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€450,000 for Waterford from the Community Safety Innovation Fund

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed the announcement by his colleague, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee of €450,000 for three Waterford projects under the Community Safety Innovation Fund.

The Community Safety Innovation Fund was established in 2021 by Minister McEntee to reinvest the proceeds of crime seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau into local projects in order to promote the building of stronger, safer communities. The funding for 2023 was increased to €3 million from €2 million in 2022, with grants of between €20,000 and €150,000 being made available for worthy projects.

Senator Cummins said “I am particularly happy to see three Waterford projects receiving the maximum allocation of €150,000 under the fund. Two of the projects will be administered by the newly established Waterford Community Safety Partnership - ‘Waterford Community Safety Wardens’ and ‘Consent Matters’; while Waterford Leader Partnership will deliver the ‘South East Social Farming Programme’ which has been doing fantastic work over the last number of years.

Commenting at the announcement, Minister McEntee said ““This fund reflects the successes of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in identifying and seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminals. Equally, people across Ireland are working tirelessly in their communities to prevent crime from taking hold and to make their local areas safer”.

“By putting this money back into the community, we can show that there is a direct link between the activities of law enforcement and improving community safety. Based on the high quality of proposals received, I believe the successful projects have the potential to have a real impact on their respective communities”.

Consent Matters

This project proposes a collaborative approach to tackling Sexual Violence and Harassment

(SH) involving educational, statutory and community stakeholders throughout Waterford City and County. A collaborative initiative of the Waterford Local Community Safety Partnership (WLCSP) and South East Technological University (SETU). The aim is to raise awareness, educate key target community groups across Waterford and to create a safe, respectful, positive and supportive culture in the community, whilst attempting to reduce assaults. This initiative draws upon on the research, experience and training already established in SETU combined with the statutory and community experiences of WLCSP Partners & Purple Flag.

South East Social Farming

This programme is a joint initiative between Waterford Leader Partnership and Social Framing Ireland. It offers people who avail of a range of services including mental health, learning /intellectual disability, and other aspects of care supports or social marginalisation the opportunity to engage and contribute in the farming and the social activities of rural Ireland. This is offered through the medium of ordinary farms and families acting in partnership with services and the people who avail of supports. It provides disadvantaged groups of people with an opportunity for inclusion, to increase their self-esteem and to improve their health and well-being. Social farming also creates an opportunity to further connect farmers with their local communities through opening up their farms as part of the social support system of the community.

Waterford Community Safety Wardens

The proposal intends to support uniformed Gardai on the streets of the Inner City with a high visibility presence of Community Safety Wardens. The intention is that these community champions will be the conduit in facilitating safer communities by ensuring that everyone feels safe as their visible presence deters crime and supports the creation of a safe and resilient city centre community. The wardens will work on building relationships between the community stakeholders and visitors to the City as a mechanism through which anti-social behaviour can be reduced. They will be liaising with the WLCSP Youth and educational members, including the youth diversion projects to advance this initiative through the representative memberships and the community.

Senator Cummins concluded by saying “These are three very worthy initiatives and I wish all those involved every best wish during the implementation phase. I have seen first-hand the huge benefits which Social Farming can bring to the participant farmers and those who avail of a placement, therefore I am in no doubt that this expansion will prove hugely successful. Equally, I am aware of a pilot community safety warden initiative which is yielding positive results in Dublin and I look forward to seeing its implementation here in Waterford. The ‘consent matters’ project will also prove hugely beneficial in educating key target groups across Waterford in the time ahead”.

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