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Foundation 4 Life Print

Foundation 4 Life (F4L) is an innovative tailored education, life skills, and job activation programme for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are neither in employment, education, nor training (NEETs).

Covid-19 Information and Updates Print

While our offices are closed at present, we are doing our best to ensure that our employees, clients and communities remain safe and well.

On this page we will post up-to-date information and links as we receive them to help deal with the current situation.

1 September 2021: Update on public health measures is available here. People who received a first dose of AstraZeneca can now receive an mRNA (Pfizer/Moderna) vaccine as their second dose. NIAC recommends that receiving two doses of the same vaccine are preferred for all age groups, where possible. You can read more about this here. Dose 2, walk-in vaccination clinics for people who wish to get an mRNA vaccine after their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are listed here.

12 to 15 year olds can attend walk in vaccination clinics. You can find more information here. Children aged 12 to 15 must attend with their parent or guardian.

Mayo Community Response Advisory Group, under the auspices of Mayo County Council, has developed a useful leaflet with contact details of services and supports that you might need at this time




Welcoming and Including New Communities (WIN) Print

Welcoming and Including New Communities (WIN) started in December 2019 and will run for till September 2022. This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and supported by the Department of Justice and Equality. It is co-funded locally by Mayo County Council, Tusla, Health Service Executive (West) and St. Stephen's Green Trust

Social Farming Print

Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of social support service.  In Social Farming the farm remains a working farm at its core but invites people to participate in the day to day activities of the farm.

Rural Development Programme (LEADER) Print

The Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014 - 2020 is oversubscribed and is now closed for new applications.

At the end of December 2020, Mayo Local Action Group (LAG) had approved 123 projects in the south and west Mayo area. These projects were awarded grants totalling €5.4million which, when added to match funding, will result in €8.9million invested in our local business and community sectors.

A full list of projects approved in south and west Mayo up to 31 December 2020 is available to download from our Downloads & Resources page.

Transitional LEADER Programme 2021

A Transitional LEADER Programme commenced on 1 April 2021, with the following aims and priorities:


a) Work closely with communities, and particularly those who have not previously benefited from LEADER funding, to build their capacity in preparation for the next programming period and ensure that weaker communities are not left behind.
b) Promote projects which support communities in a post-COVID-19 environment.
c) Support job creation, entrepreneurship, enterprise development and innovation in a post-COVID-19 and/or post-Brexit environment.
d) Explore and develop projects for funding in thematic areas which are likely to feature strongly in the next EU-funded programme. In this regard, projects which address the climate agenda, digital transformation and projects that utilise the Smart Village1 approach to local area development should be encouraged.


  1. Supports to rural businesses seeking to reach new markets, expand, innovate and/or diversify in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or Brexit, with a particular emphasis on providing support to businesses in the food sector.
  2. Community based projects that seek to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Supports and capacity building for communities that have not previously received assistance under LEADER or other rural programmes, using the Transitional Programme for the LAGs and Implementing Partners to engage directly with new applicants to develop projects and enhance collaboration within communities.
  4. Support for new and innovative projects in the areas of climate change, environmental protection and the green economy.
  5. Maximising the potential of broadband and the digital economy in communities, including through skills development and building awareness and usage of available remote working facilities.
  6. Projects that develop the concept of the Smart Village initiative or Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZs)2 which could serve as proof-of-concept for more substantial proposals in the context of the next EU-funded LEADER Programme.

Full details of the County Mayo programme will be announced shortly. In the meantime, if you have a project in mind, please download and complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) form and return it to info@southmayo.com. (Please remember to sign the Data Protection form included with the EOI.)

Once the County Mayo Transitional Programme details have been finalised, we will contact you to discuss your project in more detail.

Click to view full size map of area



Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 Print


The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 is funded by the Irish Government through the Department of Rural and Community Development and co-funded by the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020

South West Mayo Development Company is contracted by Mayo Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) to implement the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 in the Castlebar Municipal District, the Claremorris Municipal District and the Mayo Islands.

SICAP's aim is to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality in Ireland through supporting communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration.


SICAP has two Goals:

1. To support communities and target groups to engage with relevant stakeholders in identifying and addressing social exclusion and equality issues, developing the capacity of Local Community Groups, and creating more sustainable communities.

2. To support disadvantaged individuals to improve the quality of their lives through the provision of lifelong learning and labour market supports

Primary Target Groups to be Engaged

SICAP recognises that disadvantage is experienced more strongly by particular groups of people in society and in particular geographic communities. SICAP takes a dual approach to targeting disadvantage and social exclusion by targeting communities in need by taking an area-based approach, and individuals in need by taking an issue-based approach. The following are the target groups to be engaged through SICAP:

- Disadvantaged Children and Families - People living in Disadvantaged Communities
- Disadvantaged Young People (aged 15-24) - People with Disabilities
- Disadvantaged Women - Roma
- Lone Parents - Travellers
- Low Income Workers/Households - The Disengaged from the Labour Market (Economically Inactive)
- New Communities - The Unemployed

Work carried out under SICAP 2018

The Mayo Islands case study (Lot 29.1) provides input into how SICAP is supporting Inishturk in the development of its community organic garden.

