The new Empowering Communities Programme aims to empower local communities to craft their own responses to area based poverty, social exclusion and the resulting consequences. This programme will initially be targeted in the Athy Area.

The aim is to enhance the Citizens’ voices in Athy and allow others to have their voice heard for the first time. We hope to identify areas of overlap and gaps in services that we can then try to close collectively. This will be a people-focused, capacity building and collaborative effort.

Having the voice of the community both empowered and engaged will help to ensure this initiative has a sustainable future. There is a significant body of work to be done in developing and facilitating relationships between the local community and other relevant stakeholders.

To Find out more about Empowering Communities Programme in Athy please contact Jason at the number and email below:

Community Addiction Studies


Embarking on this journey with insights gathered from last summer’s discussions with residents regarding educational initiatives, Community Addiction Studies (CAS) emerged as a top priority.

Building upon these conversations, collaborative efforts were initiated with Empowering Communities and the KW, we are thrilled to announce the commencement of CAS classes, with two separate sessions to accommodate participants.

Under the guidance of Rachel from KWETB, participants are assured of excellent support. This program offers a QQI Level 5 award, serving as a standalone qualification or as the initial step towards various employment opportunities.

Wishing all participants the best of luck on this exciting endeavour.


” Machines at the ready”

The first sewing machine maintenance workshop was delivered yesterday in the community house.

The training was to bring old machines back to life. This was the first of two workshops to be rolled out. With people dusting off their Machines and getting them back into working order empowers them to tackle clothing alterations, bag making and clothing repairs.

These skills could help with school uniforms, communion dress alterations, supporting people and empowering them to addressing the cost of such events as back to school and others.

Big thanks again to Rosaleen who delivered the workshop. The ladies were even given a small gift on completion of the class.



Empowering communities were very happy to support with the efforts of Sláintecare Healthy Communities Health Awareness Week.

Despite the weather it was great to see people availed of the free blood pressure and pulse testing.


“It’s off to lullymore we go”

With Easter fast approaching the Empowering communities programme called a planning meeting with Athy West Urban committee.

This was to plan the areas second annual Easter event. The residents were all on board and to continue on from last year’s event, when a Easter egg litter pick was held., this year the committee agreed that Lullymore Heritage and Discovery park was the place to be.

With the Easter holidays in full flow the children and adults of Athy West Urban travelled to Lullymore to find the Easter bunny. Monday the 1st of April , 87 residents set out to Lullymore on this quest, the excitement, laughs, giggles and great fun was had by all.

A selection of wonderful pictures …

With the community house becoming more busy, It was identified that the community shed would have to be brought back on line.

Supporting the residents, Empowering communities advocated and reach out to KCC on this matter.

As it stood there was no access to the shed as it had been sealed up for years.

On Tuesday 2nd of April the shed was reopened to the community house, special thanks to KCC.

The first phase was completed with the entrance finished into the community yard, talks have begun to finish the project with the installation of security gates.


Bakers at the ready……

On the 25th of March empowering communities hosted a information morning with the residents of Athy West Urban Community. This information morning followed on from a consultation meeting where the residents had highlighted they would like to explore baking, cake design and bread making.

The consensus was to help with more home baking. Sixteen residents are happy to go get cooking on the 5/6 week course (excuse the bun, sorry pun). Starting date will be arranged in the coming weeks.

As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th, a heartwarming encounter unfolded in Athy West Urban. While attending festivities, some residents had impromptu conversations with members of a budding community residing on the outskirts of Athy.

In just a week’s time, these residents approached Empowering Communities with a compassionate initiative aimed at supporting the newcomers and their families. With swift coordination, a plan took shape, culminating in a remarkable event on March 21st. Led by the residents, a toy and clothing drive unfolded at the Townspark community house.

The response was nothing short of extraordinary, as donations poured in from the generous folks of the area. Packed with books, toys, and clothing, the residents, after consulting with other support services, embarked on a mission to deliver these treasures.

Accompanied by Empowering Communities and Regina from SICAP, the residents ventured forth. What ensued was truly inspirational as members of the new community warmly welcomed the traveling party. Parents and children engaged in heartfelt conversations and joyful play, fostering a sense of camaraderie and hope.






After consulting with residents of Athy West Urban, it was identified that obtaining a safe pass was a barrier for a lot of people attempting to gain employment.

Taking this on board Empowering Communities Athy with the support of SICAP went about prioritising this training. Today was that day and we welcomed 16 participants to the safe pass training day.

Thanks to Anthony from EDS training solutions who delivered the workshop. Another example of working together on solutions to empowering individuals and communities.

Scrub a Dub Dub….

Big turn out for the Empowering Communities soap making workshop, facilitated by Rosaleen Kelly.

With over 20 participants taking part and also taking home hand made soaps.

Thanks to Rosaleen Kelly who delivered the workshop, and all the wonderful ladies who came to the centre and spent a great morning of creativity and camaraderie together.


Beep beep, we got a ticket to drive.

Great turn out for the Driving theory test held today and yesterday.

The empowering communities programme had the pleasure of supporting 16 people taking the first step in the path of achieving their driving licence.

Big thanks to the VDH for hosting the event. Also to the people who turned up to do the classes.


The first morning of stress management workshop, was held today.

Helping people to self manage stress and anxiety.

New year, new skills to help handle all challenges.

The workshop was delivered by Suzanne Hughes from Tranquility Wellbeing.

Workshops will be continuing on Friday mornings for the next 5 weeks.



Some of the participants beginning their two modules Understanding Mental health and Holistic Recovery respectively level 5 QQI with the training delivered by Barrow Training for the next 8 weeks.

The training is being delivered in the The Dara Project Athy two days a week.



Out with the old and in with the new, what a way to start 2024!

The residents of Athy West Urban had a clean up on the 6th of January, with many hands making light work in the estates. Well done to everyone who took part and helped out.


Jason Leigh

Community Engagement Officer

Jason Leigh