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Community loan for Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group

It would be virtually impossible to put a financial value on the work carried out over the last two decades, by the Blanchardstown Traveller Development Group (BTDG).

But it is precisely this form of work - carried out below the radar and away from the bright lights - which creates a ‘social wealth’ that endures down the years and through generations. It is this critical resource which animates and underpins whole swathes of community life across the country, improving and enhancing lives and opportunities.

The Blanchardstown group was established jointly by members of the local settled and traveller communities, with the express aim of working for the betterment of both. Its focus is on the promotion of Traveller welfare and human rights and tackling social exclusion, through emphasising the equal citizenship of travellers.

It also operates critical education and development programmes, providing young travellers with learning and skills training opportunities they might not otherwise have. Other key training initiatives include women’s education, anti-racism, adult literacy and youth enterprise.

The group currently has three full time and eight part-time staff, along with 21 Community Employment staff in a separate company that focuses on skills development and increased Traveller participation in education. The majority of participants are young men.

Yet despite the clear social dividends delivered by their work over the years, funding is a constant headache. In 2016, BTDG turned to Clann Credo for support and assistance, in order to ensure its invaluable work can continue uninterrupted.

Location: Parslickstown House, Ladyswell, Tyrrelstown, Dublin