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 commercial, 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 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.

Since its inception in 1995, CEL has attracted in excess of £8 million to the area through the development of the Ráth Mór Centre.

Between the various enterprises and initiatives now located at Ráth Mór, more than 150 jobs have been created. Over three million customers have already used the services provided.

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. To date, we have assisted a wide range of groups, among them: Creggan 50th Festival; Creggan Pre-school Carers; Northland Broadcast; Bloody Sunday Trust; Comhaltas an Chreaháin; local schools; Creggan Neighbourhood Partnership; Age Concern Derry; Christ Church Restoration Fund and Foyle Hill Environmental Group (for a complete list see Groups Assisted.

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 ot their 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.

Key Achievements & Community Impacts:
• CEL now provides 100,000 square feet of retail, business and community service space;
• CEL is directly responsible for the employment of its own staff without any state assistance;
• 192 jobs have been created to date within Creggan as a direct result of the various enterprises and projects located at Ráth Mór, with an estimated £2million per annum in wages being earned, spent and circulated within the local community;
• CEL has successfully provided a wide range of services and facilities for the local community, such as a supermarket, post office, chemist, bakery, family opticians and community offices;
• Annual revenue from CEL services – £373,000;
• An outreach programme with local schools;
• Training and conference facilities used by private, public, community and voluntary sectors;
• CEL has distributed £90,000 of its surplus to assist community based initiatives within the area;
• Assisting and development of locally based enterprise developments;
• Secured funding package of £330,000 from EU (DHSS), DoE, Derry City Council and used its own resources as matching funding to set up a community partnership promoting local solutions to meet local needs;
• Networking with others to promote best practice;
• Assisting with the provision of a community-based taxi network;
• Working in partnership with North and West Housing, a self-help Housing Association, to secure a £3 million development package for the area to address accommodation shortage within the locality;
• The community, through CEL, owns and manages the Ráth Mór Centre.

Groups Assisted
City Link
Women in Enterprise
Gas Yard Féile
Publication of “Spiritual Healing” (Eamon Melaugh)
Creggan 50th Festival
Publication of “A Fistful of Pens” (Seamus Keenan and Paul Laughlin)
Christ Church Restoration Fund
Derry Taxi Association
Great Irish Famine Event
Naíscoil na Rinne
Grainan Play Group
Féile an Chreagáin
Parents Together
Bloody Sunday Trust
Search Youth Group
Creggan Day Centre
Foyle Hill Environmental Group
Guildhall Press
Celtic Park GAA
Age Concern Derry
Northland Broadcast
Senior Schools Cross Community Project
The Fountain Cathedral Youth Club
Foyle Hospice
Comhaltas An Chreagáin
Stradreagh Hospital
Creggan Health Information Programme
Com Cubed
Trojans Football Club
Brickfield Court Sheltered Housing
Creggan Parent & Toddler Assocaition
Conradh na Gaeilge
Creggan Neighbourhood Partnership
Bligh’s Lane Nursery
St Cecilia’s College
St Mary’s College
St Peter’s Secondary School
St Joseph’s Secondary School
St John’s Primary School
Children in Crossfire
Holy Child Primary School
Meánscoil Dhoire
St Cecilia’s Parent Teachers Association
St Mary’s Cub Scouts
Ballymagroarty Community Association
Business in the Community
Iona Enterprises
World Vision
Sole Purpose Productions
Holy Cross Families, Belfast
Creggan Pre-School Carers
Creggan Early Years Network
Derry Trade Unions Council
Creggan Ladies Wednesday Night Club
Ráth Mór 50+ Club
Action with Effect (charity)
Cromore Residents Association
Bligh’s Lane/Iniscarn Residents Association
Family Information Group
Foyle Hospice
Creggan Youth Drop-in Centre