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The Social Inclusion Unit

A Guide for Staff June 2003 (PDF)(2,493KB)

A Guide for Staff June 2003 (HTML)(42KB)

Social Inclusion
Social Inclusion
Action Plan
City of Differences City of Differences Summary  

The Social Inclusion Unit

The Social Inclusion Unit was one of eight established in a pilot project. A Social Inclusion Officer and Analyst staff the unit. The main objective of the Social Inclusion Unit is to promote social inclusion in the day to day activities of Cork City Council. This is being achieved in three main ways:

  1. Policy development – The Unit has completed an audit of the activities of Cork City Council, which have a social inclusion impact. The results of the audit were reported back to each Department where they contributed to improved policy development and subsequently to the relevant SPC
    Research and evaluation – Based on the 2002 census results, the Unit completed an in-depth social/poverty profile of Cork City in 2003. The Unit is engaged in completing some policy evaluations for a number of Departments.
    Awareness and information provision – The Unit organised the provision of short seminars for all staff on national social inclusion policies and how they might impact on the day-to-day work of each Department.
  2. Establishment of a Social Inclusion Steering Committee – A Committee has been drawn from all Departments and will facilitate inter-departmental discussion on best practice in ensuring that all of the activities of the Council contribute to social inclusion


Social Inclusion Officer:  Tony Power 021 4924060

Social Inclusion Analyst: Maria Minguella 021 4924061

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“Music as a Tool for Social Inclusion” Research Publication

At this year’s Lifelong Learning Festival, Cork City Council Social Inclusion Unit, with the support of the Arts Office and the Cork Community Music Network, presented the report “The Use of Music as a Tool for Social Inclusion" with performances, speeches and light refreshments on the 31st March at 7:30 p.m. at the Cork Academy of Music at the North Monastery Campus in Blackpool. Ciarán Lynch (TD), former chair of the Lifelong Learning Festival launched the report.

Cork ’s Communities have a long tradition of music-making, eg the Barrack Street Band and the Butter Exchange Band were founded in 1937 and 1878 respectively. The Cork Academy of Music, the Togher Music Project and School, choirs, pipe bands, brass bands, school outreach services all offer education programmes in the city’s communities.

The report identifies how national policies, national and local research findings, and local structures can together support the development and sustainability of the strong community music infrastructure that is unique of Cork City . This uniqueness is part of a long community tradition that has provided access to music services to disadvantaged communities and groups. This report presents clear recommendations for action.

The full report is available to download

Music as a Tool for Social Inclusion (PDF)(2,105KB)

Social Inclusion and Cork City Council

The Cork City Council Social Inclusion Audit and Action Plan, and the photography exhibition by Maurizio Vallebella “Picture This: a photography exhibition on Social Inclusion/Exclusion”, was launched on the 28th of May 2004. The Audit explains all the work that the City Council undertakes and sets recommendations on how to strengthen the social inclusion focus of the Council policies and actions. The Action Plan is the outcome of the Audit and is already being put into practice. "Picture This: A photography exhibition on Social Inclusion/Exclusion" by Maurizio Vallebella, is being shown at different venues around the city until the 17th of September 2004. This exhibition was organised to inform people about how the City Council is seeking to put social needs at the core of its policies and actions through a creative and accessible way. The black and white exhibition by photographer, Maurizio Vallebella, is designed to raise public awareness, including awareness among City Council Staff, of the issue of social inclusion and Cork City Council policies.

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City of Difference: Mapping Social Exclusion in Cork

A new publication "City of Difference: Mapping Social Exclusion in Cork" has just been published by the Social Inclusion Unit in Cork City Council. Drawing on the 2002 census the report clearly presents the main population, unemployment, and education statistics in Cork. It includes maps and tables that should help the reader understand the dynamics of social exclusion in Cork City. The report was developed as a partnership between Cork City Council and University College Cork with the co-operation of Cork City Partnership and Combat Poverty Agency. A summary of this publication is also available.

City of Differences
City of Differences City of Differences Summary

City of Differences Summary (PDF)(129KB)

1. Foreword and Introduction (PDF)(718KB)

2. People (PDF)(1,998KB)

3. Education (PDF)(582KB)

4. Employment and Unemployment (PDF)(1,549KB)

5. Urban Contexts (PDF)(1,028KB)

6. Conclusions (PDF)(37KB)

Appendices (PDF)(5,964KB)

Local Communities in the European Strategy

The Social Inclusion Unit in Cork City Council has been a partner of the European Project "Local Communities in the European Strategy for Social Inclusion" during the past nine months. The main focus of the Project has been to promote social inclusion with reference to the European Strategy against Social Exclusion and the adoption of the member States' NAPs/incl.

