17 February 2022

Welcome to this edition of the GCCN News & COVID-19 Updates.
Below we have information on:

GCCN Network News
GCCN Updates and Meetings
  • Galway City Development Plan - GCCN Meeting - read here
  • GCCN Social Inclusion Linkage Group Meeting - read here
  • REMINDER and Updates: Upcoming SPCs, LCDC and JPC Meetings - read here

Have Your Say!
Funding and Awards
Events, Initiatives and Programmes
  • GEN Meetup - City and County Plans' Review- read here
  • Stories of Change - Climate Action - read here
  • Venture Out: Building Resilience Through the Outdoors - read here
  • Workshops on Digitalisation and Volunteering - read here
  • Stop Food Waste Awareness Day - read here
  • Care Day 22: Be(come) a #CareAware Ally - read here
  • The Equal Access Project - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - here
  • Keep Well Campaign - here
  • Support for the Older People - here
  • Community Response Map - here

There are a number of vacancies on the GCCN Secretariat.
All interested members are invited to get in touch at for details and to express an interest.
Do you want to share events and information with our next GCCN Newsletter?
Get in touch at before the next cut off date on Tuesday, 15th February.
GCCN Network News
Updates and Meetings

Galway City Development Plan
GCCN Meeting

Monday, 14th March - 6pm
The Draft Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 is currently open for public consultation until the cut-off date on Wednesday, 13th April 2022.

GCCN welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the Draft Plan 2023-2029 and in doing so, invites all interested members to join the 
Galway City Development Plan - GCCN Meeting on Monday, 14th March at 6pm.

GCCN Social Inclusion Linkage Group Meeting
Thursday, 3rd March - 4pm
The Social Inclusion Linkage Group will meet on Thursday, 3rd March at 4pm.
If you cannot join this meeting but wish to highlight any issues or make relevant comments please contact and your suggestions will be communicated to the GCCN representatives.

REMINDER and Updates
Upcoming SPCs, LCDC and JPC Meetings

February - March 2022

The following local structures will be holding meetings as follows:
Meeting Date Details
Economic Development, Enterprise Support & Culture SPC  
17th February
See details here
Climate Action, Environment, Recreation and Amenity SPC
23rd February
See details here
Local Community Development Committee  
24th February
See details here
Housing and Social Inclusion SPC   
25th February
See details here
Planning SPC Tuesday
1st March
See details here
Galway City Joint Policing Committee  
21st March
See details here

If you wish to highlight any issues or make comments relevant to any of the structures above please contact and your suggestions will be communicated to the GCCN representatives.

For the Galway City Joint Policing Committee meeting please send questions and comments in before March 4th.
Past meetings:
    Transportation SPC                 
8th February

Have Your Say!

Our Future Tax and Welfare
Commission on Taxation & Welfare - Open Public Meetings

The Commission on Taxation and Welfare will be hosting a series of virtual Open Public Meetings in March 2022 to discuss the future of Ireland’s taxation and welfare systems.

The Commission wants to hear from as many people, groups and organisations as possible to ensure that a diverse range of experiences and perspectives inform the development of the report of the Commission, which is due to be presented to the Minister for Finance in July 2022.

You don’t need to be an expert on tax and/or welfare policy for your opinion to be valued.
You are invited to join the Open Public Meetings on either 2 or 9 March 2022.
Both meetings will be identical, so please choose whichever date is more convenient for you. You can register for the meeting date of your choice using the links below.

Meeting 1
March 2, 2022at 7pm
Register here before Friday 25 February
Meeting 2
March 9, 2022 at 7pm

Register here before Friday 25 February

Neurodiversity Survey 

GRETB Training Centre has become aware of a need for more inclusive and considered/targeted youth work provision for neurodivergent young people and their families.
Help GRETB to learn from your knowledge, ideas, and experience.
Take the survey at the link:

Neurodiversity refers to the diversity of human brains and minds. It spans both neurotypical and neurodivergent, with neurodivergent referring to people with conditions such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, etc.
Download the flyer part 1 - here and part 2 - here.
Read more here.

