Lisacul Community Development held their AGM on 20th February and presented a report on activities for 2018.
The report uses the broad headings from the Memorandum and Articles of Association so that we can measure ourselves against our objectives.
If you think you can help us improve our performance in any of the areas listed below, come and talk to us at our next meeting on 20th March at 8:30pm
The Community Employment Programme
The Community Employment programme had its annual audit by the Department of Social Protection and was again approved to continue to operate. The programme is overseen by John Greene and employed sixteen people over the year.
Under the programme, employees undertook a range of training programmes, including modules leading to major awards in Administration and Horticulture.
The nature of the programme means there is a regular turn-over of employees and 2018 was no exception. We welcomed Elizabeth Care, Patricia Gilman, Tony Dollard, and Josh Craggs and said goodbye to Ron Bell, Michael Hannelly, Deirdre Heald, and Gerry Carty.
The Resource Centre and the Community Centre
The Resource Centre provides a focus for the community, enabling voluntary groups to maximise their effectiveness by providing facilities for events, administrative back up, and additional expertise where needed. The Administrator for Brightsparks uses a desk in the Resource Centre, while local groups – such as Active Age, the Ladies Club, Brightsparks Preschool Committee, Lisacul Players, and Tidy Towns – and individuals used the administrative facilities offered by the Resource Centre for photocopying, internet research for college projects, administration for Ros Go Run and Village Play ticket sales, and poster designs and publicity for local events.
The Community Centre has two halls which are available for use by the village. The Memorial hall provides the schoolroom for Brightsparks Preschool and Eithne Fahy’s School of Irish Dancing, as well as being used to stage the Village Play and as a venue for the Christmas Party. Over the summer, thanks to a grant obtained by Brightsparks, the Memorial Hall was renovated, with the installation of a ceiling and new fire doors, and the removal of a partition, adding extra several square metres of useful space.
The New Hall was pressed into service to provide the venue for refreshments after the Cemetery Mass during the renovations. It also provided a training space for a Manual Handling Course, an evening furniture restoration course (supported by GRETB), a rehearsal space for Lisacul Players, the location for the revived Toddler Group, a new meeting space for the Active Age group – with room for exercises and games, and for a range of committee meetings for local groups.
Thanks to grants from the Municipal District Fund and Roscommon Community Development Funds, we were able to add new radiators and storage to the New Hall enabling groups to store equipment in the Centre, instead of bringing it to each meeting.
Promoting art, culture and heritage
We continued our support of Éire Óg GAA club and to Handball enthusiasts through providing ground workers and caretakers at James Timothy Park and to the Handball Alley. We also provided facilities to the Lisacul Players, enabling them to stage their play over three nights in April. A long-term project to find and identify old farm machinery and place them in landscaped areas around the village continues.
The Resource Centre continues to reach out to our broader community. With the kind permission of Canon Devine, and the assistance of the Parish Administrator, the weekly parish newsletter is now posted to the website, enabling friends and family abroad to remain in touch with home. Our community Facebook page continues to thrive, with over three hundred subscribers.
To fulfil its remit to collate and disseminate useful information to the community, LCDC has accounts with Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, and has its own website – LisaculInfo.ie. These social media accounts, together with other village accounts such as Tidy Towns, Brightsparks Preschool, and Active Age, communicate with a huge number of subscribers, locally, nationally and internationally. The website, Flickr and Wikipedia account provide a range of static information about the village, its heritage and its activities, while the social media accounts provide a dynamic and interactive means of promoting a dialogue with local groups and individuals.
LCDC is charged with ensuring the company has the physical resources necessary to carry out its business.
The insulation installed last year has made a significant difference to heating costs, and the installation of a new boiler and additional radiators in the New Hall have made marked improvements to heating efficiency and reduced reliance on the large fan heaters, one of which was removed completely during the year. We continue to review and compare utility provider costs to ensure we are getting the best value for money.
The company does not have sufficient outdoor space to provide gardens and greenhouses for general use however, through its management of the CE scheme, and cooperation with other local schemes, it looks after many of the greenspaces throughout the village. These include verges, the gardens of the church, graveyards and burial spaces, the handball alley, and the sensory garden attached to Brightsparks Preschool. Participants on the Horticulture Course carried out practical work on a perennial bed at the Church, as well as revitalising an existing bed at the front of the Community Centre and creating a new bed in a corner of the Centre.
We had an exceptionally good year in applying for grants, with funding secured from Municipal and Community Development funding streams. We are grateful to our local councillors, Michael Creaton, Nigel Dineen, and Paschal Fitzmaurice, for their assistance in and support for our grant applications. We are also, as ever, grateful to our wonderful community who fund us through donations and by supporting fundraising events. The funds raised over the year have have been used to improve the heating and provide new storage in the New Hall, and for the day to day running of the Community Centre.
Facilities for Children
The Community Centre hosts Brightsparks Preschool with its five staff and twenty-eight classroom places. Thanks to the refurbishment work, Brightsparks has been able to extend its working hours. The centre also hosts the Toddler Group every Friday from 11 to 1pm. The expansion of hours in Brightsparks and the closing time of the Toddler Group fit in with the National School hours, thereby contributing to a reduction in car journeys.
Eithne Fahy’s School of Dance continues to hold classes in Memorial Hall every Friday during term time.
At Hallowe’en, the Preschool Committee organised a disco for children up to sixth class and the Parents’ Association hosted the annual Children’s Christmas Party. The Centre was also the venue for communion and graduation parties during the year.
After the major works carried out this year and with the suspension of municipal funding streams this year, we do not foresee any large scale works at the Centre. However, we have agreement in principle from the Alan O’Dowd fund to provide us with new chairs and tables and some enhancements of the small kitchen beside the new hall and we look forward to documenting these in our 2019 Review.
Lisacul Players have reserved the hall on the 26th and 27th of April for their next presentation, and Seán Keane has added the hall to his tour schedule and will be playing here on 29th March.
The Preschool Committee also plan to host an Easter Disco for children on 14th April.