Finalists: Community Digital

Proudly sponsored by Western Development Commission

Athenry – Accessible Athenry – an App to promote community groups, clubs and busineses

Athenry developed an online platform and App to promote local businesses, community groups and clubs. It encourages community involvement through alerts and push notifications; showcases and supports businesses with local vouchers; provides real-time information on parking or bike hire; brings history and nature to life with self-guided tours. A key element of the App design is accessibility for physically or intellectually disabled people. This involves changes to the interface design with clear colours, larger icons and mapping tools to avoid steps or narrow pathways.  Athenry aims to be the first town in Ireland with a platform that is accessible to people of all abilities.

Blackrock Cycling without Age – piloted trishaws to enable less mobile people take part and enjoy life

Cycling without Age (CWA) is a sustainable, voluntary initiative using specially designed trishaws to take people unable to cycle for free, slow-cycling spins, piloted by volunteer pilots.  Freedom and fun are the purpose of CWA.  Trips are not rushed – there is time to stop and feed the ducks, get an ice-cream, talk to people, watch children at play.  Social media was key to raising awareness and share stories, a website was developed to provide more information and an online booking facility was developed.  CWA enables older, less mobile people to take part and enjoy life.

Drogheda – Love your Town gift card and public wi-fi

Drogheda has created a series of projects to create a positive impression of the town including a local gift card, public perception surveys and commuter surveys. The installation of a new public Wi-Fi hotspot along with a charging bench promotes easy internet access and digital inclusion. The use of social media has spread the word about their activities promoted community engagement which has been vital to success.

DrumcondraEmpowering the sight loss community though voice activated technology

The my NCBI Smart Hub is a voice assistant AI-based application that runs on Alexa and Google Home.  It provides users with the ability to access essential services provided by NCBI.  It was designed to be accessible in terms of cost (the device costs less than €30) and also to be white-labelled so it can be implemented in other charities quickly and cheaply.

FoxfordInteractive, digital games designed for seniors living with cognitive impairment

Purposeful play including puzzles, quizzes and arts and crafts contributes to a positive quality of life.  This is provided through the digital tool Tover Table, a virtual table that is controlled by an overhead projector and can include up to six participants at once. It stimulates brain activity and support workers can keep a record of cognitive improvements for their residents. To date, over 40 families in Foxford have been helped by this service.

Killeen – Community Planning Platform with data visualisation to promote community involvement

The Killeen community planning dashboard is a live community plan which facilitates input from all members of the community on issues and developments that are important to them. By using a digital platform, it ensures that information is up to date and relevant; it provides data visualisation tools; and survey and feedback tools. This stimulates community involvement, creates an ambition to do more and ensures all stakeholder are kept informed in real time.

Macroom (Gaeltacht Mhúscraí) Múscraí Connect – digital training to connect Gaeltacht villages

Making the most of broadband connectivity, the community delivered digital training, a laptop borrowing system and AV facilities.  The latter meant that Irish language classes were shared online to locals and people abroad.  It facilitated cross community co-operation between groups such as Tidy Towns; showcased tourism opportunities; showed people how to do everyday online tasks such as how to forward photos, how to get on Facebook, how to tax the car or do online grocery shopping.  It’s all about capacity building.

Nationwide – Turn2Me suicide charity

Turn2Me offers counselling and peer support through a fully online, digital platform.  All services are provided for free which is only made possible because of the digital nature of the service.  Barriers such as cost, waiting lists and travel time were all removed by using the digital platform.  Turn2Me helps 6,000 people annually.

Rossmore Rossmore Scratchers Rural Connectivity

The installation of a Broadband Connection Point (BCP) was a game changer for Rossmore.  It enabled Rossmore Scratchers, a coding club, to provide a space for digital projects through STEAM for children and adults alike. It is volunteer-led, has diverse community involvement, a clear understanding of community needs, all of which is managed on a limited budget. A great example of a community being given the digital tools, and taking it from there.

SkerriesCommunity Car – a lift service to take less mobile people to appointments and shopping

The Community Car service offers lifts to older people and those with limited mobility so they can attend medical appointments, shopping, religious services, the post office and social gatherings. The vehicle is electric, which is better for the environment.  It operates on a private network with a database of qualified drivers. Bookings for the service are facilitated by Local Link and uses keyless technology. The service provides a reliable, community based transport alternative that gives uses the assurance they will arrive on time and safely.