LCDI has generated a staggering £43 million into the Roe Valley economy since it started 25 years ago, the organisation has revealed.
The organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In acknowledgement of its “impressive work”, Limavady’s Mayor honoured the organisation with a civic reception.
Chairperson Keith Leighton says the LCDI was born in 1987 because a local group of concerned people decided it was time to do something about the dreadfully high unemployment in the Borough.
Initially LCDI delivered the ‘Action for Community Employment’ (ACE) scheme throughout the Borough and then subsequently its replacement the ‘Worktrack’ scheme.
“During the years of these schemes we helped hundreds of local people off the dole and into permanent employment. By the mid-nineties, however, we realised that having all of your ‘eggs in one basket’ (government training schemes) was a precarious existence. We took the opportunity to engage with the emerging ‘mixed economy of care’. We contracted with the Health Trust to deliver services and we focused on sustainable Community Development,” he said.
“During the government training scheme days we employed four people. Today we employ almost 70 people on a permanent basis and we regularly involve 30 - 50 volunteers in our projects.
“Our portfolio of projects is based mainly in the Borough, but increasingly we are looking further afield. Our Environmental project has interests in neighbouring Council areas and the Flexicare project operates in Limavady and Derry. For the last ten years our CCCS project has operated right across the whole of Northern Ireland and has aspirations to cover the whole of Ireland,” said Mr. Leighton.
LCDI General Manager, Damien Corr said; “ In the 25 years we have generated in the region of £43 milion in cash into the economy of the Roe Valley. This is real money that would not have been available had those founding members not got together in 1987 to try and do something positive in a very bleak situation.
“We are lucky to have staff with the passion and commitment to make a difference in peoples’ lives. We have a voluntary committee which still has some of the founding members who will ensure that the organisation continues to make a positive contribution in equally bleak times.”
Mayor of the Borough, Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey, echoed this, saying the Borough should be proud of LCDI.
“They have not only consistently been advocates for the vulnerable and the community in general, but have created significant employment at the same time. LCDI’s passionate, steady and steadfast approach to Community Development has reaped rewards not only for LCDI but for the whole Borough,” he said.
Check out LCDI’s full range of services at www.lcdi.co.uk