The main focus of this European project has been the exchange of experiences on Trans-national local projects that aim to combat social exclusion. This process of learning was developed through a set of trans-national meetings and an analysis of 45 surveys based on local projects and produced by each partner. The surveys aimed to discern the levels of co-ordination and co-operation between stakeholders at a local level and how these initiatives linked with the European policies. Specifically the project assesses how these initiatives are linked to the four objectives of the European Strategy for Inclusion, based on National Action Plans and the four-shared objectives of Nice.

The product of the later exchange of experiences on Trans-national local projects has been the design and publication of a booklet. The booklet highlights the key findings of the research and indicates the similarity of themes in trans-national projects and the common ground these share. The Booklet also presents policy and practice recommendations for Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), Local Authorities and Policy Makers to allow the building of stronger social inclusion initiatives. You may find the booklet useful within your own context.

Local Communities in the European Strategy (PDF)(581KB)

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Quality and Accessability of Social Services as a Factor in Empowering Social Inclusion – EU Programme Transnational Programme

Cork City Council is a partner in this Project. This project is now completed. The main output is a Toolkit. The Toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of the main themes underpinning EU policy on social exclusion. It also shows how indicators can be used best in assessing factors such as quality and accessibility in social services. A number of case studies are also shown, which demonstrate examples of best practice in social services. For further information contact Maria Minguella 021 4924060

Quality and Accessability of Social Services as a Factor in Empowering Social Inclusion Toolkit (PDF)(129KB)

Quality and Accessability of Social Services as a Factor in Empowering Social Inclusion Toolkit (HTML)(104KB)

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Cork City Council receives Combat Poverty Agency funding for social inclusion in its new Corporate Plan

Cork City Council has been awarded €30,000 by the Combat Poverty Agency to ensure that the preparation of its new Corporate Plan will have a strong social inclusion focus. Cork City Council will use this financial support to embed social inclusion in the development of its new Corporate Plan, which will run from 2004 to 2009. Combat Poverty Agency Director Helen Johnston congratulated Cork City Council on the success of their application. “I am delighted”, she said “that the City Council are working to have a strong anti-poverty focus in their Corporate Plan. Combat Poverty has been supporting local authorities in increasing their awareness and knowledge of poverty by providing training and information through the Local Government Anti-Poverty Learning Network. This funding is providing dedicated resources and supports to three local authorities to develop an anti-poverty strategy, which will facilitate the rollout of the National Anti Poverty Strategy (NAPS). It is anticipated that it will improve the quality of life of people experiencing poverty and exclusion”. The City Council has identified a number of key actions, emerging from the support to be provided by Combat Poverty. These are:

  • Ensuring that social inclusion and anti-poverty is a core value of the new Corporate Plan; Ensuring that social inclusion and anti-poverty policies form an integral core of the Council’s policy making agenda;
  • Working closely with other local authorities in the sharing of lessons and good practices.

A Steering Group has been established to co-ordinate the process. It is made up of representatives from the Combat Poverty Agency, and City Council staff from the Social Inclusion Unit, Directorate of Corporate Affairs and the Personnel Department. It will also link to the following stakeholders: senior management, the members of the City Council’s Workplace Partnership Committee, the City Council’s Social Inclusion Committee, elected members and the Cork City Partnership. A comprehensive program of seminars will be devised for staff and elected members. Key components of the training programme will include:

  • Modules on anti poverty issues for front line staff as part of their on-going customer care training A guide on how to poverty-proof the design and monitoring of polices for all staff; Developing performance indicators in the area of social inclusion for implementation by staff;
  • Poverty-proofing as a strategic option for elected members

The key output of the Project is the development of mechanisms, which will assist in the incorporation of a social inclusion and anti-poverty focus in the Corporate Plan. This will be achieved by each Dept/Directorate and Strategic Policy Committee (SPC). The outcome of the process will be incorporated into the preparation of the Corporate Plan. Cork City Council is enthusiastic about working with Combat Poverty and the Cork City Partnership in poverty- proofing its new Corporate Plan. The City Council is well placed to make maximum use of the resources provided by them. It has already demonstrated commitment to prioritising anti-poverty initiatives. It is now in an ideal position to use the support of Combat Poverty to deepen this learning and develop a model of best practice for other local authorities. For further information contact:

Social Inclusion Officer:  Tony Power 021 4924060

Social Inclusion Analyst: Maria Minguella 021 4924061

Press Release Dated 28th August 2003.

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