17 November 2022

Welcome to this edition of the GCCN Newsletter. Below we have information on:

Meetings and Events
  • Upcoming SPCs/JPC/LCDC Meetings - read here
  • Urban Blueways & Greenways Seminar: 23 Nov - read here
  • Communities Caring for Water Conference: 26 Nov - read here
  • Stand for Environmental Justice: 29 Nov - read here

  • Community & Voluntary Energy Support Scheme - read here
  • Applegreen Blossom Fund 2022 - read here
  • Supports for Social Enterprises - read here
  • Government’s Social Inclusion Programme - read here
  • Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2023 - read here

  • Fundamentals of Volunteer Engagement: 30 Nov-1 Dec - read here
  • Disability Awareness Training for Community Groups - read here


  • Support the LGBTI+ Community - read here
  • Mental Health Supports for Ukrainian People - read here
  • Galway City Ukrainian Community Response Forum - read here
  • COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - here
  • Keep Well Campaign - here
  • Support for Older People - here
  • Community Response Map - here

There are a number of vacancies on the GCCN SecretariatAll 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
Meetings and Events

SPCs/JPC/LCDC Meetings
November - December 2022

The following local structures will be holding meetings as follows: 

Upcoming Meetings

Meeting Date Details
Joint Policing Committee

22 November

See details here
Housing and Social Inclusion SPC
25 November

See details here
Climate Action, Environment, Recreation and Amenity SPC
30 November

See details here
Economic, Community and Cultural Development SPC 9 December
Check our website for updates in the coming days

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.
Past Meetings

Meeting Date Details

Transportation SPC

8 November

See details here
Local Community Development Committee
14 November

See details here
Planning SPC 8 November
See details here

Urban Blueways & Greenways 
Part 1 Seminar/Webinar 
23 November | 11.30am | Data Science Institute

The Urban Blueways & Greenways Part 1 seminar/webinarorganised by the Galway National Park City, will take place on Wednesday, 23 November from 11.30am (90 min) at the Data Science Institute (DSI) of the University of Galway.

This critical seminar can be attended in person at DSI or online. It will have presentations from members of local government/state agencies of four cities - Belfast, Chicago, Chattanooga and Glasgow - who will give an overview of their urban waterways and associated greenways past and present. The aim is to provide information to Galwegians and others from all walks of life on how such urban infrastructure can be improved to meet city dwellers' needs and biodiversity.

The seminar is part of the ‘This is the World Calling Galway’ series (learning from the experiences of other cities, in Ireland and worldwide) that will be normally hosted bimonthly by the Galway National Park City initiative on topics relevant to sustainable city development such as Energy, Biodiversity, Urban Food and Sustainability in large institutions.

The meeting will be chaired by Phil James co-founder of the Galway Waterways Foundation, member of Corrib BEO, National Heritage Award winner 2022 and a Galway National Park City initiative champion.
Special Guest of Honour will be 87-year old Míceál P O’Cionnaith (Michael Keaney), a man who has left such a positive mark on the city’s built and natural environment during his tenure as engineer with Galway Corporation (now Galway City Council) from 1964 until his retirement in 2001.

Full details of speakers and registration at:

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Communities Caring for Water Conference Invitation
26 November 

The Communities Caring for Water Conference is back. This year’s conference will focus on how communities are collaborating for water quality, showcasing opportunities to integrate Nature Based Solutions in the urban and rural environment, Citizen Science initiatives and an introduction into how communities can influence their local Catchment Management plans.

This is a collaboration between The Local Authority Waters Programme and The Rivers Trust.

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Stand for Environmental Justice

29 November | 6pm | Zoom | REGISTER HERE

GCCN and Community Law Mediation would like to invite you to an evening discussion around Environmental Justice.

To join us on Tuesday, 29 November from 6pm via Zoom, please REGISTER HERE.

