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Advocating for Change

In this video series, we look at how our Crosscare teams identified how our clients were denied access to services they needed or adversely affected by policies and procedures at the national or local level. By identifying and speaking out on their behalf, we managed to secure impactful changes that benefitted our clients in the short term and, in some cases, changed policy for thousands of others. We achieve this in various ways, including research, lobbying, campaigning, and engagement.

Our work in this area continues daily as we work in frontline service with people most in need and, at the same time, remain active on the need to make changes for the common good.  The following is a sample of how our Social Policy work can change lives.

Leap Card Access

Our Crosscare Youth Information Service was helping a young person who was a member of the Traveller Community to join a training programme. As it involved travel, they advised them to get a Leap Card for 16-18-year-olds, giving them access to cheaper transport.

They subsequently discovered it was not possible impossible to apply for the young person’s leap card unless they had a Passport, driver’s license, or a Garda National Immigration Card. Of course, securing these documents can be costly.

Julie Kelleher explains how through persistent work and lobbying, they managed to resolve this unfair situation, not just for this young man but all 16-18-year-olds in similar situations.

Small change, big impact.

Leaving Hospital Care to Homeless Services

This issue was an incredibly serious one highlighted by our Homeless Service Teams. People discharged from hospitals to homeless accommodations regularly arrived without information on their recent treatment or what medications they needed to take. In some cases, people entering Homeless Services depended on a high level of treatment for life-threatening conditions.

Paul Dunbar, manager of our Haven House Service, explains how they advocated for critical change and succeeded.

Returning to Ireland with a non-Irish partner

Our Diaspora project was working with Irish people abroad wanting to come home, live, and work here again. However, there was no guarantee that their non-Irish partner, husband or wife would have the right to live and work here, making a life-changing decision extremely difficult and risky.

Richard King outlines how they secured a change in Government Policy for this cohort that had an enormous positive impact on so many.

Social Welfare Wrongful Rule Change

In this instance, our migrant and refugee team learned of a rule change introduced by the Department of Social Welfare that meant some people were being asked to pay back monies already received, driving them deeper into poverty and, in some cases, at risk of losing their homes. Our team found the rule change had no basis in law and worked to have it reversed. Noel Neenan explains more:

Food Poverty and Foodbanks

Sadly, we have become used to seeing lines of people queuing at food banks for food parcels in Ireland.  While this can seem a reasonable solution for people who cannot afford a decent meal, our Food Poverty Team have put in place a service where families in need of food get help with more than just food parcels, leading them back to financial stability and where they regain independence and the dignity of shopping for themselves. Joy Walsh outlines how it works.

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