keep Well Campaign - here
  • Support for the Older People - here
  • Community Response Map - here
The next deadline for submitting events and information you wish to share with the GCCN Newsletter is
Tuesday 5th October.

GCCN Network News
Galway Updates

3 Castles Project 
Repair and Consolidation Works at Tirellan, Merlin and Menlough Castles

Repair and Consolidation Works has been ongoing on the 3 Castles project throughout the summer, for Tirellan, Merlin and Menlough Castles.
A new video released recently showcases the observations, the decision-making process and considerations that the multi-disciplinary team, builders and crafts people were involved in to date. The video is available here 
More details on the works done so far on each of the three castles are available at on the Galway City Council website here.

Greening the Laneways Project
Tackle littering and improve biodiversity in Galway City

As part of an exciting and collaborative new project, Galway City Council is partnering with local residents and young people in local areas to ‘green’ city laneways and transform them into vibrant, playful and nature-friendly spaces for all of the community to enjoy.

The premise of the project is for local residents and young people to plant flowers, shrubs and an ‘edible landscape’ with the help of Galway City Council Parks staff. Local residents will then take over the maintenance of the planting in the future. Local residents and young people will also be involved in painting vibrant, nature-based murals along the laneways with the help of professional artists.

On Saturday 18th September, a community action day took place on one of the laneways - the Rocky Road in Westside. This involved both planting and painting murals on the walls by local residents and young people.

To find out more and to get involved in the action days greening the laneways in general email

This initiative is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Anti-Dumping Initiative 2021.

Galway City Council Arts Grants (Organisations) 2021 Awarded

Galway City Council has awarded grants totalling €400,000 to the city’s arts organisations for 2021. The grants to over sixty artist-led organisations, many of which are GCCN members, will help keep them in business, reward them for the great work achieved online and offline throughout the pandemic and assist them in developing programmes in the future.
For a full list of the awardees, visit the Galway City Council website here.

Coffee Cup Campaign 2021
Galway Survey

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the number of single-use coffee cups in the country, often as litter around bins but also in various areas around our towns and cities.

Galway City Council is launching a major new campaign to highlight the environmental impact of disposable, single-use coffee cups in Galway City.

As part of this campaign, Galway City Council wants to find out the coffee drinking habits of Galwegians, so please take a few minutes to answer at the link: 

National Updates

New National Pilot Community Volunteers Programme

Joe O’Brien TD Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has recently launched a new National Pilot Community Volunteers Programme in partnership with Volunteer Ireland and Volunteer Centres, supported by Local Authorities. 

This exciting new volunteering initiative is a government led, nationally formulated programme for the whole of Ireland which will be adapted to suit local needs and build resilience in our communities. It offers a new way to bridge the gap between communities that need support and the people who want to help. It gives people the opportunity to get involved in local events and festivals while also supporting more urgent needs that arise unexpectedly, like the community response to COVID-19.

The programme will help organisations respond effectively to needs in our communities by allowing them to engage enthusiastic, trained, local Community Volunteers through their local Volunteer Centres.

The programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and coordinated by Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres, with support from their Local Authority, in each area.
Read more here.

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Report of Women’s Voices on Women’s Health in Ireland

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D., has recently published a report of a ‘radical listening’ exercise to hear women’s voices on women’s health through research commissioned by the Women’s Health Taskforce this year.

Led by independent researchers, over 270 women participated in these discussions from all over Ireland, sharing their experiences of, and wishes for, the Irish health system. The research was carried out in three stages, beginning in mid-2020 and finishing in June 2021, involving social and media listening; hearing women’s stories and experiences; and national workshops with women.

The report is the result of a priority project for the Women’s Health Taskforce and provides invaluable insight into women’s experiences of healthcare in Ireland. Women highlight some really positive experiences but also important issues that they want to see improved in particular around: information, respect, and access.
Read more here.

Events and Initiatives

Make Way Day
September 24th, 2021

Make Way Day is a campaign that brings the disability and wider community together to consider the needs of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share. Everyone can get involved and everyone should get involved because thoughtlessness is the big issue. The top three obstacles that stop people with disabilities in their tracks are:

  1. Cars parked on footpaths
  2. Bicycles illegally parked
  3. Bins left on footpaths

So, on Friday 24th September this year, obstacles that block the way and complicate the lives of people with disabilities 365 days of the year are highlighted. Photos and videos are taken and posted and shared on social media using #MakeWayDay21.

Access is the most basic of all disability rights. The public footpaths are for everyone and we can all agree on that. In a wider context, this one day focuses the mind on people with disabilities, their lives, and needs.

The event will take place this year on Friday, September 24th, 2021 with support from 29 local authorities
Further details on

Make Way Day is led by the Disability Federation of Ireland and is a unique collaboration across Ireland and the voluntary and local government sectors.

Galway Age Friendly Positive Ageing Week 2021
27th September 2021 – 1st October 

Inviting all to visit the Local Heroes Exhibition in Eyre Square
in celebration of Positive Ageing Week 2021

Positive Ageing Week 2021 is taking place from 27th September 2021 – 1st October 2021 and the week is all about shining a light on people in older age who are active, engaged, enthusiastic, healthy, and who are making a big difference in the lives of our families, neighbourhoods and communities.
The theme for Positive Ageing Week 2021 is Reconnecting Communities by Reframing Ageing. Further detail are available here.
The flagship event is a Local Heroes exhibition in the Eyre Square Shopping Centre which showcases 27 wonderful people from across the City and County who are the epitomy of healthy and active ageing and many of whom are integral to their communities. Attached here is a small collage of the exhibition which features so many more with the same passion and love of life which will be on display from 22nd September 2021 – 8th October 2021 and we would ask and invite you all to visit this.

Exploring the links between Climate Change,
Irish Culture & the Irish People
Beidh an imeacht seo á óstáil trí mhean na Gaeilge

Galway Event Part of Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2021

Exploring the links between Climate Change, Irish Culture & the Irish People aims to raise awareness around the implications of Climate Change and explore the failings of the Irish Government to take action on Climate Change.

This event will also move beyond the practical aspect of climate change and look at its link with Irish-language poetry. Irish language literature is entrenched with passion and intensity which can be linked with natural and human disasters, including climate change.

When: October 20th, 6pm - 7.30pm
Venue: THB-G010 Moore Institute Seminar Room, 173 The Hardiman Building, NUIG, Galway
Tickets: Free (registration capped at 50) REGISTER HERE
An tOllamh Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Personal Professor of Modern Irish
Laoighseach Ní Choistealbha, PhD Student NUIG
Dr. Rónán KennedyLecturer NUIG
Lorna Ni Shuilleabhain ,Front Line Defenders moderator and speaker
Read more here

This event is part of the Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2021 aimed at showcasing and highlighting the extraordinary work of human rights defenders in Ireland and around the world, past and present, and the role of the arts and artists in promoting human rights today.
The festival will run for ten days from Friday, 15 October to Sunday, 24 October 2021 and is presented by Smashing Times and Front Line Defenders, in partnership with Amnesty International, Fighting Words, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Trócaire, and Poetry Ireland.
Find further details here.

Eyes on the Horizon
Outdoor Performances in October

Galway City Council is delighted to present Eyes on the Horizon a programme of outdoor performances and happenings this October under the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme funded by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The streets and a number of iconic locations across Galway City will be activated and play host to some of Galway’s finest performers and artists. Events are free and family-friendly.

For more updates and information keep an eye on Galway City Council social media channels: Facebook / Twitter.

Coldtober 2021
In Galway and Nationally

Building on last year’s successful sea-swimming fundraising challenge organised by students from NUI Galway, for the Helplink Mental Health services, Helplink are delighted to announce that they will be holding a national, month-long sea swimming fundraiser challenge for mental health services called Coldtober. 

The month of October will see participants in twenty+ different locations around Ireland going for a swim every day for this 31-day challenge in their local sea swimming area. For anyone who would like to take part but is not near a safe sea swimming spot, you can still do Coldtober by having a 30-second cold shower each day.

For more info visit

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Funding Reminders
Below please find a list of the most recent funding opportunities:

Grants for Local Festivals and Strategic Planning Training
Applications for Local Community Festivals Grant Scheme for 2021 are open and can be completed online at Local communities planning festivals or events in their areas in the city in the coming months may be eligible for a small scale grant under this scheme. For queries please email
The closing date for applications online under the Local Community Festivals 2021 is Friday, 1st October 2021 at 4.00pm.  For details, visit the Galway City Council website here.       

Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021
Applications under the Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 are open until Friday, 15th October 2021 at 4.00pm. The scheme is for social enterprises exclusively and will provide small capital grants for the purchase of equipment or the carrying out of repairs or refurbishments to enable social enterprises to improve their service delivery.

Eligible social enterprises within the Galway City administrative area are invited to apply online at where you can also find further information and guidance for applicants, including eligibility, terms and conditions.
For any enquires in relation to the Social Enterprise Capital Grants Scheme 2021 please email Angela Breslin at

AIC Bursary 2021: Collaborative Arts and Community Development

The AIC Bursary Award 2021: Collaborative Arts and Community Development specifically aims to support an individual professional artist working in collaborative socially engaged arts practice. The purpose of the award is to support and nurture professional arts practice. The closing date for applications is 5pm, Monday the 18th of OctoberFull details of the award, as well as the application procedure, are available at .

Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise Scheme 2021

Awareness Raising Initiative for Social Enterprise (ARISE) scheme is currently open for applications until 5pm on 20th October 2021. This scheme is designed to raise awareness of the positive role played by Social Enterprises. The scheme is inviting applications under two strands:
  • Strand One will be aimed at individual social enterprises. It is envisaged that they will tell their story and highlight how their social enterprise is improving people’s lives.
  • Strand Two will be aimed at Social Enterprise Network and Support organisations to deliver more general or sectoral messages on what social enterprises are, and their potential to deliver sustainable and inclusive development and recovery.
Further information on the initiative and details of how to apply can be found at:

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Training and Resources

Free Autumn Academy Workshops
Two New Workshops Added

Volunteer Galway
Galway Volunteer Centre is inviting volunteers, staff and Board members of local community and not-for-profit groups to participate in a variety of free upskilling workshops that will be taking place in September, October and November.

With funding from Galway City Council, the Volunteer Centre will be offering a 2 hour online workshop on a different topic each week to help groups improve their governance, social media, IT, event management and group development skills. 
Workshops Date Time
Financial Oversight for Board Members September 21st 10am to 12pm
Managing Online Events September 28th 7pm to 9pm
Preparing a Social Media Strategy October 5th 10am to 12pm
Excel Basic October 12th 7pm to 9pm
Running Effective Meetings October 19th 10am to 12pm
Excel Intermediate October 26th 7pm to 9pm
Boards, Chairs and CEOs: Roles, Relationships & Boundaries November 2nd 10am to 12pm
Strategic Planning for Community Organisations November 9th 7pm to 9pm
Business and Organisational Development November 16th 10am to 12pm
Facilitation Skills Workshop for Non-profits November 30th 10am to 12pm

View all courses and workshops
COVID-19 Related Updates

Ireland is to donate at least one million COVID-19 vaccines

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, have announced that Ireland will donate at least one million COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX.

COVAX, co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organisation (WHO), aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

Universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is a priority for Ireland and for the European Union. Vaccine sharing is epidemiologically important. The WHO has said that, on a global basis, “no one will be safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe”.
Read more here.

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Public Health Advice for Older People

Read here the latest statement from the Chief Medical Officer on the public health advice for older people.

"Vaccination, along with continuing adherence to the public health advice, will break the chains of transmission and drive down incidence of COVID-19 in our communities, allowing all of us to safely and considerately enjoy the activities that were necessarily paused for large parts of the last 18 months.

Continue to regularly wash hands, wear a mask when appropriate – particularly in retail settings, on public transport and in healthcare settings; keep your distance, open windows and ventilate indoor spaces, avoid crowds and choose outdoors where possible for meeting others.

This suite of measures will also help stop the transmission of seasonal influenza, common colds and other respiratory illnesses that are more prevalent over the winter months.

As we move into this next phase of the pandemic, the most important action to take is, if you display symptoms of COVID-19 like cough, fever, headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose - isolate and contact your GP who will advise if you need to arrange a test."

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Work Safely Protocol Updated

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar T.D. recently published an updated Work Safely Protocol as thousands return to the office over the coming weeks.

The updated Work Safely Protocol reflects the most up to date Public Health advice and reinforces the public health measures that have kept workplaces safe throughout the pandemic, such as the need to maintain the requirement for physical distancing, the wearing of masks and ventilation. These measures remain critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

See the revised Work Safely Protocol.
In addition to the Protocol document there is now a range of complementary material available for the workplace, including a checklist and posters which may make it easier to communicate the measures advised.
Read more here.

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Statement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the Latest Phase of Re-opening

Read here the most recent statement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the latest phase of re-opening.

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The Galway City Community Call Helpline
New Flyer Graphics
The helpline is open to anyone who needs it, seven days a week.
If you need support or help to get access to shopping, food, medication or if you feel isolated or lonely and need someone to talk to, please get in touch at:
☎️ 1800 400 150

Keep Well Campaign
The Keep Well campaign provides guidelines, information, and tips on how we can add healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines around five simple actions: keeping active, keeping in contact, switching off and getting creative, eating well and minding your mood
Galway City Community Response Map

As part of the ongoing work of the Galway City Community Response Forum, Galway City Community Network and Galway City Council have developed a map of the COVID-19 related responses, activities and services available to people in Galway City.

The map is publicly available and can be used as a useful information resource both for individuals made vulnerable by COVID-19 and by organisations or agencies that need to know where they may refer their clients to for support.

The map is online at the following links:
Further details are available on the GCCN Website.

Support for Older People
We would like to share once again some of the main helplines for older people to access, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 alert.
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline: 1800 400 150
  • COPE Galway Helpline: 085  87 67 785
  • Alone Helpline: 0818 222 024
  • Senior Line: 1800 804 591
We highly encourage you to share these numbers with any older person you know.

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