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First decade of Laois PPN celebrated
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First decade of Laois PPN celebrated

Celebrating 10 Years of the PPN in Laois

Laois PPN Secretariat and staff marked the 10 Year Anniversary of PPN’s in the wonderful Roundwood House nestled in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Laois PPN is the main link between Laois County Council and the 650+ Community Groups in Laois. 

Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Nina Horan, John Oxley and Ann Fleming . Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

The 3 key functions of the PPN are:

  1. Community Representation on important policy and decision-making Committees such as the LCDC, SPCs and JPC.
  2. Training and Capacity Building – Laois PPN provides free training and capacity building across all 3 Pillars and all 3 Municipal Districts.
  3. Information and Network Hub – Laois PPN is a trusted one stop shop for information on funding opportunities that support Community Groups and on Public Consultations.
Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Michael and Claire Cobbe with Dan Bergin (Laois PPN Co-Ordinator ). Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

Mighty oaks grow from little acorns “– Chaucer.  The PPN was established under The Local Government Act 2014 and from 2016 to now nationally has grown from 11,962 groups to 19,950 in 2023. From our own beginnings, Laois PPN is proud to have grown to represent and support the voice of 664 registered member groups, which have a total membership of 51,131 people in County Laois. 

Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Dan Bergin (Laois PPN Co-Ordinator ), Nina Horan, John Oxley, Ann Fleming and Donal O’Shea . Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

There have been many highlights for Laois PPN over the last decade including: 

  • Laois PPN in collaboration with Laois County Council supported by the DRCD, hosted the National PPN Conference in 2022 where hundreds of delegates representing thousands of Community Groups nationally were welcomed to Laois.
  • Our huge volume and variety of free training and capacity building events that support Member Groups.
  • Laois PPN played an integral role in supporting our Community during the Covid 19 response by creating an online interactive map of Community Groups offering supports in every town, village and rural area across Laois. The Covid 19 response was co-ordinated by Laois County Council.
  • Climate Action Project – an ongoing calendar of events to raise awareness on Climate Action and the positive steps Community Groups can take. 
  • The annual Community and Voluntary Awards held in partnership with Laois County Council which recognise and celebrate the Community Groups and Volunteers of Laois. 
Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Michael and Claire Cobbe, Dan Bergin (Laois PPN Co-Ordinator ), Nina Horan, Donal O’Shea , Ann Fleming and John Oxley. Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

Community Groups and Volunteers are a huge part of the fabric of Irish society, giving freely of their time to enhance the quality of life in our local communities. 

With Laois PPN representing and supporting 664 groups, this at the very least represents 51,131 people engaged in community activity within County Laois. Economically at a low valuation of 15 euros per hour, we can estimate a conservative contribution of 5 members of each registered group volunteering 3 hours per week which would equal approximately 9,960 volunteer hours per week. This multiplied by 52 weeks of the year and €15 per hour equals a conservate contribution of over €7.7 million per year among Laois PPN members, and most do more than this. 

Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Claire Cobbe, Ann Fleming and Nina Horan . Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

Dan Bergin, Laois PPN Co-Ordinator said “There is a strong Community Spirit across our County. Laois PPN wish to thank all the Community Groups, past and present Secretariat members, Reps and staff, Laois County Council and the DRCD, who have supported the growth, development and work of Laois PPN over the last decade. The 10 Year Anniversary of the PPNs will be celebrated Nationally at this year’s National PPN Conference, which will be hosted by Limerick PPN, Limerick City and County Council and supported by the DRCD. Laois PPN look forward to continuing to support Community Groups in Laois for the next 10 years and beyond.

Laois PPN Secretariat and staff 10 Year Anniversary Dinner of PPNs in Roundwood House, Mountrath : Michael Cobbe, Donal O’Shea , Dan Bergin (Laois PPN Co-Ordinator ) and John Oxley. Photo : Michael Scully – no reproduction fee .

Laois PPN consists of 650+ Member Groups from the Community, Social Inclusion and Environmental Pillars. All groups registered with Laois PPN are given the opportunity to attend Laois PPN events. Any group wishing to join Laois PPN can do so by completing the application on the Laois PPN website www.laoisppn.ie