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IFI International Fund for Ireland

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The Community of Lough Arrow Social Project (CLASP) was founded in 1997 when successful in receiving funding under the Community Development Programme C.D.P. supported by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltach Affairs. The project catchment area covers the East Sligo Area and includes the villages of Ballintogher, Riverstown, Geevagh, Ballinafad, Keash and Castlebalwin. Over the last ten years the project has expanded significantly and focuses on specific target groups namely older people living alone, and young people. The Quality of Life Programme is the corner stone of the project and aims to provide essential services to older people living in the area which enables them to remain living in their home and community.

Sligo Clasp project image

In January 2003 the project was successful in being included in Rural Transport pilot initiative and was first project in the country selected to run a community car based rural transport model. Over the last five years the Rural Transport Project has been successful in securing a cocktail of different funding towards the purchase of two fully accessible minibuses and one accessible MPV carrier. The transport project is designed to address the problems associated with social exclusion and physical isolation experienced by many older people of the catchment area. The CLASP transport model has developed into an established transport service interlinked with other aspects of the Quality of Life Programme and with other initiatives, i.e. Meal on Wheels, Health Care, and youth development.

In 2007 the Board decided to refocus resources and with a grant from Dormant Accounts established the CLASP Youth Project. The funding allowed us to employ a full time youth worker and over the course of the last five years we were able to establish a successful progressive youth project that caters for up to 150 young people weekly. The project has undertaken numerous different programmes and keenly aware to offer an alternative in choice to young people aware from the traditional sporting attractions.

CLASP Sligo Area Image

The project has progressed and grown significantly since 1997 we have survived numerous budget cuts and in 2011 our very existence as a company was in question with the closure of the Community Development Companies at national level. The project has survived and has continued to reinvent itself and change with the economic and social trends of the day. In late 2011 we received the great news the International Fund for Ireland were supporting our application to set up a Men’s Shed programme in the Lough Arrow Area. We believe this new initiative will regenerate the community give me a focus and hopefully be a catalysis to start off new social enterprises and projects within the community.

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