Iorras Le Cheile Community Development Project

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About the Project

Iorras Le Chéile Community Development Project is a Community Resource Centre based on Main Street, Belmullet, Co Mayo. It is part of the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) administered by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Set up in 2003, it is locally and independently managed by a Voluntary Management Committee and covers the vast rural area of Erris.

The Project is open 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and people can just drop-in and get confidential help and support from the co-ordinator and other staff on a wide range of issues. Some of the more common issues are; isolation, poverty, poor mental health, addiction, domestic violence, low self-esteem, family conflict, separation and bereavement as well as personal development, career planning, business development and training. Individual work is done with these people to find solutions and referrals are made to statutory and non-statutory agencies and organisations. Community Development empowers people and involves them in making changes they identify to be important and which put to use and develop their skills, knowledge and experience.

The Project works to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement with all agencies and organizations. Innovative initiatives and programmes are run by the Project throughout the year.

Some examples of the work include; Erris Anti-Bullying Initiative, Entrepreneurship Training for Young People, Personal Development Programmes, Information Technology Training, Rural Homework Clubs, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Fresh Start Programme, Programmes to increase Women's Participation in Decision Making, Domestic Violence Training and awareness raising, Community Participation in Primary Care, Big Brother Big Sister, Youth Information and Mental Health Promotion.

Iorras Le Chéile could not deliver the services, supports and initiatives it does without the tremendous work done by the many volunteers who give their time so generously.

The project is operated under
very strict rules of confidentiality and individual details are never disclosed to voluntary members.


In 2013 the project continues to focus on innovative and responsive initiatives to ensure that the needs of people experiencing isolation, unemployment, marginalization,
poverty and other challenges are met.

Below are links to some of the projects that we are currently involved in.

For more detailed information on the project's work in the community visit our
Current Initiatives page.





Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative

Iorras le Cheile is currently working with health professionals, statutory agencies and community and voluntary sector groups throughout Co. Mayo to develop a community based Youth Mental Health Project in Castlebar with outreach in Erris. The aim of the initiative is to enhance supports for young people who are suffering with mental health issues.


Mental Health- Research Findings

For the first time in County Mayo research examining the mental health experiences of young people, their families and communities has been published. The report “Developing A Youth Mental Health and Well-Being Support Structure” was launched in Castlebar on Monday April 23rd by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

A key finding from the consultation process is that there needs to be a greater focus on nurturing positive mental health and the need to establish a support service that is accessible, youth friendly and countywide for young people that is effective in helping young people manage their mental health.

An Taoiseach said: “To the young people from across the 10 post primary schools here in Mayo who participated in this study, thank you for sharing your remarkable personal stories. There was a time in Ireland when people were reluctant to discuss personal mental health issues. Thankfully, that was the Ireland of the past. The current generation of young people are far more open and insightful and are keen to address the issue of mental health. This I believe is a very positive development."

Breda Ruane, chairperson of the Mayo Youth Mental Health Initiative, said the initiative was unique in that it involved 22 organisations working together to deliver the research:

“If we can provide young people with the strategies to keep themselves safe, or to help them cope with the stress that they are living with, we have to provide them with access to real support. What we are doing here in Mayo is vital because we are putting a support service in place identified as being necessary by young people themselves, and that will support young people, their families and communities who are experiencing mental health stresses.”

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