6 July 2022
By Tom Collins
Eco group holds first AGM
In these most challenging of times, Green Skibbereen CLG held their first AGM at their Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability (CECAS) at Myross Wood House, Leap, Co Cork on Tuesday evening, July 5th 2022.
“2021 has been challenging, exciting and groundbreaking in equal measure for Green Skibbereen. Looking back, the Board of Directors have been impressed, humbled and grateful for the contribution of the people of West Cork to our work. Through their ideas, offers of help, volunteering, donations and support for events and projects, they have helped to inspire, sustain and grow our work. So in publishing our annual report we pay tribute to the generosity, interest and support from our friends and neighbours.” Trish Lavelle, Green Skibbereen Chairperson.
All the directors at Green Skibbereen serve in a voluntary capacity and without their significant contribution it is highly unlikely we would have managed to get as far as we have in a relatively short space of time. In addition to our directors, we took on 4 part-time housekeeping staff in our first 5 months at our Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability (CECAS) at Myross Wood House, Leap, Co. Cork. This small team has done amazing work getting the house ready for guests and contributing to many of our events. The directors would like to place on record our appreciation for the work of our dedicated team.
“Our application for Woodland Development Funding was successful and we were awarded funding from the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in September 2021 for a 16 month project which will be completed at the end of 2022. This project led by Directors Trish Lavelle and Brendan McCormack and supported by Mark Robins, Nikki Keeling and Simon Ronan aims to restore and develop a native woodland at Myross through involving the community at all stages. This is just one of the exciting projects underway at CECAS.” Said Trish Lavelle.
Director Ana Ospina has worked on behalf of Green Skibbereen with, Sustainable Skibbereen, Skibbereen Tidy Towns and a number of local environmentally focused individuals and groups under the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) scheme to set up a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) for Skibbereen.
Green Skibbereen Directors Jose Ospina and Noel Casserly have been working with a wide range of partners and organisations at national and European level to develop detailed project proposals for specialist funding to support our goals.
Funding was granted in 2021 via CLAR to create an outdoor covered and covid proof space for community activities in the grounds of Myross Wood House. It is expected that the event space will be launched in July 2022 and will provide a community resource from June to September each year and this project is coordinated by directors Trish Lavelle and Ana Ospina. The Myross Community Garden headed up by Trish Lavelle and Ana Ospina, is well on its way to being a productive garden with a greenhouse growing organic and chemical free vegetables and fruit throughout the summer of 2022.
Green Skibbereen have worked with a large number of different community groups and interests over the course of the year, including the Castlehaven Active Retired Group, Sustainable Skibbereen, Cyclesense, Union Hall Women’s Group, Leap Quilters and Crafters, West Cork Wild Threads, Learning Network, CETB, SECAD, UCC, MTU Clean Technology Centre, Crawford College and the Green Economy Foundation to name a few as well as engaging with other specialist community services. Many of these groups regularly use the facilities at Myross Wood House and are part of our growing and vibrant community of building users.
“In autumn 2021 we received funding from CETB to run a series of workshops to help carers and others who may be struggling with adapting back to the post Covid world or struggling with isolation and loneliness. The workshops offered mindfulness, meditation, self compassion, reflection , working in nature and signposting to other support to participants, all delivered in a welcoming and warm environment. We were lucky to have engaged Susan O’Regan from Mindhaven to deliver the Reconnect and Re-engage workshops, which attracted 20 participants from all over West Cork and received overwhelmingly positive feedback and evaluation.” Trish Lavelle.
“In 2021, we launched www.cecas.ie as well as a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a monthly email newsletter for everyone who wants to catch up with all the news and events at CECAS and we encourage all interested people to follow us and get in touch. This is a project for everyone in West Cork.” Ana Ospina, Green Skibbereen Director, said. “We have a lot of events planned for the coming months and we look forward to 2022 and 2023 with optimism and determination to meet the challenges all of us face and to meet them together. Whether you want to stay in our AirBnB, book a workspace, or take part in our projects, we are always welcoming new people to CECAS.”
For further infomation and updates follow CECAS and Green Skibbereen on Facebook and Instagram @CECAS.ie or Twitter @CECAS_ie or sign up for their newsletter from their website www.CECAS.ie