Community Development

Community Involvement

We are determined to build a viable, sustainable and successful community…

Defining Creggan Enterprises
The Ráth Mór Centre is managed by Creggan Enterprises Limited (CEL), a charity and community enterprise organisation with social, as well as economic, aims and objectives. It is owned and controlled by local people. The Directors/Trustees act in a voluntary capacity, all sharing an ethos of self-help and a commitment to local action and ownership.

CEL’s major functions are:
• to own and administer community resources such as land and buildings for the benefit of the local community;
• to act as a comprehensive development focus providing ideas, services, support programmes, training and advice;
• to be a catalyst for change and regeneration within Creggan and surrounding areas.

We are a Social Economy initiative determined to build a viable, sustainable and successful community by creating opportunities and conditions for local economic and social development. We direct any annual surplus for the benefit of the local community, to create employment opportunities whenever possible and operate our affairs in a socially and environmentally non-damaging way.

As part of our ethos, CEL promotes and implements good employer practice. We provide decent wages and proper terms and conditions of employment for our employees.

The main basis of the organisation can be summarised as follows:
• all assets owned by CEL are the property of the area and can only be used for the benefit of the local community;
• profits are used for community benefit and not for anyone’s personal gain;
• CEL acts as a catalyst for change, to improve the quality of community, social, economic and personal life.

Community Development
Community Development is seen as assisting people “to tackle for themselves the problems which they face and which they identify as important.” The community (geographical or interest based) then plays the leading role in defining both the problems to be addressed and the manner of responding to them. Deriving its objectives from the experiences and priorities of communities, it emphasises community-led action to improve the quality of community and personal life.

Creggan Enterprises Limited is working to create a vision for the next generation…

Values & Principles
• collective empowerment for social change
• social justice
• equal opportunities
• belief in the potential of people to be effective in addressing their own needs
• combating social exclusion, poverty and disadvantage, and promoting full citizenship
• anti-discriminatory action in relation to factors such as race, religion, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation
• commitment to community-led, collective, democratic processes of action
• empowerment and participation
• preventative action
• concern with problem focused adult learning – commitment to partnerships between common interest groups and between government and citizens
• public issue and public policy focus
• a range of activities from self-help services to campaigning action
• how things get done is as important as what gets done

Placing Creggan on the Map
Many institutions and individuals charged with investment and economic policy have excluded communities such as Creggan from their strategies, if not their minds.

However, Creggan Enterprises Limited (CEL) is determined to place Creggan firmly on the agenda of both policy makers and planners.

CEL is working to create a vision for the next generation which will provide equal employment opportunities, proper amenities and the right to challenge the dehumanising effects of poverty and long-term unemployment.

Social Economy Initiative
Creggan Enterprises Limited (CEL) is a Social Economy initiative which has demonstrated clearly that it is possible to reverse the trend of under-investment in social and economic infrastructure. The successful Ráth Mór Centre project has shown what can be achieved through collective action, community development and the ethos of self-help.

Supporting the Community
It is local people who benefit directly from the success of the Ráth Mór Centre as profits generated through the activities of CEL are funnelled back into the community.

CEL: Building a Sustainable Community
Experience has shown that it requires long-term investment to build healthy, sustainable communities which are equipped to play a meaningful role in the social and economic regeneration and life of the area. CEL would argue that community development and local ownership processes are a prerequisite for sustainable community outcomes, especially in areas of high deprivation which lack any real social or economic infrastructure.