Invitation to the International Sex Survey

The International Sex Survey (ISS) is a large, cross-cultural study that examines the positive (e.g., sexual satisfaction, sexual desire) and negative aspects of sexuality (e.g., sexual risk-taking, sexual function problems) via an anonymous online survey.

The ISS is being conducted in 45 participating countries across five continents and aims to compare the results in different cultures, and better understand sexuality all over the world. The study in Ireland is co-ordinated by Dr András Költő at the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway.

You are invited to take part if you live in Ireland and are aged 18 or older. The survey is anonymous and takes around 25-30 minutes to complete. No personal data will be collected.
50 cents (USD) will be donated to organisations working on sexual health for every completed survey. Participants can select which organisation they would like support.
Some questions are very personal. You can skip any question you want or withdraw from the study. If you feel uncomfortable, and want to talk to somebody, there is a list of supports at the bottom of the survey webpage.

If you agree to participate, please click on the link below, or scan the QR code to access the survey on your mobile phone.

Or scan the QR code:

If you have any questions, see, or e-mail
When the responses are analysed and the results are published, the news will be shared on the Health Promotion Research Centre website and Twitter account.

Funding and Awards

Social Enterprise Development Fund 2022 - 2023

Deadline: 4 March
Rethink Ireland is delighted to announce the continuation of its Social Enterprise Development Fund with an additional investment of €1.2 million set to be awarded from 2022-2023.

In 2022, the Fund offers:
(1)  (Up to) 8 Awardees an Awards package of €30,000 (Apply by March 4th) 
  • Cash grants for up to 8 Awardees of €22,500
  • A Business Support budget worth €7,500
  • A place on the Accelerator Programme
(2) Start a Social Enterprise Business Course (Apply by March 11th)

The Fund will also offer places on a first of its kind Start a Social Enterprise Business Course. This course will take an emerging idea and give the participants the tools to take the idea to the next stage. It will be the launchpad for the idea and also, importantly, a pathway to additional supports.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund was created in 2018 by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and supported by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund Impact Report 2018 - 2021 gives an
in-depth insight into the phenomenal impact achieved by the fund's Awardees over the last 4 years of the fund. 

Age & Opportunity Arts Awards
4th March 2022
Age & Opportunity have two awards that are currently accepting applications for as seen below.
Applications and queries can be submitted to the Arts Programme Administrator, Eva, at
Bealtaine Hero Award 2022
Age & Opportunity invite applications from individuals and/or organisations who wish to create an exciting new festival event (which may be online, blended or in-person) to be presented during the Bealtaine Festival 2022. 
Age & Opportunity especially invite members of marginalised or underrepresented groups to apply.
Two awards of €500 will be made to the two successful applicants.
Please read the guidelines here before submitting your application form.
Deadline: 5pm, Friday, March 4th 2022.
National Arts in Nursing Homes Day Award 2022
Age & Opportunity invite applications from care settings who wish to facilitate their residents’ artistic and creative expression by organising interactive and engaging art workshops, sessions and events. The project will culminate in a festival event to be presented as part of the second National Arts in Nursing Homes Day that will take place Friday 20th May during the Bealtaine Festival 2022.
Two awards of €1,000 will be made to the two successful applicants, one from Age & Opportunity and one from Nursing Homes Ireland.
Please read the guidelines here before submitting your application form.
Deadline: 5pm, Friday March 4th 2022.
Web link:

AIC Scheme 2022 Round One
Deadline: 28 March

The Arts Council’s Artist in the Community (AIC) Scheme, managed by Create, offers awards to enable artists and communities of place and/or interest to work together on projects. The AIC scheme is open to artists from any of the following artform disciplines: architecture, circus, street art and spectacle, dance, film, literature (Irish and English language), music, opera, theatre, visual arts and traditional arts. 