Clodagh Daly, the manager of the Centre for Environmental Justice, will lead the conversations with a focus on:
  • Intro to Community Law Mediation and the Centre for Environmental Justice
  • What Environmental Justice is
  • Priority policy and law reform areas: opportunities for the GCCN to engage in advocacy 
  • How the Centre for Environmental Justice can support the work of GCCN
  • Free legal advice clinics and training sessions in 2023 

Community Law Mediation and the Centre for Environmental Justice offer free legal advice and representation, provide community education and training, and advocate for a rights-based approach to policy and law reform in the area of environmental justice.

Download the flyer HERE.
For further details please contact Oana at

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Community & Voluntary Energy Support Scheme
Application process to open on Monday November 21st 
Department of Rural and Community Development

The Community & Voluntary Energy Support Scheme (CVESS) has been developed to help community and voluntary organisations and charities with increased energy costs.

The scheme is designed to help the sector with their increased bills, which is having an impact on the operations of many community and voluntary groups.

The scheme provides once-off support to organisations which fall outside the parameters of other energy support schemes being delivered by Government, such as the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS).

The scheme will open for applications on Monday 21st November and close on Friday 2nd December.
It is expected that payments under the scheme will commence before the end of this year and into early 2023.

An allocation of up to €10 million has been made available to deliver this scheme, which will be administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Please see Pobal’s website for full scheme details , including eligibility criteria.

To find out more on reducing energy costs visit the Reduce Your Use page.

Further funding announcements for larger scale projects will be available in the coming weeks.

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Applegreen Blossom Fund 2022
Cut-off date: Applegreen Blossom Fund 2022

Applegreen, in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation, is providing €100,000 to fund not for profit voluntary and charitable organisations supporting children and young people experiencing disadvantage nationwide.

The Applegreen Blossom Fund will offer grants to projects and programmes that support successful transitions through education for children and young people at risk of early school leaving. This will fund programmes that promote positive transitions throughout a young person’s school life; from primary to secondary school and/or completion of the secondary cycle.

The Fund will support organisations working with children and young people in the Republic of Ireland aged between 6-18 years.

To be eligible the applying organisation must:

  • Work with young people aged between 6-18 years old
  • Be a registered not-for-profit or charitable organisation
  • The organisation must have a bank account set up in the name of the organisation
  • Be registered in the Republic of Ireland and active in Ireland for the past 12 months
  • The organisation must have a child protection policy in place

There are two funding opportunities available:

  1. Option 1: Awards of up to €10,000
  2. Option 2: Awards of up to €5,000

For more information on this fund please visit or contact Sarah Edmonds on

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Supports for Social Enterprises

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, has announced almost €1.5 million in funding for 34 Social Enterprise projects nationwide.

Under the Scaling Up Fund, Social Enterprises will be supported in carrying out a number of capital projects, including the purchase of vehicles, as well as refurbishment and improvement works at their premises.
Read more here.

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Government’s Social Inclusion Programme 

Minister for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien, T.D., has announced over €44 million for the Social Inclusion and Community Activity Programme (SICAP) in 2023. This funding has been allocated as part of Budget 2023.

SICAP supports communities and individuals to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality, developing the capacity of Local Community Groups and creating more sustainable communities. The programme supports disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports issues.

Read more here.

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Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2023

Package to support disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups

The Government has published the Dormant Accounts Action Plan 2023 – a €54.5 million package aimed at disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups across the country. The Action Plan sets out 44 initiatives across nine Government Departments, all of which are designed to support communities at a grassroots level.

From providing sporting and educational opportunities to our young people, to delivering projects for our elderly, disabled, marginalised and disadvantaged – the Action Plan aims to support those who need it most.

Funding for the Action Plan comes from unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post), as well as unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.

Read more here.

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Fundamentals of Volunteer Engagement
Nov 30th & 1st Dec - ONLINE

Fundamentals of Volunteer Engagement is a new two-module online course designed to meet the needs of volunteer managers in a changing world. 

