Almost 4,000 community groups and social enterprises were supported to respond to the needs of most vulnerable & played a key role in COVID-19 Community Response.

Pictured above from right:  Minister of State for Community Development & Charities Joe O’Brien T.D. Anna Shakespeare Pobal CEO.  (Photo credit, Conor McCabe Photography.)

Today, 25th August 2020 the Minister of State for Community Development & Charities Joe O’Brien T.D. launched the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) Annual Report 2019.

The report details how the activities and collaborative efforts of SICAP have contributed to building the capacity and resilience of local communities across Ireland to address social exclusion issues in their local area. SICAP targets those who are disadvantaged in Irish society and less likely to use mainstream services. Some of the target groups include people with a disability, disadvantaged young people, Travellers, Roma, new communities, lone parents and the unemployed.

The SICAP Annual Report 2019 documents the second year of implementation of the SICAP programme.

Acknowledging the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also highlights that SICAP stakeholders and the wider community sector have played a key role in identifying and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable during this time.

Key findings from the SICAP Annual Report 2019 include:

  • In 2019, SICAP provided direct supports to 2,636 Local Community Groups, 370 Social Enterprises and 30,280 individuals.
  • 46% (13,939) of individuals on the 2019 caseload participated in a lifelong learning activity (i.e. course placement, apprenticeship or work experience), 6% (1,715) got a job and 8% (2,430) set up their own business.
  • By the end of 2019, preparations were underway for the launch of the My Journey: Distance Travelled Tool – a validated tool which measures soft skills relevant to employment, education and training, and personal development.

Speaking at today’s launch the Minister of State for Community Development & Charities Joe O’Brien said:

“I am proud to launch the SICAP Annual Report for 2019. This report shows that SICAP is continuing to reach people experiencing social exclusion and inequality in every part of the Ireland. I commend the 46 Local Development Companies who work with those most in need through SICAP and I am very happy that we fund this important programme.

As Ireland emerges from Covid-19 SICAP will be playing a key role in ensuring that those on the margins will be included in the recovery”

Through the provision of a variety of supports to community groups and individuals, SICAP aims to tackle social exclusion and inequality across Ireland. To date over 3,500 community groups and 55,000 individuals – many with complex needs – have been supported by the programme. During the second year of implementation, the programme continued to deliver valuable supports to a large number of individuals and community groups.

Anna Shakespeare, Pobal CEO said: “I believe that this 2019 Social Inclusion and Community Activation (SICAP) Annual Report demonstrates not just the role of this programme in delivering important supports to individuals and community groups throughout the country but also  highlights the critical role of the community and voluntary sector, and programmes like SICAP in working to combat social exclusion and improve outcomes for the most disadvantaged in our society.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

Find out more about the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) on Pobal’s website.

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