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Tuesday, 4th August 2020

Louth Leading the Way programme to promote inclusion and participation

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Bruce Hogg, Operations Director, Blu Zebra Ltd; Therese McArdle, Peace IV Manager, Louth County Council and Therese Hogg, Managing Director, Blu Zebra Ltd.

Louth Volunteer Centre in partnership with Blu Zebra, a company specialising in business and strategic planning, has been appointed to deliver the County Louth Leading the Way Peace IV Programme from the Louth Peace IV Partnership. 

Louth Leading the Way is a training programme for 80 leaders across County Louth to increase understanding and appreciation of other cultures and communities and to build positive relations. 

Leaders will include civic, community and those working in the statutory and non-statutory sectors on both sides of the border with a remit for community engagement in/with Co. Louth.

“We have developed a programme bespoke to the needs of County Louth” said Therese Hogg from Blu Zebra.  “We believe the programme will offer many opportunities for participants to take some time out to make new connections and learn from others in similar areas of work as well as building sustainable and meaningful relationships across County Louth and beyond.”

“We have lots of brilliant speakers lined up from both sides of the border which will help challenge and encourage new thinking and are looking forward to welcoming everyone.”  

A Leading the Way Peace IV Steering Group has been established and has chosen a number of key themes for the Programme which will explore new thinking and help leaders to develop new skills in leadership, engagement, relationship building and change management thus building resilience.  These types of skills are even more important now in a Covid recovery environment. 

The programme themes reflect a number of emerging strategies in County Louth – the Social Enterprise Strategy, the Migrant Integration Strategy, the Volunteer Framework, as well as the existing Mid Louth Youth Strategy, the Louth Local Economic and Community Plan and the Louth PEACE IV Partnership Plan. 

Mary Deery, from Louth County Council commented on how the programme can create linkages across programmes in County Louth.

“LTW gives Louth Local Community Development Committee the opportunity to manage the convergence of their new plans, Louth Meath New Migrant Strategy, Louth Social Enterprise Strategy and the Louth Volunteer Framework in their initial phase and has the potential to assist the partners and young people in rural areas delivering the Mid Louth Youth Plan to prepare for the upcoming Louth Local Economic Community Plan and Local Development Strategy (LEADER Programme).” 

Grainne Berrill from Louth Volunteer Centre commented on the crucial role of volunteering to peace building.

“Louth Volunteer Centre is delighted to be part of the Leading the Way programme – harnessing the current spirit of volunteerism and identifying ways this cross-community programme can support innovation and social enterprise in Louth now and into the future”.

The themes to be explored in this bespoke programme, with a focus on design thinking include:

  • Social enterprise and Social innovation
  • Volunteering
  • Integration and inclusion
  • Youth entrepreneurship – how to inspire young people to engage in youth enterprise
  • Cross border opportunities and
  • Resilience building and change management

Ciaran Reid, from Louth LEADER Partnership said: “Promoting inclusion and enabling participation is critical in ensuring we have a sustainable and diverse society.

“Louth LEADER Partnership is very pleased to be involved in supporting this initiative as it meets the challenges and also opportunities we now face in building a sustainable society where our youth and community leaders supported and enabled to be at the four fount  of driving innovation and  enterprise.”

Grainne Carroll, from Louth PPN reinforced the importance of building relationships and community engagement.

“Louth PPN is excited to be part of the ‘Louth, Leading the Way’ Project, the aim of which is to develop deep, meaningful, purposeful and sustainable community relationships and underpins the community engagement ethos of the Public Participation Network”

“The programme will comprise online workshops, webinars, virtual and actual site visits and talks from experts in a range of different fields as well as inspiring materials over a 26-hour timeline.  We envisage that this may result in new ways of doing things as well as opportunities for collaboration.

“Given the current pandemic, for the time being, much of the programme will be delivered virtually.  If you are interested in a place on the programme, then we would like to hear from you.”

The timeline for the programme delivery is from September 2020 to May 2021 with design and preparation being undertaken now. For more information see the Programme Facebook-

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