Register for Training Here
This two-module course is for those who are new to the topic of volunteer management and leadership or who wish to improve their skillset. This two-module course takes place on Wednesday, November 30th and Thursday 1st December starting at 10.00 on both days and you need to attend both modules. The sessions are delivered by trainers from the Volunteer Centre Network and Volunteer Ireland. In the two sessions you’ll explore the following topics:
  • Planning for volunteer involvement
  • Changes in volunteering
  • Diversity and inclusion in volunteering
  • Volunteer motivations
  • Volunteer and organisation expectations
  • Barriers to volunteering
  • Volunteer engagement
  • Screening and selection
  • Day-to-day engagement of volunteers
By the end of this course you should be able to:
  • Be clear about how volunteering fits into your context and the opportunity it provides
  • Understand the importance of volunteers and be able to communicate this to volunteers and other stakeholders
  • Understand that volunteering is a two way process with gains for all involved

Booking and registration information

  • Once you register for this course you will receive an email from Eventbrite which will contain the Zoom log in details, please retain these.
  • Applicant organisations must be volunteer led projects and based in the Republic of Ireland.
  • A maximum of two participants from one organisation can attend any course during 2021 / 22, this is to ensure fairness and as many organisations as possible are able to avail of this free training. If you aren't currently registered with your local volunteer centre please get in contact with them prior to registration.
  • If for some reason you can't attend please cancel your booking via Eventbrite so other organisations can attend.
  • Please allow up to 2.5 hours for each module. Slides and handouts will be emailed to you after the course. Participants are required to complete a short feedback form after the course. A digital certificate of participation will be issued 7 days after the course and will only be issued for learners who attend both module 1 and module 2.

This training is designed by Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres and supported by the Government of Ireland.

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Disability Awareness Training for Community Groups
Date to be confirmed in 2023


To get 2023 off to a positive start, Maggie Woods from the Gold Star Initiative is organising Disability Awareness Training for all community groups in Galway City. The date will be confirmed at a later stage.
If you are interested in participating in this training please contact Maggie at 📧 or 📞 085-1334391
This training will cover the social and medical model of disability as well as language and how we use it in terms of disability.

A guest speaker with the lived experience of having a disability will share their experiences.

Maggie is hoping that through this training people will have a safe space for discussion and will share their own feelings and experiences.

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Open letter on Ireland’s 2023 Climate Action Plan
November 2022

In early November 2022 Community Law & Mediation sent an open letter to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

The letter calls on the Government to align the forthcoming Climate Action Plan 2023 with Ireland’s legal obligations on climate change while addressing the energy crisis and safeguarding marginalised communities.

The recommendations are supported by 19 partner organisations working in the area of environmental and social justice, including Galway City Community Network.

To read the letter you can:

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Circular Economy - Circular Living
Info and Ideas

Government policy is moving towards achieving a 'circular economy', where resources are re-used or recycled as much as possible, and the generation of waste is minimised.

The circular economy is an alternative to today’s ‘take-make-waste’ economy where great quantities of natural resources are extracted to make things that may be used only once before being thrown away. The circular economy is not a brand-new idea. Things like using a reusable cup for a coffee on the go, donating to a charity shop, or having a pair of shoes repaired instead of throwing them away are all simple examples of extending a product’s lifespan through re-use and/or repair.

However, achieving the full benefits of the circular economy requires more than action at the individual level, it requires the right mix of government policy and regulation, new business models and new systems of production.

Find out more about Circular Living:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA-led Circular Economy Programme 2021-2027 is driving Ireland’s move to a circular economy and the programme supports the whole of government Circular Economy Strategy.
  • The Rediscovery Centre is the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. A creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support greener low-carbon living.
  • CIRCULÉIRE is the National Platform for Circular Manufacturing, taking manufacturers and their supply-chains on a journey from linear to circular business models.
  • Repair My Stuff is a free online directory for repair services across Ireland, aiming to make it easier for the consumer to find and avail of these services.
  • Find out more about how the government is building the Circular Economy

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#BuySocialIRL is a campaign to raise awareness of social enterprises across Ireland. For the week commencing 14th November 2022, social enterprises across the country will use the #BuySocialIRL hashtag to promote social enterprises selling products and services.

