KILCULLEN Area Community Employment Project has been an integral part of the fabric of community life in the Kilcullen area over the past 30 years. It originally started with three sub sponsors, the Community Centre, the Pitch and Putt Club and the Tidy Towns, and has grown to now include 12 sub sponsors and 25 participants providing invaluable service to Kilcullen and surrounding areas.
The project suffered a blow earlier this year with the passing of the Chairperson and founding member Liam Sherry and his energy and committent are sadly missed. Another founding member of the sponsor group Noel Clare continues to be a driving force and vital member of the sponsors’ committee.
The present Supervisor of the project, Theresa Whelan, has brought a wealth of Community Employment experience to the project and has been innovative in providing excellent training and professional development opportunities for the participants.
Some of the training completed this year includes Clean Pass, Safe Horticultural Practice, Sports Surface Maintenance, Woodcraft, 360 Excavator training, Manual Handling Certification and Adult Education training opportunities. She is also responsible for the introduction of an annual awards night which allows the community to pay tribute to the work of the participants.
Tribute must be paid to Anne Bolger from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for her excellent dedication and encouragement to the project over the years. Community Employment Projects have become an integral part of community life throughout Ireland and enable communities to provide valuable services, which without the support of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, would not be possible.
It would be great to see Community Employment evolve so as to allow the older participants to take up more permanent roles which would provide continuity for a lot of the community organisations in the important services they provide.
Under the present guidance of Chairperson Christy Sweeney Kilcullen Area Community Employment Project is looking forward to continuing to serve the community for many years to come.