This is Patrick Mulvihill’s bright idea for Galway.

A mixed use, socially inclusive community space for various events, workshops and activities.

HOW WE WILL SPEND THE MONEY

The Amicitia project seeks to connect our local communities in the spirit of friendship by facilitating a broad range of events in the heart of Athenry.

These events include dementia friendly tea mornings, art therapy classes for children with intellectual disabilities, a community garden and Men’s Shed area, computer classes for the elderly and much more.

We intend on making our space as adaptable as possible allowing the community the freedom to use the facilities to connect and innovate in new and exciting ways.

Rural Ireland has been decimated in recent times due to strict austerity measures but the spirit and the strong sense of community remains.

By opening up a new space in the centre of a rural town we want to encourage inclusive projects to flourish and bring the young, old and socially isolated together through a common bond of social good.

We have already begun, taking over an old bookmaker’s office and starting the refurbishment work. Plumbing, painting, electrics and new flooring have been put in place with help from the local community. We now need to finish the job as we gear up for an official launch party in September to celebrate Positive Ageing Week.

The remainder of the work will be completed to make the premises more accessible to people with disabilities. We will be employing individuals with disabilities and hosting workshops for various groups, we need to ensure that the access to the premise is safe and open to all.

The money will be spent making the premises fully wheelchair accessible. This includes widening the back door of the premises to allow access to the gardens for wheelchair users. An area of decking in the garden also requires a ramp to allow wheelchairs access to the community garden and Men’s Shed areas. The funding will allow us to complete this work and open our doors to everyone in the community.

The Amicitia project is a mixed model social enterprise which delivers a broad range of products and services that improve the lives of the socially disadvantaged in our local communities. Our products and services include the installation and maintenance of assistive technologies which supports those in need living independently in their homes.

We are also developing a community currency in partnership with the Limerick Volunteers Centre. We have recently been selected as a finalist in the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Elevator Award. As we develop new products and services, we can build on our social impact and positively affect and connect with more people in our community.