This Community Inclusion Toolkit is presented as a practical aid to community groups in the Ballyhoura area. Its purpose is to help groups to include in their activities and structures as many people as possible, drawn from the widest possible range of backgrounds and circumstances.
The development of the toolkit has been a joint undertaking by Ballyhoura Development and three local community organisations: ACM, Castleconnell, Kilmallock and District Community Council and Mitchelstown Community Council.
The process was initiated and developed by Ballyhoura Development, the Local Development Company which covers the Ballyhoura area of North County Cork and East County Limerick. The mission of Ballyhoura Development is to work in partnership with community, voluntary and public sector bodies to develop empowered and inclusive communities, and to drive positive, sustainable and equitable social and economic change.
Ballyhoura Development commenced the toolkit project as a means of supporting inclusion through the sharing, spreading and strengthening of existing good practice in the area, and through learning from elsewhere. The company and the three participating community organisations believe that the toolkit will enhance community inclusion in several ways:
- By helping community groups to increase the numbers of people taking part in their activities and availing of services that they may provide
- By promoting equality of access to community services, facilities and decision-making, with particular emphasis on increasing the involvement of people who have tended not to take part in community activities and decision-making in the past
- By supporting the long-term well-being of community groups, through suggestions for improving communication to and from the community, and for steps to help in recruiting, retaining and supporting volunteers, whether for specific tasks or the overall work of the groups
The toolkit has been developed through a series of meetings with the three participating community groups. In these facilitated sessions, participants have described and reflected on how they currently promote involvement in their activities, and they have also suggested and considered possible new approaches to deepening community involvement.
The final version of the toolkit is available to download here.
In addition, our aim is that groups will also use the following available to download, for their activities
- The Community Inclusion Charter – for display purposes in community centres and facilities to demonstrate accessibility to all
- The Community Health Checklist – to be used by groups annually to review their structures and memberships
- Inclusion PolicyTemplate – for groups who wish to adopt an inclusion policy for their structure/ organisation
The following Vimeo footage is the experience of 2 of the 3 pilot groups who undertook the development of the toolkit in partnership with Ballyhoura Development CLG.