Partnership key for PAUL as it looks to achieve objectives in Limerick

Anthony Geoghegan

Reporter:

Anthony Geoghegan

Anne Kavanagh, Cllr. Jerry O'Dea, Ger Crowley and Helen Fitzgerald

Anne Kavanagh, Cllr. Jerry O'Dea, Ger Crowley and Helen Fitzgerald

PAUL Partnership identified heavy reliance on other funding sources as a weakness this week when it launched its five-year strategic plan, while at the same time recognising the necessity of collaboration with other agencies.

Helen Fitzgerald, the coordinator of the plan, believes that co-operation with other organisations will only benefit both PAUL and Limerick city as a whole.

From 2018 to 2022, the partnership will collaborate with numerous local agencies and support other plans set out by state bodies to ensure their vision of everyone in Limerick contributing and prospering is secured.

“We recognise that PAUL Partnership can’t achieve its misson by itself, we can’t do it alone, but by working together, we can achieve our vision,” she said at the launch.

“If people are to ask what is PAUL Partnership all about, this mission statement captures that: to improve the quality of life in Limerick,” she added.

Councillor Jerry O’Dea, Fianna Fail, and chairperson of PAUL, Ger Crowley officially launched the strategic plan in Limerick City Hall this Monday.

Cllr O’Dea was enthusiastic for the organisation’s objectives and was impressed with how the PAUL Partnership aims to achieve them.

“Creating a new strategic plan allows an organisation to take stock of where they were, where they are now, and where they want to be; it’s a time for reflection and action,” Cllr O’Dea explained.

PAUL Partnership, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, has in those past decades, worked to provide social and economic opportunities for disadvantaged people in Limerick City.

As the city’s population rapidly increases, the partnership still recognises that many areas in Limerick remain socially and economically disadvantaged.

The plan focuses on five key areas or ‘pillars’.

The first pillar looks to enhance community development in the city by engaging with groups and support collaborative efforts such as the Regeneration Project and Limerick Cultural Strategy 2016-2030.

The second pillar focuses on employment and enterprise by providing high-quality training and guidance for individuals seeking employment and to also reduce youth unemployment in Limerick.

The strategic plan will also tackle education in Limerick by becoming a ‘broker’ and aid individuals in accessing learning-based services and support the implementation of Learning Limerick Strategy Plan and Digital Strategy for Limerick.

The final two pillars focus on family support and health by providing services to support parents and collaborating with local policies such as the Connecting For Life 2017-2020 plan and the Limerick Age Friendly strategy plan.

Mr Crowley, chairperson of PAUL, concluded, “By working in partnership with communities and state agencies, we can work towards a vision for Limerick as a place where everyone, irrespective of their circumstances, has the ability to participate in, and benefit from, the development of this great city.”