Ballyhoura Development hosted its First District Forum of 2022 Ballyhoura Development held its First District Forum of 2022 last Thursday evening, February 17th. While this event took place online, the board and staff of Ballyhoura Development look forward to meeting communities in person over the coming weeks and months, and the staff are available to support communities and individuals throughout the area. The forum focussed on ways that community organisations could become more sustainable as we emerge from the Covid 19 Pandemic, which has challenged communities over the last two years. Over 50 participants represented over 27 community organisations from the Ballyhoura Development area of North-East County Cork and East County Limerick. The event was hosted by John Hassett, Development Officer in the Cappamore office, and it opened with an update from Padraig Casey, CEO of Ballyhoura Development. Eileen O'Keeffe, Development Manager, facilitated an online discussion on preparing for funding opportunities, focusing on what communities are interested in and what funders are looking for when allocating funds, resulting in the following: Ballyhoura Development offers a number of supports for communities who are looking to develop community projects and services. Communities can contact their Local Development Officer for more information. Community Supports include: Community-led Participative Planning where the whole community is supported to develop a tailor-made plan for sustainable local development in their community. Sustainable Energy Communities is a programme that supports communities to use energy in a sustainable and holistic way. The Ballyhoura Development Community Inclusion Toolkit is a practical resource that can be downloaded by community groups to support both inclusion and sustainability. Local Development Officers are available to support communities to utilise the toolkit. Community Workshops and Training can be requested by local community groups for delivery in their communities. These programs include Project Planning, Governance and Committee Skills, among others, that can all be tailored to meet the needs of community groups and organisations. Additionally, Ballyhoura Development offers a number of online training programs to support community-based organisations. These programs are available to all Community Groups and Social Enterprises within the Ballyhoura Development area. How to complete Successful Funding Applications starting the 28th of March Fundraising Skills for Community Organisations starting the 26th of April Digital Marketing & Social Media essentials starting the 23rd of May Communities can access to External Funding Opportunities here, and the LEADER programme is currently accepting applications. Hannah Kindregan, Graduate Development officer based in the Mitchelstown, spoke about Current Education and Training Opportunities available for Communities, Social Enterprise, Businesses and Individuals, which include: IT & Digital Skills Training free basic digital skills training where individuals will learn the skills needed to use and enjoy the many benefits of using the internet. DIGIWISE-Training and Mentoring: Accounting and Software Tools for Social Enterprises 3rd of March Cyber Security for Social Enterprises 8th of March Canva Graphics & Video Production for Social Enterprises 1st of March Delivering Services Online for Social Enterprises 10th of March Workshops for people who want to start or grow a business as part of Enterprise Week: Business Idea Generation presented by Tom O’Leary on the 9th of March. Tax and the Self-Assessment System presented by Marian McDonald on the 10th of March Jacki Hehir, Development officer based in the Charleville office gave an overview on the new North Cork Community Healthcare Project, which aims to work with local communities and existing services to improve the health and lifestyle of community members. To conclude, Tom O’Leary of O’Leary & Associates Training & Consultancy gave a presentation on Community Sustainability and how to plan for sustainable development as we emerge from the Covid 19 Pandemic. You can watch Tom O’Leary’s presentation below: Ballyhoura Development would like to acknowledge the communities, stakeholders, staff, and board members who participated in the forum, and look forward to meeting people in person in the future. For more details on any of the services of information mentioned above please contact your Local Ballyhoura Development Officer.