GRD and GCP welcome study on supporting new communities

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Galway Rural Development and Galway City Partnership have welcomed a new study on the role of SICAP, which provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement.

The study confirms that 14% of SICAP beneficiaries come from new communities, with 5,430 disadvantaged migrants, 1,168 asylum seekers and 851 refugees engaging in the programme across the country.

Today’s publication, launched by Minister for Community Development Joe O’Brien TD, sets out a number of important findings and recommendations.

GRD and GCP welcomed the report’s recognition of the multiple barriers to social inclusion experienced by new communities.

They also welcomed and the finding that SICAP and local development companies contribute strongly to five areas of integration – employment, education, access to services, social connection and political participation.

Commenting on the publication CEO of GRD Steve Dolan said that this is a timely report, particularly in the context of the recent government white paper on ending direct provision.

“It was also welcome that there was an explicit recognition of the need for additional investment to strengthen and support the work of SICAP with new communities,” he said.

That view was echoed by the CEO of GCP, Declan Brassil, who said that SICAP plays a vital role in breaking down socio-economic barriers.

“It is encouraging that the document acknowledges the good practice approaches of GCP, GRD, and others in the delivery of SICAP and the alignment of this delivery with national integration frameworks.”

In addition to SICAP, GRD, GCP – together with their colleagues in Forum Connemara – have been assisting with the employment and social inclusion needs of new communities across the country and meeting local needs through a variety of intercultural programmes in partnership with the various government departments and state agencies.

Galway City Partnership, Galway Rural Development, and Forum Connemara are among 49 local development companies that comprise the Irish Local Development Network.

The range of SICAP, Tús, CE and other programmes operated by these organisations provides hundreds of support staff to organisations across the county and across communities.