Essential social services provided by Knockanrawley Resource Centre (KRC) are now under serious threat. This is due to huge cuts in Government funding in recent years and the fact that the centre has had to tender for a considerable amount of its core funding.
The Centre provides services such as women’s and men’s groups, a parent and family support programme, support to residents groups, training and education programmes, family therapy and counselling, childcare and an organic community garden with allotments. In 2014 over 1,200 individuals, and various residents and community groups benefited from the services provided by the centre. In addition to this it also hosts essential services for women who experience domestic violence and an addiction counsellor service.
Since 2008 the centre, which employs 50 staff has had a huge cut of €350, 000 (27%) in its annual income and is expecting a further serious cut in 2015. As well as these cuts it had to tender for €150,000 of its core funding which it has been receiving for the past twenty years. It recently submitted a joint tender with STDC (South Tipperary Development Company) for SICAP (Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme) funding and is awaiting the outcome of this tendering process.
Sean McSweeney, Director of the Centre is very concerned. “Up until now we have coped with the huge cuts by negotiating wage cuts for all staff, by not replacing staff if they left and reducing other costs but this cannot continue without serious cuts in services. I’m very sorry to say that any further cuts will mean a reduction in these vital services to our community, which are needed now more than ever. We are hopeful that we will be successful in securing the SICAP tender which will enable us to continue providing these essential services.”
Jackie Hanrahan, is a local resident who uses the services of the centre. “The centre has made a huge difference to me and my child. I returned to adult education and did their KITE return-to-work training programme, which is accredited by QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) at level 4. This encouraged me to go on to further education and I recently got a full time job. My child also attended their childcare service that enabled me to return to education and take up work. If these services were not available it would be a terrible loss for the local community.”
The centre continues to provide a wide range of courses such as cookery, gardening, welding, customer service, computers, return-to-work, using the internet, internet safety for parents, parenting, etc and is having an information morning on upcoming courses on Thursday, February 26 at 11am to 1pm. For further information ring 062-52688.