The aim of the AIC scheme is to encourage meaningful collaboration between communities of place and/or interest and artists. It is essential that consultation take place between the artist and the community, so that both parties are involved in deciding on the nature of the project’s realisation. Group ownership of the art should be maintained at every stage. 

Create are pleased to announce that Round One of the AIC Scheme is now open for applications, with a closing date on the 28th March 2022, at 5pm

This Round includes:

  • Research and Development Award (without mentoring)
  • Research and Development Award (with Mentoring)
  • Recent Graduate Research and Development Award (with Mentoring)
  • Project Realisation Award 

Full details of the awards, and how to apply, is available on the Create website.

Funding Reminders

Once-Off Mental Health Grant Scheme

Applications for the Once-Off Mental Health Grant scheme are open until February 28th.
This funding aims to support the work of smaller, local voluntary and community mental health groups throughout Ireland.

This grants scheme is intended for smaller local community and voluntary groups working within communities and all of the conditions are clearly set out on the website

Social Enterprise Start-up Fund 2022

Applications for the Social Enterprise Start-up Fund 2022 are open until Friday, March 4th.
This €800,000 fund is being delivered over two years: 2021 – 2022 to support social enterprises at the start-up / early stage of their life cycle, to embed strong business principles and, in turn, deliver social impact, create jobs and inspire an emerging, next generation of Irish social enterprises.

Applications are invited from social enterprises (project) that are at an early stage of their development and are looking to fully establish themselves in the market.

More details at Social Enterprise Start-up Fund 2022 - Rethink Ireland.

Events, Initiatives and Programmes

GEN Meetup

Reviewing the Draft Development Plans for both the City and County
February 24th

On February 24, at 7pm join Galway Environmental Network for their first Meetup of 2022 and have a look at the Draft Development Plans for both the City and County.

Register here

The Draft County Development Plan will be presented by Councillor Alastair McKinstry, Connemara South.
The Draft Galway City Development Plan will be presented by Brendan Mulligan, Engineers Ireland.

Your thoughts or views on both plans are invited before February 18th by email at with the subject title 'city/county dev plan'.

Stories of Change

Stories of Change is on a mission to bring stories and solutions to the people of Galway to inspire climate action.

Stories of Change is calling out to all Galway sustainable businesses, eco-entrepreneurs, activists and campaigners, food producers, climate ambassadors and environmentally minded folk to join them on February 24th.

See details and registration here.

  • Read the Newsletter One here.
  • Download the Invite here

Venture Out Wilderness Project
Building Resilience Through the Outdoors

Venture Out Wilderness Project is a registered charity and social enterprise, not-for-profit, company limited by guarantee. Venture Out prescribe and deliver outdoor, nature-based therapeutic programmes to people experiencing a range of diverse challenges in their lives.

Through tailored personal development focused programmes, experienced Venture Out guides create opportunities for their participants to learn, grow, explore and enjoy the outdoors for their physical, social, emotional and mental well-being.


  • See the Venture Out Information Flyer here.
  • See the Spring Programme here.

Workshops on Digitalisation and Volunteering

Join Volunteer Now and Volunteer Ireland for a series of information sessions, and network with leaders of volunteers from Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Here you will hear from international speakers who have tried, tested and embedded new digital systems and created new roles to meet their organisational aims. In addition to this, you will also have the opportunity to hear from various digital volunteer management providers and how they may benefit your organisation.
1. Thu 24 Feb 2022 10am: Digitalisation and Volunteering, Workshop 1: International Learning

2. Tue 29 Mar 2022 10am: Digitalisation and Volunteering, Workshop 2: Volunteer Management Platforms

3. Wed 4 May 2022 10: Digitalisation and Volunteering, Workshop 3: Trends Digital / Virtual Roles

Find further details at: 

Stop Food Waste Awareness Day

Tuesday 1st March

The first national Stop Food Waste Awareness Day will be held on Tuesday 1st March this year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the Stop Food Waste campaign.