#BuySocialIRL asks businesses to buy social and back social enterprises around the country.

Social enterprises sell products and services and reinvest their profits back into their communities. Bringing social enterprises into the supply chain can deliver a range of benefits for businesses, including supporting their local community.


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Government campaign urges people to avail of range of supports, as we face into a difficult winter

The government has urged householders and businesses to ensure that they are availing of the supports that are in place to help all of us through this challenging winter. Alongside key partners like the CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities), MABS (Money and Budgeting Advice Service), ALONE and SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland), the government is asking people to stay warm and well this winter and to know that help is available if they need it over the coming weeks and months.

This is the key message in the new winter season phase of ‘Reduce Your Use’, a cross-government public information campaign which commenced in April 2022.
The Reduce Your Use page and hashtag #ReduceYourUse provide a signpost to specific, existing sources of help that are out there, to help people identify appropriate supports for their needs over the coming winter period.

The nationwide campaign will run right across the heating season and will evolve as needed to meet the changing information needs and concerns of the public.
Read more here.

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Introduction of National Living Wage

Building on the progress to date to improve terms and conditions for workers, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D. has announced the introduction of a national living wage for employees. As agreed by Government, the national living wage will be set at 60% of hourly median wages in line with the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission. It will be introduced over a four-year period and will be in place by 2026, at which point it will replace the National Minimum Wage.
Read more here.

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Be Winter Ready Information Campaign 2022-2023

The Government  launched the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 2022 -2023 Information Campaign which is in its twelfth year and is intended to raise awareness about the particular challenges that winter can present. The campaign provides a coordinated and cross-cutting approach to public safety messaging and the dissemination of information on winter preparations.

The main message is simple: Be Prepared, Stay Safe and know where to find help should you need it.

Read here about the Be Winter Ready Campaign Launch
The Be Winter Ready Booklet has been prepared as part of the Government of Ireland initiative to assist households in preparing for winter while also living with the impacts of COVID-19.

Read more here.

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Galway LGBTI+ Interagency
Public Recognition Marker & Resource Pack

Available on request. Show your support!
The LGBTI+ Interagency Public Recognition Marker is available for shops, businesses, community groups and more, in the city and county to display in their windows, showing that the LGBTQI+ community are welcome there.
If you would like to order a PRM sticker, get in contact with

The LGBTQI+ Interagency also developed a resource pack for supporting the LGBTIQ+ community.
Find the Interagency Resource pack in PDF format - here ore request one by post by emailing

Mental Health Supports for Ukrainian People

Free counselling supports (6 sessions) are available from My Mind with a particular focus on Ukrainian refugees.
The sessions are provided in Ukrainian.
Details at: 
The counselling service is funded by the Department of Health.  

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Galway City Ukrainian Community Response Forum

A Ukrainian Community Response Forum has been established in Galway City to enable the various organisations and agencies at local level, to work together in the delivery of services for Ukrainian refugees relocating to Galway City. The role of the Forum is to coordinate the community-led response in the provision of local assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees as they are accommodated in Galway City. Supplementing the supports and services being provided by government agencies at a local level, the purpose will be to ensure effective communication and information sharing in the coordination of local community and voluntary actions in providing community supports to the new Ukrainian communities.

It is intended that the information contained on this page will be a useful resource for Ukrainian people, agencies and members of the public who are seeking information on services and help available in Galway City. As we get more relevant, useful information we will continue to update this page.

For general queries in relation to the above please contact Galway City Council by email to
ind the dedicated page on the Galway City Council website here.

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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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Submit your event or send us feedback at the links below.

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