About Galway Rural Development
What area do we cover?
GRD is one of the new Local Area Groups established through the Dept of Rural, Community & Gaeltacht Affairs and covers the east of the county as shown in the map below.
Who are we?
Galway Rural Development Company Ltd. (GRD) was established in July 1994. It is a Partnership of 23 directors, representing statutory agencies, social partners, business, farming, community and voluntary sectors. For details of the current Board Members click here: Galway Rural Development currently has thirty four members of staff, based in Athenry, and out of other locations throughout the county. For details of staff click here.
What do we do ?
GRD administers the Local Community Development Programme (LCDP), and the Rural Development Programme (RDP). GRD also administers the Rural Social Scheme, the North East Galway Rural Transport Programme, Homestart and sponsors a Community Employment Scheme providing maintenance work for local communities and clerical and administrative support
GRD recognises that funding alone will not result in sustainable development, GRD therefore has two roles. a) Developmental support - over the course of the above programmes GRD works to ensure that communities and individuals in the rural areas of County Galway are provided with relevant information, enabled to identify their own local needs and act on these. Through our staff, GRD offers support and guidance to local communities and individuals. This is facilitated through promotion campaigns, public meetings, workshops and seminars. b) Grant aid for specific projects – while the work within GRD is carried out synonymously across both the Social Inclusion Programme and the Rural Development Programme, there are separate guidelines for each.
Eligibility for grant aid varies according to each programme and measures therein. This is outlined in the relevant sections on the different programmes. The company operates across its programmes under three teams.
- Community Development
- Enterprise/Services to the Unemployed
- Education/Training and Youth
Where are we?
The main office of GRD is situated within Mellows Campus, the premises of Teagasc, on the Dublin Road two miles out of Athenry. We can be contacted by telephone on 091 844335, by fax: 091 845465 and by e:mail at email@example.com
The outreach offices for the GRD Mediators are as follows:
Dawna Concannon – Mediation Service Ballinasloe
Unit 4, River View,
Tel: 09096 45111
Mob: 087 2312197
Outreach to Portumna & Ballygar
Angela Mahon – Mediation Service Loughrea
Unit 1,Bride Street
Tel: 091 8476111
Mob: 087 6535761
Outreach to Gort & Woodford
Adrian Feeney – Mediation Service Tuam
Galway Rural Development Company Ltd.,
Mob: 087 994407
Outreach to Headford, Glenamaddy & Williamstown
The offices for Community Development are as follows:
Breda Coyle - South & East Galway
Unit 1,Bride Street
Tel: 091 847487
Mob: 087 9676758
Outreach for Rural Resource Officer - Frank is outreach to Glinsk, Lawrenstown and Woodford.
Miriam Stewart - North Galway
c/o Irish Wheelchair Association
Tel: 093 26211
Mob: 087 4196422
Community Development is the process of helping people to participate and have a say in their community. To this end, community development works to help communities and groups to look at and assess their situation and get together as a group to influence how decisions are made. Community Development recognises that the ability to participate fully in society applies to some groups and individuals more than others.
The work is broad and is both issue and area based.
Area-based Community Development
GRD is committed to working with community groups and in particular with groups at early stages of development and in the more remote parts of the county. This work is undertaken by local community development officers, who offer a range of supports and guidance such as forming a group, carrying out research on local needs, producing a local development plan, training options, developing projects and sourcing grant aid.
Issue-based Community Development
GRD is committed to working with particular groups and issues that it has identified as priorities through our consultation process. These are traveller and disability issues, women, childcare, rural transport, social housing and other housing issues, youth work, work with the elderly, refugees and asylum seekers. The issues-based workers liaise with other agencies and jointly work to develop a strategy to meet these needs.
Community Employment Scheme
The Community Employment Scheme has been operating as a community employment scheme for a number of years, initally as a partnership between Galway Rural Development, FÁS and the Health Service Executive. Participants utilised referrals from the Health Service Executive and provided practical help in upgrading peoples houses.
In the last two years the Alzeimer’s Society have become project partners and now a number of participants on the scheme are trained to provide respite care for people who are caring for a relative suffering from Alzeimer’s., other participants are involved in maintenance work for communities in the East Galway area and in clerical and administrative support.
Enterprise/Services to the Unemployed
Galway Rural Development provides a range of enterprise supports through both the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme (SIP). Support ranges from facilitating small private enterprises and community enterprises to expand and improve their businesses, working with farm families to explore their options, and facilitating long-term unemployed people to explore employment and training options and to become self-employed through the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
The GRD Employment Mediation Service
The Employment Mediation Service provides a system of supports to long-term unemployed people and farm families re-entering the labour market. Mediators work with clients on a one-to-one basis, helping them to explore their employment, training, education and personal development options. They offer help with career path development, interview technique training, CV preparation, accessing education and training opportunities available, and accessing potential employment available.
Farm Family Programme
The aim of the Farm Family Programme is to seek to improve the viability and sustainability of farm families in the county and to implement mechanisms to address their needs in partnership with the statutory agencies. GRD will instigate and welcome initiatives from farmers and their families or farmer groups by providing information and support to farm families on the various schemes available, pilot skills training programmes, advice concerning alternative on or off farm enterprises and research around the needs of low-income farm families.
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme
This is operated through GRD in conjunction with the Department of Social and Family Affairs. The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme is a self-employment support for people in a situation of long-term unemployment. Participants on the scheme receive a reducing scale of social welfare payments over a two-year period, while developing their self employment projects. Other supports offered include training in marketing/promotion, accounts and bookkeeping, individual business advice with a professional mentor, small development grants and guidance on sources of funding.
GRD assists both communities and individuals to explore and develop their business ideas. Development Officers are available to assist community groups to explore social economy projects and business planning advice is available through our enterprise officer. Other supports such as mentoring and training will be undertaken based on identified needs. GRD also offers tailored training programmes to meet the needs of small businesses in areas such as tourism business development and renewable energy.
Education/Training and Youth Education
Training and Youth support takes place within the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme: Community Based Youth Initiatives / It has been proven that early school leaving can perpetuate a cycle of disadvantage for some families, by reducing people’s capacity to reach their full potential in the labour market and in society. GRD’s strategy to combat educational disadvantage in the county focuses on providing additional supports within the school, linking these into the wider community, increasing parental involvement and developing alternatives for those who have already left school prematurely. To date work is focused on the more remote parts of the county such as Ballygar, Ballinasloe, Dunmore, Glenamaddy,Tuam and Woodford,