independent

Thursday 17 October 2019

Fingal groups to apply for 'Big Hello'

Pictured at the official launch of the Big Hello were Lauren Keane (aged 7), Bill O’Herlihy (8) and Janelle Mukiza (7). Pic: Marc O’Sullivan
Pictured at the official launch of the Big Hello were Lauren Keane (aged 7), Bill O’Herlihy (8) and Janelle Mukiza (7). Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Community groups across Fingal can use a €10,000 pot to host the country's first National Community Weekend in their area.

The Big Hello, a Government initiative, takes place over the May bank holiday weekend and Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has encouraged all community and residents groups across the North County to apply for funding to host an event.

Deputy Farrell said: 'The National Community Weekend aims to strengthen community ties and tackle social isolation and is being funded through the Department of Rural and Community Development.

'This new initiative, 'The Big Hello' will support communities to host events in their local area in order to strengthen community ties and help tackle the problem of social isolation.

'Our community spirit is immense and Fine Gael will ensure every support is made available to foster and develop this unique Irish attribute.'

Deputy Farrell said: 'I want to thank Minister Michael Ring for making this funding available.

'The National Community Weekend is being organised by the Minister's Department in partnership with representatives of Public Participation Networks, Local Community Development Companies, Volunteer Ireland, Young Social Innovators, Macra na Feirme, Street Feast, An tOireachtas and Change X.'

The local TD expalained: 'Fingal County Council is being allocated €10,000 as part of 'The Big Hello' and I strongly encourage local groups to apply.

'Applications are welcome from community and voluntary groups, organisations and residents' committees within the Fingal County Council area.'

Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development said: 'In a world where people are spending less time in their communities and more time at work, it is important to find new ways to connect people and focus on the importance of neighbours.

'In our busy lives we rarely make time for each other outside of our network of family, friends and social media contacts.

I'm delighted to have the active support of a working group from across the community and voluntary sector whose input has been crucial to the design of the event.

'Their support and extensive community networks will be extremely valuable in promoting The Big Hello throughout Ireland.'

Fingal Independent

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