Community CARA – Borris Vocational School
Team Name

Community CARA – Borris Vocational School

Our Chosen Challenge

Challenge 3 – Hidden Poverty


Space or Place

School Name

Borris Vocational School, Knocknagundarragh, Borris, Co. Carlow


Jacqueline Sheil

Team Members
Clodagh Farrell Abhainn Coady Roisín Joyce Aideen O'Keeffe

Why as a team did you choose to focus on this challenge?

We chose hidden poverty as our challenge because we felt it was very topical with the rising heating and electricity costs and cost of living crisis.

What do you know now about the challenge that you didn't know before?

We now know that the people most at risk for hidden poverty are renters, lone parents and people with disabilities. We learned that almost 600,000 live on an income below the poverty line in Ireland. Dublin has the highest rental prices and childcare prices. 28% of the Irish population live in Dublin.

What have you learnt about your Hero?

Our Heros name is Angie. We have learned that our hero is a renting, disabled, lone parent. Some difficulties she may have are; the high cost of living, rent, childcare, medical costs etc. The average salary in Ireland is €45,000 (before tax). But since she has a young child (8 months) she may not earn as much as she works less. We worked out her budget: €45,000 without tax + (benefits) €1680 + €8736 = €55,416 -rent €24,336 -childcare €15,312 -heating €1,704 -electricity €2120 -groceries €3,600 = €8,344 disposable income at the end of the year or €695 a month.

If you could improve one thing for your Hero what would that be?

We could improve her situation by helping her increase her income through increasing her skill set or helping her be able to budget/money saving advice or giving her access to cheaper childcare/rents.

Do you have any ideas for a potential solution? No matter how raw, share them with your Mentors for feedback.

The idea comes from a combination of charities like SVP and organisations like men's/women's sheds. It would be a community space that would provide several services. It could provide classes that the participants could put on their c.v’s e.g., first aid, computer skills etc., or classes in practical skills such as budgeting skills, sewing, cooking etc. It would be community run so people would help/teach each other. It could also be a place where businesses could place job vacancy ads or a place for community social action and organisation like organising protests/petitions. The idea currently is very rough.

Ask your Mentor anything …. This is a chance to ask your Mentors a direct question relating to your Big Idea.

What do you think we could improve about our idea? How do you think we could refine it? How would start planning for a project like this?

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