SECAD holds specialised Auditor Training under EU Project
South & East Cork Area Development (SECAD), a local development organisation supporting people in the Cork region has completed another significant task in the final stage of a European Project called ISEMOA (Improving Seamless Energy-efficient Mobility Chains for all).
The aim of the ISEMOA project is to support local authorities and public transport operators to raise the standards in improving the accessibility of public spaces and public transport.
On 6th February last, SECAD organised a specialised training workshop for prospective ISEMOA Auditors. The workshop attracted individuals from a mix of backgrounds including local authority, Irish Wheelchair Sport, access consultants, representatives of People with Reduced Mobility, community & rural transport providers, Cork Environmental Forum, and An Taisce.
Toni McCaul SECAD
Toni McCaul, qualified ISEMOA Auditor and Irish Coordinator for the project based with SECAD stated “We were delighted with the level of interest in the Auditor Training and are happy to report that the feedback has been very constructive”.
SECAD has been involved with the ISEMOA project since 2010 and is the only Irish partner among 14 European countries. The project which has developed a comprehensive quality management system (QMS) to measure the state of accessibility in local authority areas in terms, is set to finish in May 2013. Qualified Auditors will be available to implement the QMS tool after the project ends.
The project has involved a number of stages, beginning when the partners undertook a significant collection of information gathering and collation at an EU level in relation to national accessibility guidelines for public transport and public space as well as existing Quality Management (QM) schemes for accessibility in operation across all participating countries.
“A key milestone in the project took place in 2012 when key representatives from a wide variety of disability organisations, community bodies, Midleton Town Council officials and elected members, as well as representatives of Bus Éireann and Irish Rail participated in an intensive one day pilot testing of the QM system- the outcome of which was extremely positive.”.
Improved accessibility for pedestrians, people with mobility disadvantages (including wheelchair-users), cyclists, and public transport passengers to daily activities such as retail, employment, education, childcare facilities, health and essential services, sports and leisure facilities contributes directly to increased quality of life in towns, cities and rural areas for all concerned. For people with reduced mobility, these improvements can make independent travel to these services a reality for the first time.
Further information on ISEMOA can be obtained from Toni McCaul or Ross Curley (ISEMOA auditors for the project based with SECAD) at 021-4613432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the Web site: www.isemoa.eu
High Turnout at SECAD Opportunities Morning in Ballincollig
SECAD held an Opportunities Morning in the Ballincollig Family Resource Centre, Ballincollig on Wednesday 30th January to highlight its ‘Time to Change’ programme.
The ‘Time to Change’ programme focuses on supporting participants with information and advice on looking for a new job, setting up a business / self-employment or perhaps pursuing a training course or further education
The ten week programme, which involves one 3 hour session per week, is funded by SECAD and is free to participants. The programme focuses on the following: self-esteem and personal strengths, self-confidence and encouragement, setting goals and creating plans for the future and managing change.
Inputs by specialists on adult education, career development, CV preparation and social welfare advice form an important part of the programme. There is one to one support for each participant and confidentiality is assured at all times.
The Opportunities Morning was attended by past participants who received their certificates and some shared with the audience their experience of the programme and how the course helped them to make positive changes in their lives. Furthermore a large number of people who wished to learn more about the ‘Time to Change’ programme and the benefits the course can bring to participants were also in attendance.
The Opportunities morning highlighted local supports in the area. Representatives from the Department of Social Protection, FÁS, Employability, VEC, and Volunteer Centre were on hand to offer information and advice.
SECAD’s Kieran Butler and Nuala O’Connell
Guest speaker for the morning was Social Entrepreneur Martin Forrest spoke about recovering from setbacks, the implications of change and the importance of learning how to stay calm. Martin provided a brief introduction to Tai Chi and showed participants some of the basic movements of Tai Chi as a practical way of staying calm.
There was an excellent turn out at SECAD’s Ballincollig Opportunities Morning with many signing up to do this exciting and empowering course.