SICAP End of Year Case Studies 2018

Click below to download the KLP SICAP End of Year Case Studies 2018 (pdf)

SICAP_hi-res_logoSICAP (Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme) 2018 – 2022 provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion at a local level through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. Social inclusion is a process which ensures that those at risk of poverty and social exclusion gain the opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life and to enjoy a standard of living that is considered normal in the society in which they live.

SICAP delivers the programme under two goals:
GOAL 1: Supporting Communities - To support communities and target groups to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues, developing the capacity of Local Community Groups, and creating more sustainable communities.

GOAL 2: Supporting Individuals - To support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports.


Who is it for?

SICAP supports a range of groups in society which are disadvantaged and marginalised and unable or unlikely to access mainstream supports:

Disadvantaged Children and Families
People living in Disadvantaged Communities
The Disengaged from the Labour Market (Economically Inactive)
Low Income Workers / Households
The Unemployed
New Communities
Disadvantaged Young People (aged 15 – 24)
People with Disabilities
Disadvantaged Women
Lone Parents


KLP and the SICAP Programme 2018

Overall we can look back positively on the first year of the new programme in terms of the performance. The changes made to the structure of the programme and the reduction of targets and focus on the depth of inputs has strengthened the impact of the programme under Goal 1. The support delivered in to community groups and social enterprises has been characterised by higher levels of engagement, the building of stronger relationships and generation of better outcomes. The KLP strategy developed for this programme in County Kilkenny is underpinned by strong collaborative elements. This requires the building of dedicated collaborations that focus on particular needs with groups and/or communities across the series of partners that extend from the group/community to agencies, voluntary organisations and the private sector.

The programme review held in early December had a particularly good turnout from across the county. At the review session these groups in particular called for higher levels of networking across SICAP supported groups for focused exchange of lessons and information sessions. The Kilkenny Traveller Community Movement continues to be a priority for KLP under Goal 1. KLP continues to support the board, administer the company, and support the supervision of the delivery of other projects – An Afterschool’s Programme, Horse Engagement Worker and the delivery of the Community Healthcare Programme (within KLP). A rise in new potential leaders within the forum of the KTCM and projects have requested a strategic review of the organisation and focus of the KTCM. This will take place in early 2019.

KLP staff supported the leveraging in of funding into community groups – mainly smaller grants €5,000 and in some cases – The Synergy Group in Castlecomer - €47,000 (destination branding), and the Community Hall in Castlecomer – an additional €32,000 to the €30,000.00 secured the previous year to carry out essential works on the hall to keep it open. Funding has also been secured to support a strategic review of the work/structures for involvement/levels of representation of the KTCM. The SICAP action funding was a significant support in small amounts to smaller less well organised groups. It also acted as an important means of convincing groups to concentrate on organisational capacity and ambitions. Under support delivered to social enterprises we saw the arrival of Kindred on the scene. This collective of creatives started out as small group of creative people linked to a much wider set of individuals who were working outside of the mainstream arts scene, many unemployed/under employed and with poor access to experimental/production space. KLP has facilitated a complex process of building a community of creatives (70 at initial session), part of which will be a social enterprise that brings the collective’s offering into the wider community and the market place.

Collaborations are at the core of the work. Resourcing of local targeted collaborations have proven to be particularly important. Realistic timelines and the negotiation of ‘secured funding’ is important to the delivery of sustainable outcomes and the maintaining of expectations. A wide view has also proven to be useful; Castlecomer and Graiguenamanagh – the reconciliation of social inclusion ambitions with economic development strategies for an area. The development of a number of local strategies have been identified in the 2019 plan. The Johnstown Urlingford planning process will reference the experiences in Graiguenamanagh and Castlecomer. A conscious building civic pride element in development activity has shown to generate greater levels of community interface, higher levels of community cooperation and greater levels of buy in to wider development strategies. This can be seen in Festival of Lights (Castlecomer), series of small festivals (Graiguenamanagh), and Intercultural festival (Kilkenny City). A similar approach will be taken in Ballyragget – small, participatory, high quality St Patricks Festival, to support the development of improved levels of cooperation in a largely divided town in terms of its community development structures.

Determining at the outset with the LCDC, what the programme intended to achieve through its Plan of Action, KLP used this as the basis for the design and implementation of Goal 2 actions. Local stakeholders had a valuable role in making the SICAP programme as effective as possible in Kilkenny. Through greater clarity of the POA, the differentiated roles and purposes of the various supports were clear to all stakeholders, enabling the integration and alignment of SICAP with the work of other agencies, improving the capacity to work together in a complementary way. The LCDC SICAP sub group has worked particularly well in reporting progress, both qualitative and quantitative.
The reduction of individual targets of Goal 2 allowed for flexibility and enabled a reflexive response to address high and persistent levels of deprivation. KLP accessed the people most distant from education/training or the labour market and worked with over 522 individuals.

As unemployment levels decrease, and more jobs are becoming available through economic growth, there is still an increasingly wide gap and imbalance between jobs being created and the skills in the workforce to fill them. Through the 1-1 supports KLP offer, it is clear many individuals presenting for SICAP supports, are still not in the ‘job ready’ space and are in need of more detailed personal development. Mental Health issues are prevalent among the cohort and lack of basic ‘soft skills’; confidence, time management and team work has proved challenging to both the individual and response of the LDC.

Leveraging of funding to compliment the work of the LDC has enabled a more targeted approach to specific cohorts. The ‘Newstart’ Programme for migrants has engaged with over 100 people in Kilkenny. CSR (State Street Bank), funding has seen the continuation of Kickstart pre-employment programme for the unemployed and a steady growth of women returners to the workforce. Self-employment supports seen 54 new entrants qualify for Back to Work Enterprise Allowance. SICAP funding to support local community groups and individuals to address barriers to education/employment has enhanced the offering of KLP and made significant differences to the progression of individuals. It has been evident that there is a strong commitment from all stakeholders to the principles of SICAP and a desire to see the programme strengthen and increase its impact on those who need its support.

KLP’s bespoke pre-employment Kickstart Programme was delivered to four groups in Kilkenny during 2018. Whilst successful in getting nearly 50% into education/employment, it also highlighted individuals that were not ready for this type of job ready programme. This prompted KLP to develop the Personal Ongoing Development Programme (POD), an initiative aimed to respond to ‘soft skills’ development of individuals. The programme was brought to the DEASP to work together in partnership in both referrals and funding. Two programmes were delivered in 2018 and has proved to be an effective starting point of individual journey mapping for many. The evaluation of this offering to participants from a variety of backgrounds and cultures has informed the continuation of POD during 2019



“The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020”



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