The Castlebar & Claremorris Municipal Districts case study (Lot 29.3) is an overview of SWMDC's Foundation 4 Life programme and shows the intensive work we are carrying out through SICAP, and the Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, to support young people to find their way back to employment and education

Featured work carried out under SICAP 2019

The Mayo Islands case study (Lot 29:1) provides an overview of a road safety project called Making Positive Choices delivered with young people and the wider community on both Inishturk and Clare Island. This was a collaborative project with An Garda Síochána, Mayo County Council and the Islands Development Offices.

The Castlebar & Claremorris area case study (Lot 29:3) gives an insight into our Business Support programme and supports delivered under SICAP and with the support of the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection and Mayo Local Enterprise Office.

Featured work carried out under SICAP 2020

The Mayo Islands case study (Lot 29:1) gives an overview of how SICAP support on Clare Island was used to develop the Community Polytunnel.

The Castlebar & Claremorris case study (Lot 29:3) features SWMDC's work through SICAP in supporting community organisations to reopen safely following the initial easing of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID19.


Click to view full sized map

Rural Social Scheme Print

The aims of the RSS are to provide income support for farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of specified Social Welfare payments, and to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities. The RSS allows low-income farmers and fishermen who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding/fishing, to earn a supplementary income.

Rural Recreation & Walks Scheme Print

The Rural Recreation Programme enables the Company to employ a Rural Recreation Officer.  The responsibilities of this person include the following:

  • Promoting and encouraging the development, delivery and improvement of recreational projects, infrastructure and activities including land, water and air based activities
  • Development, improvement and promotion of other outdoor recreational activities, including mountain access
  • Management of the Walks Scheme
Community Employment Print

Funded by the Department of Social Protection, SWMDCo has sponsored two Community Employment (CE) schemes since 2010. The schemes are divided between the south and west of our area and we employ two Supervisors and an Assistant Supervisor to manage 50 participants. A total of 21 community organisations benefit from our CE schemes.

Tús Print

Tús aims to provide short-term, quality work opportunities for those who are unemployed and to provide certain services of benefit to communities.

Tús will be managed at a local level, on behalf of the Department of Social Protection, by the Local Development Companies and in the Gaeltacht by Údarás na Gaeltachta.

South West Mayo Development Company has an allocation of 140 places in its area of operation.

Western Region Drug & Alcohol Task Force Print
The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) was set up in 2003 as part of the Government's efforts to address drug issues in Ireland. The WRDATF are part of a national network of 24 Regional and Local Task Forces across the country that are funded by the Department of Health, through the Health Service Executive (HSE). Under the National Drugs Strategy, 2017-2025, Task Forces "play a key role incoordinating interagency action at local-level and supporting evidence-based approaches to problem substance use, including alcohol andillegal drugs". The WRDATF covers the "Western Region" which encompasses counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

South West Mayo Development Company hosts the Community Liaison Worker and Drug Education Support Worker roles.

Pat Conway is our Community Liaison Worker.
Pat supports communities in Co. Mayo to develop their own individual response to substance misuse, develops and supports targeted initiatives in relation to substance misuse and assists in drug and alcohol policy development. Examples of Pat's work are the the Planet Youth Project , the Foundation 4 Life programme and the delivery of SAOR Training.

Gillian Conway is our Drug Education Support Worker
Gillian supports the delivery of drug education in counties Mayo and Roscommon. She offers the design and delivery of specific needs based training, professional upskilling and capacity building, parent education, community seminars and information sessions and the facilitation of high-risk groups

For more information go to www.wrdatf.ie



Welcome to South West Mayo Development Co. Print


South West Mayo Development Company offices are currently closed to the public due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Staff are available by telephone and email.

We can be contacted on 098 41950 (Newport), 094 936 6692 (Balla), on any staff mobile number or email, or at info@southmayo.com

We are providing and relaying important information on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

We are supporting Mayo Co. Council in co-ordinating and assisting with local and community supports for vulnerable people.

The dedicated contact number for support in Mayo is 094 906 4660 and the lines are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm seven days a week.

The dedicated email address is: covidsupport@mayococo.ie


South West Mayo Development Company is the Local Integrated Development Company, supporting communities and individuals throughout south and west Mayo.

This development support is provided by the management and delivery of the following programmes and activities in the company’s area of operation:

Click to view full size map of area covered by South West Mayo Development Company


South West Mayo Development Company, Main Company Office, Georges Street, Newport, Co. Mayo, (F28 X329) Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 98 41950  F: +353 (0) 98 41952  E: info@southmayo.com

Rural Social Scheme Office, Main Street, Balla, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 94 9366692  F: +353 (0) 94 9366693 E: rss@southmayo.com

Registered in Dublin 182222. Recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as a Charity No. CHY 10482
Copyright © 2010 South West Mayo Development. All Rights Reserved.
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