Tús – Community Work Placement Initiative

The Tús initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people.

All the work carried out by participants in the Tús scheme must benefit the community.

The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:

  • Energy conservation work in homes and community buildings
  • Social care of all age groups and people with disabilities
  • Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
  • Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation and sporting spaces
  • Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
  • Community administration and community event management
  • Coaching for sporting activities
  • Repair of equipment for the Third World – for example, farm tools, bicycles, computers, sewing machines, health equipment

While the majority of people referred for Tús are selected on a random basis by the Department of Social Protection, 20% of available places can now be filled by assisted/self-referral with immediate effect from May 2015. The assisted/self-referral affords a number of Department of Social Protection Customers who fulfil the qualifying criteria the opportunity to avail of this short-term quality work placement and break the cycle of unemployment.

The self- referral also includes former One-Parent Family payment (OFP) customers whose youngest child is 14 years of age or over who transfer to Jobseeker’s Allowance and those on Jobseekers Transition payment (JST). Please note: unlike those on Jobseekers allowance, no qualifying period applies to these customers.

All customers who self- refer must complete the attached application form. The application can be handed in to West Cork Development Partnership or the Local Intreo (Department of Social Protection) office.  The Department of Social Protection Case Officer will then meet or contact the jobseeker to establish the reasons they wish to be considered for the initiative and verify eligibility criteria. In all cases, the Tús recommendation sheet on the 3rd page of the application form must be completed by the Department of Social Protection Case Officer. The Department of Social Protection Case Officer must be satisfied that the eligibility criteria is met and it is in the best interest of the customer to participate on Tús.  Please note that in all cases, the application forms for self-referral must be mediated through the Department of Social Protection Case Officer.

When a person is referred to West Cork Development Partnership, an informal interview will then take place and thereafter a suitable work placement will be made when it becomes available.

Participants on Tús can take up other employment provided it does not interfere with the work and times of the Tús work placement. If participants are offered alternative work or training they may terminate their work placement contract if they wish.

Participants will work for 19 ½ hours a week and the placement lasts 12 months. They will receive the same statutory annual leave and public holiday entitlement as other employees.

The work placements are proposed and provided by community and voluntary organisations. The organisations must provide good quality work opportunities that are of benefit to the community. Community and Voluntary organisations with a proposed work placement should register with West Cork Development Partnership. They will be asked to submit a proposal detailing the work and the number of participants requested. West Cork Development Partnership will assess and make a decision on the proposal.

If you are a community organisation looking to offer a placement ring the office on 023 883 4035 and we will send you a form.

Or if you would like to see first hand, how the Tús scheme is being delivered in west Cork please play the video below which features a selection of participants currently availing of a place on the Tús scheme in West Cork, the communtiy groups and voluntary organisations they are involved with and how the everyone can benefit from getting involved.

Kilmacsimon Community and Activity Centre

Some of the community groups and voluntarty organisations who have benefited from the Tús scheme are: Co-Action (Bantry), Timoleague Community Playschool, Courtmacsherry Tidy Towns, Castletown Kinneigh Community Association, Kilbrittain Playschool, Temperence Hall Kinsale, Coachford Soccer Club, Macroom Soccer Club, Dog Action Welfare Group, Ballydehob Community Hall, Rosmore Drama Festival Committee,  Rosscarbery Tidy Towns, Ballinascarthy Tidy Village CGroup, Kilmichael Historical Society, Bantry Tidy Towns, West Cork Rural Transport, Kinsale Job Resource Centre,  Saile Kinsale, Kinsale GAA, Kinsale Soccer Club, Colonakilty Community Art Centre, Sustain West Cork, Macroom GAA, Kinsale Soccer Club, Carriganima Community Development, Macroom/Bandon School Completion Programme, Bandon Youth Reach, Inchydoney Residents Association, Molaga Tidy Towns, the Attic Youth Café, and Clonakilty Tidy Towns.

For more detailed information about Tús visit the frequently asked questions section on the website of the Department of Social Protection.

West Cork Development Partnership has 140 Tús participant placements and seven full time supervisors:

  • Mr. Paul Johnson paul@wcdp.ie – Bandon/Courtmacsherry/Timoleague/Innishannon
  • Mr. Brian O Leary brian@wcdp.ie – Macroom and environs
  • Mr. Pat Walshe pat@wcdp.ie – Beara Penninsula/ Drimoleague/Dunmanway/Drinagh
  • Mr. Rory O Driscoll rory@wcdp.ie Kinsale and environs
  • Mr. Sam Simpson sam@wcdp.ie – Skibbereen/The Mizen Pennisula/The Sheep’s Head/Baltimore
  • Mr Bernard O Sullivan bernard@wcdp.ie – Clonakilty/Rosscarbery/Leap/Rosmore/Enniskean/Ballineen
  • Ms. Delia Van Hemmen delia@wcdp.ie – Bantryand environs

Check out the following link to The Southern Star http://www.southernstar.ie/Community/Work-experience-and-hope-from-Ts-28032013.htm  which carried a front page feature on Tús.  It details some of the fantastic work done by some of the participants who share their experiences since joining the scheme, it also demonstrates how local community groups can benefit if they choose to get involved.

