Collaboration between business and community has always been part of life throughout Ireland and never more so than within the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal.
This week sees the launch of a new and exciting union between two vry progressive organisations who share a similar vision, to offer inclusive opportunities that are aligned to the needs of their community, the award winning Carndonagh social enterprise Spraoi agus eSpórt (Spraoi), and Inishowen Co-Op, who have been supporting and serving the Inishowen community for almost 60 years.
In keeping with that theme, the Co-Op have recently stepped forward as one of the primary sponsors of the new FabLab creative workspace provided by Spraoi, whose co-founder and CEO Helen Nolan, said:
“We are delighted to have secured the support of Inishowen Co-Op so we can continue to bring high end digital technology to the Inishowen community. As one of nine FabLabs across the country, Spraoi is determined that Inishowen will be to the forefront in terms of providing easy access to all types of digital technologies.”
The FabLab has delivered over 765 workshop hours in schools, both primary and secondary across the peninsula during September and October this year with over 200 Inishowen young people benefitting.
Inishowen Co-Op General Manager Gareth Whitmore said: “Inishowen Co-Op are delighted to partner with Spraoi in the FabLab initiative. Supporting digital growth for all our community, offering opportunities to people of all ages and abilities to play, create and learn through innovation and invention, as well as hopefully providing a stimulus for local entrepreneurship.
This forward-thinking project will offer access to the many skills needed in the future and Inishowen Co-Op are very proud to be a part of that. We plan to be very proactive partners and look forward to seeing significant development and growth for all involved “
Early feedback from students and educators who have already experienced the workshops through the FabLab has been extremely positive, as seen in just a few of the typical responses below:
“I loved using the laptops and it was a really fun experience like seeing all these machines and getting to customize things and take them home. I thought it was a really fun experience overall. ” Yasmeene 6th Class
“The children loved this. They were excited at the creativity aspect and really looking forward to their finished product. Again, it was great to see the progression and it was obvious that the children remembered their previous lesson. An amazing opportunity to have in the region.” Mary – Teacher.
Both Spraoi and Inishowen Co-Op are united in the belief that this will offer their community a foundation for technological advantages in the future and Helen also added:
“We are focused on building a sustainable model and approach, one that can be embraced by other communities, as supporting and helping each other, is at the core of what we do.”
The FabLab will be delivering a 6-week programme for adults after Halloween which is supported by Donegal ETB. Spraoi will also have a range of personalised wooden gifts available for the Christmas gift market, created and made in Carndonagh in the FabLab. Check out siopaspraoi.com
Follow the FabLab journey by visiting Spraoi agus Spórt and Inishowen Co-Op on social media.Tags: