“Society grows strongly when its citizens participate.”
That, according to Donegal County Council’s Chief Executive Seamus Neely, is the message of this year’s Social Inclusion Week.
Speaking at the launch of Social Inclusion Week on Tuesday evening in Letterkenny Public Services Centre, Seamus Neely said “Social Inclusion Week gives us the opportunity to promote and highlight the positive work that the public and community sectors are involved in, to reduce discrimination, poverty and social exclusion and to reflect on the challenges faced by vulnerable members of our community”.
This year’s Social Inclusion Week will take place from the 4 to 13 October with events taking place around the county.
They include Age Friendly Roadshows for Older People highlighting services available from different agencies including health, security, housing repairs, finance and much more.
These events will take place in Gortahork Parish Hall on Monday 8 October from 11am to 2pm and Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar from 12.30pm to 3pm on Thursday 11 October.
This year Social Inclusion Week coincides with World Mental Health Week. A series of events will take place throughout the county to raise awareness of mental health issues promoting different initiatives in the areas of suicide prevention and positive mental health.
The 3rd annual Connecting for Life Donegal Conference will take place on Friday 5 October in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny and the launch of the Lived Lost Lives Exhibition will take place at 1.30pm in the Regional Cultural Centre.
Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill said “Social inclusion is about supporting people who are disadvantaged and marginalised and helping them to participate in all aspects of social, cultural, economic and political life.”
The programme for Social Inclusion Week 2018 highlights the significant and valuable level of work that is on-going at a local level in Donegal and includes many events being hosted by the Older Persons Council, the Councils Social Inclusion Unit, Rannog na Gaeilge, the Libraries and the County Museum.
Those gathered for the launch of Social Inclusion Week were treated to a very special performance by Donegal’s Choir of the Ages Ceol le Chéile. In a short video, members of the choir spoke of the impact that being part of the choir has had on their lives and the positives benefits of music and singing in promoting positive mental health.
Cllr. Ian McGarvey, Mayor of Letterkenny MD also spoke at the launch and said that he believed that social inclusion is about creating a fair and inclusive society and ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to be part of the community in which they live regardless of their circumstances and background.
The event also heard from representatives of agencies taAge-Friendly the Age Friendly Roadshow which also took place alongside the launch in Letterkenny PSC.