Programmes & Funds

Programmes & Funds

Banner min | | SECAD Partnership CLG

Sustainable Communities Training Programme

Who is it for?

We are looking for the following people to take part in this programme:

  • Are you a community volunteer involved in groups in your area?
  • Or a community member with skills, interests and ideas for your community who has not had the opportunity to be involved to date?
  • Are you a business owner or someone who would like the opportunity to work remotely or set up a business in your local area?
  • Could your voice be one of a diverse range of voices in your community to develop a plan for your community’s future?

If so, then this programme will give you the opportunity to link with your neighbouring community members to learn, share ideas and prioritise plans to develop a strong sustainable community integrating social, economic and environmental strands.

BL2 3423 | | SECAD Partnership CLG

Madeleine Murray from Change by Degrees (trainers for South Cork course) Nuala O’Connell from SECAD and Tad Kirakowski and Abi O’Callaghan-Platt from VOICE (trainers for West Cork course)

  • FREE, fully funded programme for community groups, volunteers and businesses across South and West Cork

  • Providing expert training for successful applicants who are interested in developing and nurturing sustainability within their local communities

  • Assisting participants to promote the sustainable development of their own communities in social, environmental and economic terms

  • Designed and developed by SECAD Partnership CLG in conjunction with delivery partners VOICE (in West Cork) and Change by Degrees (in South Cork), the Sustainable Communities Training Programme seeks to enable communities to build Community Development Teams.

How can I get involved?

This FREE training programme will run until June 2022, beginning in September 2021 with a series of weekly workshops that will cover a wide range of important sustainability topics. The community groups involved will be supported throughout as they build their sustainability plans, before finally presenting their work as part of a showcase in autumn 2022.

Applications are now open for individuals in South and West Cork so if you are a business owner, community volunteer or resident in the towns or surrounding areas of the towns below or other parts of South or West Cork, now is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

  • Youghal
  • Castlemartyr
  • Midleton
  • Carrigtwohill
  • Cobh
  • Glounthaune
  • Passage West
  • Douglas
  • Carrigaline
  • Courceys area
  • Tracton
  • Kinsale
  • Rosscarbery
  • Timoleague
  • Skibbereen
  • Baltimore


The programme will be delivered through blended learning which involves a series of weekly workshops that will cover a wide range of important sustainability topics. The community groups involved will be supported throughout as they build their sustainability plans, before finally presenting their work as part of a showcase in autumn 2022.

Each team will work with the expert trainers on specific areas of concern, such as developing detailed plans for legacy projects and carrying out a skills audit to address skills gaps, while implementing recruitment policies to address these gaps. The community groups will also receive project management skills training adopted from private sector models.

Programme Launch

An online launch event for your area was held in May which provided an overview of what the programme will involve and introduced the trainers for each area.

If you missed these webinars and are interested in learning more, they are available for you to watch.  All you need to do is register or login to our Online Learning system.  Click here to access the webinars.

In South Cork the Sustainable Communities Training Programme will be delivered by a consortium with a wealth of sustainability expertise led by Dr Tara Shine and Madeleine Murray from Change by Degrees and including experts from the MaREI Centre, UCC and Rosemarie MacSweeney, a project manager specialising in  Circularity, Sustainability, Built Environment. 

Change by Degrees inspires and partners with organisations to help them design sustainability solutions that deliver real, measurable results.

  • They provide inspiration for teams through motivational talks and mentoring as well as leadership masterclasses.
  • They shape strategies and action plans that engage employees and volunteers and build their capability and skills.
  • They design employee and community engagement campaigns that are fun and impactful and provide specialised sustainability communications to create messages and content that connect. 

In West Cork the Sustainable Communities Training Programme will led by VOICE who will bring the following expert partners onboard to help deliver a truly bespoke programme for each community that addresses both the latest research as well as practitioners and experience:

  • Environmental Research Institute
  • Cork Environmental Forum
  • Local Authority Waters Programme
  • Tipperary Energy Agency
  • StreamScapes
  • Farming for Nature
  • Simon Cork and FoodCloud
  • Design Republic
  • Suzie Cahn, Carrig Dulra Community Development consultant

Through this consortium, communities participating in the programme will have access to a wide range of experts working within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensure that the programme is truly tailored to the needs and interests of the community itself.  Click here to meet the Sustainability Trainers.



For more information on SECAD’s Sustainable Communities Training Programme please contact Nuala

T:  021 461 3432
M: 087 9672515


Youth Film Logo min | | SECAD Partnership CLG
  • Are you between the ages of 14-18  and interested in film making?
  • Or learning skills for a career in media?

If the answer is YES, contact Nuala to  find out about this unique FREE training opportunity and how you can join in!

M: 087 9672515


The Youth Film Project is an important element of the Sustainable Communities Training Programme and was set up to:
  • enable young people to learn film making skills
  • document the delivery and outcomes of the Sustainable Communities Training Programme.

No experience necessary!

LEADER Logos min | | SECAD Partnership CLG



The SECAD Sustainable Communities Training Programme South & West Cork is funded under the LEADER Programme (2014-2020) through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Europe Investing in Rural Areas.  Approvals for the awards of funding under this initiative are made by Cork County Council’s LEADER Local Action Groups which are a subgroup of the Local Community Development Committees. (LCDCs)