Did You Know We are 10 Years Old !

Waterford Public Participation Network is the designated networking and representational body of community groups, organisation & clubs etc. in Waterford City & County.

This year sees PPNs nationally reach ten years in existence and this week we at Waterford PPN honour the decade long service we have provided to communities across Waterford.

Muriel Tobin, Waterford PPN Co-Ordinator, expressed gratitude.

 “I am very fortunate to have been with Waterford PPN since its inception and witnessed our community’s remarkable growth, resilience and cohesion in some challenging times. Our partnerships with Waterford City & County Council, Elected Reps, PPN Reps and collaborators has strengthened over the past decade making Waterford a great place to live, work and visit. A heartfelt thanks to our members, passed & present Secretariat members, representatives & staff, Waterford City & County Council and the DRCD for a decade of support”.

With our PPN representing and supporting the voice of over 700 member groups, this at the very least represents 5,000 people engaged in community activity within the Waterford PPN family in our County.

Economically, volunteers contribute greatly to the fabric of Irish society and, at a low valuation of €15 per hour, we can estimate a conservative contribution of these Waterford volunteers among PPN members at €3.9 million per year, if they only volunteer 1 hour per week each, and most do more than this.

PPNs were established under The Local Government Act 2014 and has grown from 11,962 groups to 19,950 in 2023, echoing our growth. This is a monumental representation of community activity in our state and has been led by PPNs in providing empowerment and voice at a local level, providing training, funding information and consultations to the community.

Waterford PPN have over 50 reps sitting on Waterford City & County Council committees and other non-LA Boards representing the community & voluntary voice of Waterford and the community has greatly benefited from the dedication of representatives over the past decade. If you are interested in representing your community on Waterford City & County Council boards/committees then check out the vacancies page on our website and our members newsletters.

Frank Nolan, Waterford PPN Secretariat Committee said,

“During my tenure as a member of the PPN Secretariat, it has been a pleasure serving Community Groups across Waterford. Over the past decade, I’ve seen the tremendous benefits. The PPN is a central community hub, supporting our diverse and vibrant county. Waterford City & County Council has been our main partner, and we look forward to continuing our excellent relationship to provide first-class voluntary service, support, information, and guidance”.

This year we are also celebrating another year of the Community & Voluntary Awards, the only platform in Waterford that recognises and celebrates the commitment and vibrancy of the community and voluntary sector and the value of the voluntary contribution made by community and voluntary groups and volunteers.

Sinéad Breathnach, SEO, Community & Sports Department, Waterford City & County Council said,

“Congratulations to Waterford PPN on a successful and effective 10-year tenure here in Waterford.  The PPN is the main link through which Waterford City & County Council connects with the community, voluntary, environmental, and social inclusion sectors and is a valued key stakeholder and partner in enabling communities to part-take in policy formation and overseeing various Council activities. We are very lucky to have such a great secretariat and administrative team working closely and positively with us over the past 10 years, and we look forward to continuing with this successful collaboration into the future”.    

Funding: Community groups/organisations/clubs etc MUST be registered with Waterford PPN to be considered for future local and most national grants, where you will get a unique PPN number that will be required as part of applications.  If you haven’t done so already, it is advised that you register as soon as possible. Register online at www.waterfordppn.ie or contact Muriel Tobin or Alison De Paor at waterfordppn@gmail.com , 058 21198/058 21803

“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.

Looking forward, we encourage you and others to join us in continuing the journey to greater inclusion, empowerment, and representation of community interests.

“Together we are stronger”