EPA's most recent National Food Waste Attitudes Survey revealed that the biggest reason why people throw food away is because it has passed its use-by date. If we all take small, simple actions to use or freeze food before it passes its use-by date, we can take big steps to reduce our food waste.

The aim of Stop Food Waste Awareness Day is to: raise awareness on issues relating to food waste, highlight action that food businesses and government are taking, and outline top tips people can take in their own homes to reduce food waste. With rising costs of groceries and increasing environmental concerns, the tips this campaign will highlight will be widely welcomed.

Further details on the campaign are here.

Back to top

Care Day 22: Be(come) a #CareAware Ally

The EPIC Youth Council and community invite you to join them on Friday 18 February for #CareDay22 - their annual global celebration (which also happens to be the world’s largest celebration) of children and young people with care experience.  

For #CareDay22, the celebration is getting even bigger as this year’s theme is:
 “It takes a village to raise a child.”  

It was decided by children and young people as they want to celebrate all the people who are and have been a positive influence in their lives and to highlight how important these relationships are in shaping their care journeys. We all know people who’ve had an important impact on our outlook and sense of self-worth. They can be relatives, youth workers, teachers, coaches, neighbours, or advocates - all of whom hail from our community or “village”. We might not even realise the positive impact we have on others. Simple acts of listening, encouraging, or understanding can have profound, direct, and lifelong effects. 
This year we are asking you to realise your potential to be that person in a child or young person’s village - To be(come) a #CareAware Ally 
For #CareDay22, children and young people with care experience are asking you to stand with them. There are a few different ways you can do this to show your support on the day: 

  1. Share a photo of yourself (or just your hands if you are camera shy) on social media with #CareDay22 and/or #CareAware written on the palm of your hands.
  2. Share a video selfie to wish children in care, those with care experience, and EPIC a very happy care day, or any other messages of solidarity and celebration you may have. 
  3. Change your social media profile picture to our #CareAware graphic for the week to show you’re standing with children and young people all over the world who have care experience.

When you are posting your messages of solidarity on your social channels – please use the hashtags #CareDay22 and #CareAware – so we can keep track of all the day’s activities and actions on our #CareDay22 Social Wall. Alternatively, you can send them to us at, and we will share them on our channels on the day. 

The Equal Access Project
Against discrimination on the basis of race or membership of the Traveller community

The Equal Access Project (‘EAP’) is a joint FLAC & INAR project funded by the European Union to improve access to justice for people who are subjected to discrimination on the basis of race or membership of the Traveller community, whether it is in employment or in accessing goods and services. People across Ireland face this kind of indignity and violation every day and the EAP seeks to respond to this injustice in two critical ways:

  1. Developing an accredited training programme in Anti-Racism Advocacy to equip non-legal advocates with the skills and knowledge to represent claimants on the race ground at the Workplace Relations Commission. The participants of this training will go on to implement what they have learned as a nationwide network of advocates supporting people in seeking justice.
  2. Commissioning a piece of empirical and analytical research into the transposition of the EU Race Directive into Irish law, and the effectiveness of the current infrastructure available to victims of racial discrimination to make complaints and to seek remedies. The research report will include policy recommendations that highlight areas for reform.
Read more here.
COVID-19 Related Updates

Layer up Campaign
Posters and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 

Mask Wearing Rules Expected to Change

The Taoiseach has told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party that the National Public Health Emergency Team may soon draw a distinction between mandatory mask wearing and public health advice.

Micheál Martin was speaking ahead of a NPHET meeting today, where the requirement to wear masks in certain settings will be examined.

There is a clear sense politically that the laws underpinning the wearing of masks will soon lapse.
Read the full article here.

COVID-19 Information Sources

To keep yourself informed on the Covid-19 situation in Ireland, please check the links below:



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.

We want to hear from you!
Submit your event or send us feedback at the links below.

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