The CITICESS project, which will continue until May 2027, will focus on reaching marginalised communities, low-income households and people facing disadvantage by applying a new, innovative and holistic approach to organising services around the target group.

Access to services of general interest, such as education, training, healthcare, social care and social protection and inclusion, is difficult for vulnerable groups. It is especially so when they are in a difficult situation from multiple aspects. Marginalised individuals (such as third-country immigrants, homeless people, people with mental health problems, or even just lonely elderly) can be affected by a range of other issues such as lack of education, lack of employment, mental and other health problems, lack of mobility, basic social or language skills, crime, etc.

The main objective of CITICESS is to improve regional/urban development policies dealing with vulnerable target groups by exchanging experiences, jointly testing innovative approaches and building the capacity of partners by identifying, disseminating and transferring good practices.

Over the next 4 years, Ballyhoura Development will work with 7 partners across Europe:

•    Municipality of Heerlen (Netherlands) 
•    Municipality of the 18th District for Budapest (Hungary) 
•    Municipality of Galati (Romania) 
•    Sofia Municipality (Bulgaria) 
•    Municipality of Pordenone (Italy) 
•    City of Aarhus (Denmark) 
•    Zaragoza City Council (Spain)

Project partners will exchange and jointly test new approaches, involve target groups in co-designing effective services and strengthen social impact. They will address their policy instruments in a geographically balanced partnership based on a carefully designed interregional learning process. The exchange of good practices and lessons learnt from a pilot action will be complemented by study visits, masterclasses and tools for planning policy improvements.

On Tuesday 12th September, Ballyhoura Development held their first regional Stakeholder and Dissemination Event for the CITICESS Project.

We were joined by stakeholders from Limerick City and County Council, Cork County Council, Respond, TUSLA, the HSE, Travellers of North Cork and LCETB for a morning of discussion and feedback on the project so far.

Attendees were presented with a background and aims of CITICESS, an overview of the ‘Staircase to Staircase’ model implemented in Aarhus, Denmark, and were afforded the opportunity to give their feedback and thoughts on the good practices of Ballyhoura Development. 

Further stakeholder meetings will be held every 3 months, with the next meeting due to take place on Thursday, November 23rd. 

Ballyhoura Development look forward to working with stakeholders and the project partners over the next 4 years, to ensure that information and good practices are shared, and feedback is presented from groups and agencies working in the Ballyhoura Development region. 

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