This section includes information on:
Social inclusion is a term that can be used to describe a series of positive actions to achieve equality of access to goods and services, to assist all individuals to participate in community and society, to encourage the contribution of all persons to social and cultural life and to be aware of and to challenge all forms of discrimination. By ensuring that the marginalised and those living in poverty have greater participation in decision-making which affects their lives, will allow them to improve their standard of living and overall well-being.
What are the causes of social exclusion?
The below factors may increase an individual or groups chances of experiencing social exclusion:
Poor / low levels of education
Where you live (ie Urban poverty / rural disadvantage)
Belonging to an ethnic minority
In existence since 2007, the Social inclusion Unit of Donegal County Council is staffed by Charles Sweeney, Social Inclusion Co-ordinator and Caroline McCleary, Assistant Social Inclusion Co-ordinator. Role of the SIU is to raise awareness about social inclusion and poverty and how they impact on the lives of people in Donegal so that we will be better equipped to deliver more inclusive services. This role is currently being achieved through the involvment of Council in multi agency structures such as the Social Inclusion Measures Implementation Group and the Interagency Group on Travellers Issues and through projects such as the Donegal Age Friendly Alliance and Social Inclusion Week.
The Social Inclusion Measures group (SIM) is a sub-structure of Donegal County Development Board and aims to:
The Social Inclusion Unit coordinates and supports this group by convening meetings, including minute taking and facilitating workshops and agreeing annual interagency work programmes with priority actions for each participating agency.
The Donegal Interagency Group on Traveller Issues works in partnership with the Traveller Community to understand their issues and concerns. It attempts to deliver more effective and efficient services, as well as identify barriers to service delivery, and where possible, eradicate these. The group will also provide support to the Traveller community to develop culturally appropriate services, and promote equality of outcome for all Travellers within the county.
The remit of the Interagency Group of Travellers Issues is as follows:
Donegal Age Friendly is a Donegal County Council led initiative with a new and ambitious strategy to improve the lives of all older people in Donegal. This strategy has been produced following widespread consultation with all relevant sectors in the county, and will be implemented on a partnership and collaborative basis.
Donegal Age Friendly Strategy draws on eight themes of the World Health Organisation agreed framework see more – Age Friendly County Strategy
Donegal County Council is committed to promoting and facilitating greater levels of interculturalism in Donegal.
The Councils commitment is outlined in the Donegal Diversity Plan 2011 -2013 which was developed under the auspices of Donegal County Development Board and was funded as part of the Donegal PEACE III Action Plan 2008 – 2010.
Through the Social Inclusion Unit, Donegal County Council also co-ordinates the Donegal Independent and Confidential Incident Reporting Scheme for Racist and Sectarian Incidents
•If you someone you know has been the victim of a racist or sectarian incident or any kind of racist/sectarian discrimination it is your right to report it.
•The scheme has been developed on an interagency basis with key stakeholders in the county.
•This information may, at your discretion, be passed on to An Garda Síochana, and all reports will contribute to the development of future policy in this area.