Lack of funding threatens Clondalkin advice and support group for unemployed
By Maurice Garvey
THE future of an advice and support group in Clondalkin for the unemployed is under threat due to a chronic lack of funding, reports Maurice Garvey.
Dunawley, Bawnogue and Deansrath (DBD) unemployment group, could go under by Christmas, unless they manage to secure funding for day-to-day maintentance costs.
Located at Bawnogue Shopping Centre, DBD was established over 20 years ago – providing assistance for unemployed people with regard to entitlements and advice.
Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward met DBS staff this week, and is appealing for anyone to make a donation to keep the service open.
Three staff are employed by the Clondalkin Partnership, but additional State funding was scrapped in recent years.
Previous DBD manager Owen Doherty passed away in August, forcing former community worker, Peter Green (68) to step into the breach voluntarily.
“Owen put his heart and soul into it, and I was asked to come back to rescue the group,” said Mr Green.
“There used to be funding from the department of Social Protection and various bodies, but it wasn’t cut back, it just stopped. Even to fundraise now, people are wary because of all the scandals.
Mr Green continued: “There are over 2,000 files here on service users, some came in once, but plenty are regular service users, whom we help with entitlements, if they have been refused a payment. There was one guy unemployed for over two years and he didn’t even know about the fuel allowance.”
Cllr Ward said: “DBD operate in an area with high unemployment and offer invaluable advice to those seeking jobs. I was struck by how passionate and dedicated staff are to keeping the service open.
“Since its inception, it has delivered a wide range of support services to job seekers in the Clondalkin area but does not receive any funding. They are struggling to pay basic overheads.”
Cllr Ward continued: “Service users are able to improve their job-seeking decision-making capabilities and have access to DBD facilities.
“There are currently over 600 active DBD service users. It would not take a vast amount of money to keep DBD open and I’d appeal to anyone who would like to help, to contact the DBD directly.”