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Programme Contact Info

Programme Contact Information

Contact: General Enquires


Telephone: 01 511 7000

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Jill Carey Festina LenteFestina Lente

The range and diversity of equestrian related programmes offered by Festina Lente as a Community Services Programme have been made possible by the support provided by Pobal. Each year, many hundreds of people of all ages and from all backgrounds access our programmes which are unavailable elsewhere.

Jill Carey

Chief Executive

Festina Lente, Bray, Co Wicklow

Bingo Photo

The Community Services Programme started in 2006 as the successor to the Social Economy Programme.
The programme supports legally incorporated community organisations (companies limited by guarantee) and industrial and provident societies (cooperative) to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model.
The objectives of the programme are:
·        To promote social enterprise to alleviate disadvantage and address local social, economic and environmental needs which are not being met through public or private funding or other resources.
·        To create jobs for those most distant from the labour market, in particular for those who are long term unemployed and from specific target groups
·        To promote sustainable social and economic development
·        To enable service providers to access additional public investment to improve facilities and services
·        To strengthen local ownership through participation in decision making
·       To support social innovation and encourage sharing of learning and expertise between participating service providers.
The CSP supports service providers who, through a social enterprise model:
·         Operate community halls and facilities
·         Provide services to local, regional and national geographical communities or communities of interest, especially to disadvantaged communities
·         Operate social enterprises that provide employment for specific disadvantaged groups, such as Travellers and People with Disabilities.
Community Halls and Facilities
The CSP helps ensure that community halls and facilities are open and accessible on a day-to-day basis in local settings and operate on a social enterprise model. The term ‘community facility’ is used to describe premises or open space. They are open to the public rather than serving a defined client base.
Community Services for Disadvantaged communities
Typical, community services include home insulation, repair and maintenance for the homes of older people and people with disabilities; transport for people with disabilities; meals‐on‐wheels and day-care and social services; respite care, personal security and visiting services.
CSP also funds community radio stations and other forms of community media. Service providers are often focused on providing services to disadvantaged groups, including older people, people with disabilities and Travellers. However, service providers may target a wider range of groups and communities.
Companies employing people distant from the labour market
Under this aspect of the scheme, service providers have twin objectives of delivering services while also creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups. In the case of services that transferred from the FÁS Social Economy Programme, this also includes the Long-term Unemployed (LTU). As with all services receipt of a CSP funding, the company or co-op must operate as a social enterprise and demonstrate some form of progression for workers (e.g. personal development, progression in the company or in the labour market).

Who Does the Programme Fund?
    The programme provides funding to Social Enterprises. Whilst there is a great deal of variety in the nature of services funded, in general, these community businesses can be said to share most or all of the following characteristics:
    ·        The organisation and business is started by a group of individuals within a community setting; It adopts a social enterprise approach to addressing social issues and creating positive social change and social inclusion;
    ·        Any surpluses are re-invested for the purpose of that business or in the community rather than being driven to provide profit for owners or shareholders;
    ·       It is an independent organisation accountable to a defined set of members and the wider community;
    ·        It is democratic in its membership and decision making; the governance structures generally represent their key stakeholders (community representatives, members of target groups, general community interests and specialist areas of knowledge/skills)
    ·        It is participatory in nature, involving those who will be impacted by the activity or services or goods being provided;
    ·       It strives to create sustainable jobs for disadvantaged target groups such as Travellers, long-term unemployed or people with disabilities
    ·         It holds its assets and wealth for the benefit of community, usually in the form of reserves;
    ·        It encourage workers to learn and update their skills
    ·        It encourages a high level of co-operation with other social enterprises, statutory bodies and other regional/national organisations.
    Exceptions to the above include a small number of Local Development Companies and Statutory Agencies who have contracts under the programme, but who must adopt a social enterprise model for the CSP supported service.

    The programme is not open for new applications.