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Community loan for U-Casadh

U-Casadh is small and seemingly innocuous organisation with an ambitious goal - to transform the lives of those they work with.
Established in 2008 and located in Ferrybank, Kilkenny, the group provides skills training for societies most disenfranchised people which inevitably includes many ex-prisoners. U-Casadh focuses on providing a stable environment for project participants and the opportunity for people to attain and develop a wide range of skills, to a high level, including an innovative program in supporting entrepreneurialism.  The organisation was founded by Stephen Plunkett, a former prison warden.  The training offered includes the Solas, Sheds, and Impact Programs.
Those engaged in the programmes produce a number of specialised services and crafts for sale which encourage personal and professional development and income streams. All training is complemented by classes in health, life skills, behaviour management and are individually-tailored to meet the needs of people who have been experiencing isolation and trauma in their lives. The programme has enabled people who may have spent time in prison to, quite literally, turn their lives around.
But the ability of the participants to earn a decent living is critical to their success over the long term. To that end, U-Casadh's move to develop the social enterprise/enterprise incubation centre element of its programme, which required an extension and upgrade of existing facilities, was crucial.
Thus, participants would have the space to develop enterprise initiatives while U-Casadh initiatives would have the capacity to create jobs and generate a steadier income stream for the programme.
This unique programme was supported by LEADER funding and assisted by Clann Credo, who helped match funding along with a bridging loan to make sure the project could go off without a hitch. 

Location: The Solas Building, Belmont Park, Ferrybank, Kilkenny, X91 NCX7