  

For further information please feel free to contact Ms Arran O Driscoll at West Cork Development Partnership, 023 8834035 or alternatively e-mail arran@wcdp.ie

Here are some further examples of Tús projects in action:

Trinity Well , Fort Hill, Kinsale

Trinity Well is set over looking the magnificent harbour of Kinsale near Charles Fort in west Cork.  Close to the site once stood Holy Trinity Church (which served the parish of Ringcurran) and also Barry Og Castle (which was taken by Cromwellian forces in 1641). Forty-one years later, it was decided to demolish the Holy Trinity church for fear it would be used by rebels to attack Charles Fort.

Holy Wells were a place of reflection and prayer which were said to bring serenity and healing.  The water from the well was believed to have curative powers and every Trinity Sunday people ‘did the rounds’ right up until the 20th century.

Locals had a vision to restore this Well and once again “do the rounds”.   The Trinity Well Conservation Group spearheaded by local residents was thus formed.

John McCarthy was selected as a potential Tús participant and met with WCDP to discuss possible options for his Tús placement, soon after John signed up with the Trinity Well Conservation Group and to date this arrangement has worked out fantastically for both he and the group.  Since the commencement of his placement  John has worked tirelessly at this project which  is very close to his heart and he has been joined in his efforts by a second Tús participant William Feeney.

The grounds of the Well were completely  over grown and you would have been hard pushed to see that there was a Well there at all.  In fact many locals didn’t even know of the existence of the Well!  While the project is only in the first phase, the work that the two men have completed so far is outstanding and they take great pride in the work that they are carrying out. The Well has been cleaned and a pathway created with a lovely seating area for people to sit and reflect.  At present the water isn’t yet safe for drinking but it is hoped that this will be possible in the future.  The Trinity Well Conservation Group  believe that having access to the skills of both Tús participants at the Well has enabled work to progress at a great speed and have found the involvement of Tús participants invaluable to their project.

On the 26th of May (Trinity Sunday) this year the former practice of “doing the rounds” was performed after more then a century.  The event was well attended by locals to mark the re-dedication of Trinity Well.  There is an adjoining graveyard which is protected by a gate and fencing, which over the years have also become  overgrown and neglected for decades.

William has a keen interest in historical sites and is taking part in a Historic Graves Training Course currently being delivered by West Cork Development Partnership. This will assist William in his plans to maintain and record the historical graveyard and old gravestones therein and in time contribute to  creating a data base of same.  Both William and John have gained a wealth of knowledge from their interaction  with the National Monuments department  and Mary Sleeman, Archaeologist with Cork County Council.  John and William say they couldn’t be happier in their placement and are delighted with the opportunity to do something meaningful for their community.

So far the group have carried out the work through fundraising in the community hosting the likes of coffee mornings and quiz nights.

Anyone wishing to help the project in anyway can contact John McCarthy on 087-2788687

    

 

Tús involvement with the Bealick Mill Heritage Centre.

The Bealick Mill is a multi-storeyed hydro-powered mill situated on the river Laney, close to the N22 in Macroom.

The Bealick mill was restored to its former glory in 1993 and was opened as a tourist attraction following the work. Unfortunately the Mill slipped into slight disrepair in the past 10 years and hasn’t been regularly open to the public. Now thanks to the Tús programme the mill is open again to visitors 6 days a week. Visitors can now enjoy the tranquil lawns around the mill or venture inside to view its intricate mechanics. The mill also houses a famine exhibition and a gift shop selling produce from local artists and craft workers.

Throughout 2012 fantastic work was done on the mill by Tús participant Polish national Bartlomiej Orzel. Throughout his year on Tús Bartak transformed the building inside and out. As well as restoring the mill to its former beauty he carried out very difficult repairs to the bank of the river running through the mill grounds and repaired the picnic tables and footbridge

At present the mill is staffed by Tús participants John Carroll and Dan Kelleher. Their roles involve maintaining the building and grounds and more importantly opening the mill to the public and offering assistance. John is a vintage machinery enthusiast and Dan is a Bealick native so both men are well equipped to offer insights into the mills history.

 

Mill History

The mill was built in the early 19th century and replaced an earlier mill. Macroom was one of the first towns in Ireland to have street lighting and the lights were power by a water generator installed at the mill in 1899. The mill continued to supply the town’s street lighting until the advent of the ESB in 1935.

Macroom oatmeal which is still on sale today was first produced in the mill.

The Mill is open 9am – 4:30pm Monday – Wednesday and 9am – 2:30pm Thursday – Saturday