As told by Southside Partnership DLR.

A key enabler of LDC impacts is their integrated nature, their capacity to offer a wraparound, holistic service. Whilst individual service users might present as a jobseeker, they have access to an integrated range of supports including training, childcare, self-employment, mental health, enterprise, recreational and personal development initiatives etc. Communities can access capital, training, capacity-building, advocacy, environmental enhancement, amenity, sports and social enterprise supports based on their own needs and these are offered through an integrated planning process.

A woman from a migrant background comes to one of Southside Partnership’s regular International Women's Breakfasts in a local community centre. She has been invited there by a friend who has recently completed an art class in our Women's Resource Centre near Dundrum in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown (DLR).

At the breakfast, the woman meets people from many different backgrounds, including Travellers, other migrants, local women, women in business, a local Garda, a DLR Councillor and Southside Partnership DLR staff. She picks up some information flyers which catch her interest - flyers on our Healthy Food Made Easy course, our ‘Well now’ health literacy workshops, our English language classes and our Local Employment Service and Jobs Club.

She asked one of our staff members to help her sign up for the English language classes, funded by SICAP, and she starts attending the weekly classes in a local community centre. As part of these classes, the tutor discusses cultural matters relating to life in Ireland. She sees this as a win-win - that is, learning English and learning about Irish culture at the same time.

She is then contacted by our Local Employment Service, following a referral by a member of our SICAP team. The woman had been signing on for just over a year and had been unable to secure employment due to her poor English. She arranges a meeting with one of our Employment Guidance Officers who listens to her story and suggests that she could benefit from a 12-month placement on our Tús programme, before being ready to apply for employment opportunities that are of interest to her.

One of our Tús Team Leaders secures her a placement in a local charity shop which is within walking distance from her home, so she doesn’t incur any transport costs in getting to or from work. It gives her good retail experience and allows her to practice her English. She also gets paid a small top-up on her Jobseeker’s Allowance each week.

As her Tús placement is part-time, she can continue attending the English classes. She has also signed up for a Healthy Food Made Easy course, with a group of other migrant women who meet in our local Women’s Resource Centre. The course takes place on one morning per week for six weeks.

At the end of her Tús placement, she will go back to our Employment Guidance Officer in our Local Employment Service for support to progress into employment. This will probably include some CV preparation and interview skills training. In the meantime, she will be able to participate in relevant training courses and workshops being run by Southside Partnership DLR under the wide range of programmes that we have on offer.

With our support and guidance, we expect that this woman will reach her full potential and live with dignity in her local community.