About County Wicklow PPN

County Wicklow Public Participation Network was formed in July 2014 and held its inaugural meeting in The Brockagh Centre, Laragh on 21st August 2015

What is Co Wicklow PPN?

Co Wicklow PPN is a network of community groups from all the municipal districts in Co Wicklow that focus on environmental, social inclusion and other community activities across the county. Membership is free and we have a diverse membership base that includes: youth groups, residents’ associations, community councils, sports groups, older people’s groups and much more!

What Does It Do?

The PPN has three main functions:

  • To provide a structure for Co Wicklow community groups to nominate community representatives to decision and policy making bodies in the county
  • To act as a channel for information between various local and national bodies and Co Wicklow community groups
  • To support member groups to grow, develop, be informed and have their voices heard.

How Does It Do That?

We organise seminars and workshops on various themes. We facilitate and take part in consultations. We attend community meetings and events and all the time we listen to what people and communities are saying.

Sometimes a board or committee wants community expertise in their group, so they talk to us, and we ask our members to nominate someone suitable to participate on it.

Our PPN Representatives highlight the concerns, issues and ideas that we’ve heard through our community engagement.

Sometimes we highlight what we’ve heard through written submissions to local, national and international bodies.

We keep our members informed with a monthly E-bulletin which provides an update of our work, provides reports from our Representatives, information about member events, training, awards and funding opportunities that are coming down the track.

Links with Local Government and Other Community Organisations

Co Wicklow PPN brings the community voice to policy development at various decision making tables in the county including:

  • Co Wicklow Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) (5 community representatives)
  • Co Wicklow Joint Policing Committee (7 community representatives)
  • WCC Housing & Corporate Estate Strategic Policy Committee (3 community representatives)
  • WCC Planning & Development Strategic Policy Committee
  • WCC Transportation, Water & Emergency Services Strategic Policy Committee
  • WCC Community, Cultural & Social Development Strategic Policy Committee (4 community representatives)
  • WCC Economic Development & Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee
  • WCC Climate & Biodiversity Action Strategic Policy Committee
  • Co Wicklow Children & Young People’s Services Committee
  • Wicklow County Childcare Committee (2 community representatives)
  • Wicklow Local Sports Partnership
  • Wicklow Tourism
  • Wicklow Heritage Forum
  • Co Wicklow Volunteer Centre
  • Bray Local Drug & Alcohol Task Force
  • Ring A Link – Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary & Wicklow Rural Transport Ltd.
  • East Coast Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG)
  • County Wicklow Partnership

Our Resource Worker also sits on the National PPN Advisory Group.

PPNs Nationally
PPNs have been established in each local authority area nationally.  They are funded by the Department of Rural & Community Development and are overseen by a National Advisory Group.

Meet our Resource & Support Workers

Helen Howes
Helen Howes

Helen Howes is the Co Wicklow PPN Resource Worker and provides full-time support for the Secretariat and the network. Helen has over 20 years’ experience working in the community sector as a volunteer and in a professional capacity. In that time, she has worked with many groups and organisations at local level. Helen has supported the capacity building of individuals and groups through the various social inclusion programmes in the county. She worked with children and young people, residents’ associations and Travellers and also coordinated the Wicklow Town Fáilte Isteach Programme where local volunteers provided English speaking supports to the migrant community. Helen was the coordinator of Wicklow Community Platform, a social inclusion network in Co Wicklow and supported it to develop into Co Wicklow Community Forum, a network that pre-dated the PPN. Her work with Co Wicklow PPN has led to her working at local, regional, and national level as well as linking the community sector to the statutory sector. Helen has participated in many training sessions and courses including equality training, communication skills, committee skills, and disability awareness. In 2006 & 2007 she did the Meitheal Foundation and Advanced Facilitation Skills. Between 2006 and 2010 she studied for and received a BSc in Rural Development from UCD before going on to receive a Certificate in Addiction Studies from Maynooth in 2012. Helen was Chairperson of her residents’ association for many years as well as being treasurer for a group that managed a community hall in a neighbouring estate.

Grainne Quinn
Grainne Quinn

Grainne Quinn provides support work to Co Wicklow PPN. Grainne has over 25 years’ experience working with many diverse community groups and projects throughout the county both in a voluntary and professional capacity. She has coordinated the national Get Ireland Walking initiative and the County based Tobacco Cessation Programme. Grainne has facilitated Healthy Food Made Easy Programme courses in Wicklow and Kildare. She has also developed and facilitated training programmes for individuals and groups through the National Parent’s Council of Ireland and the Wicklow Information Network. She has worked as a Census Enumerator, a Field Researcher for the Economic & Social Research Institute and a development officer for Concern. Grainne was also the first Resource Worker for Wicklow Community Platform a social inclusion network in the county. Grainne has studied in Business Management and Marketing as well as Rural Development. She has participated in a number of training opportunities including group work theory & practise, facilitator training, suicide assist and ageing with confidence. Grainne is an active member in her local community in West Wicklow where she is involved in organising the Castleruddery Pure Mile Group and during COVID-19 lockdown she co-hosted Imaal Hosts; a community project which sought to bring the local community together through music and poetry by using Zoom and YouTube.