Galway Rural Development (GRD) has begun delivering equipment around east Galway as part of its 2023 Loan Equipment Support Scheme.
The scheme allows groups to apply to borrow everything from lawnmowers to cement-mixers to assist them in their community work.
GRD has provided community groups with long-term loans of horticultural tools, laptops, printers and other equipment such as sewing machines and air purifiers.
Last year, GRD also bought a new van for use by their Tús and RSS teams to complete deliveries of equipment and other supports between community groups.
This has provided communities with valuable long-term loans of equipment and the means to better share resources.
Over the course of 2023, GRD also plans to support communities in becoming more sustainable.
They confirmed Mountbellew as Connacht’s first ‘People’s Transition’ town an initiative led by TASC and supported by Mountbellew Smart Villages.
Sean Broderick, Senior Manager of the Tús and Rural Social Schemes (RSS), said they are all too aware that community groups have been feeling the pinch in this cost of living crisis, and the demand for extra support is growing.
“While we obviously can’t agree to every request, and there is a waiting period, we have already made a huge difference and I want to thank my colleague Anne Cassidy, the SICAP Senior Manager, and the LCDC for backing this endeavour,” he said.
Senior Manager of the SICAP team, Dr Anne Cassidy, added: “We know that even small assistance, like through the loan equipment fund, can make all the difference in helping community groups.
“We’re proud to have led the way in the country on this and to have made such a difference on the ground.”