Want the Best? Come West!
Want the Best? Come West!
Beara Community School, Beara, Co. Cork.
The Social Issue:
Inspired by the influx of residents during the COVID19 pandemic, this project team wanted to raise awareness of the benefits of living and working in rural Ireland and to highlight the benefits of remote working and increased inward investment to aid rural regeneration.
The students designed and implemented an awareness campaign showcasing the Beara Peninsula as an example of a rural locality that could become an excellent choice for a new generation to live and work.
The campaign also called for more investment into rural areas to introduce infrastructure and supports such as faster broadband, digital hubs and business nurture programmes etc that would enable people to more easily live and work and businesses to thrive in areas such as the Beara Peninsula.
In the face of the growing housing crisis in urban areas across the country, the team also wanted to highlight how remote working could allow people to buy or rent in rural areas that were previously unattractive to members of the workforce.
The project aimed to advance UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
In creating and rolling out their campaign, the team engaged with a large number of stakeholders including Beara Tourism, Castletownbere Development Association , West Cork Development Partnership, Cork County Council, Cork Education and Training Board, Rural Resettlement Ireland, Rural Alliance TDs, the Department of Rural and Community Development, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
They kept local communities informed of all updates through social media, local radio, and the local newspaper.
They engaged local political representatives sharing details of their research, findings and recommendations, and asking them to support the campaign as well as a policy based on supporting remote living and working, rural regeneration and helping to address the housing crisis.
As part of this project, the team also organised a local exhibition on the history, geography and demography of Beara, as well as using photography, videos and collages to make people aware of the natural beauty of the region and the advantages of living in rural areas during and after the COVID19 pandemic.
Ultimately, we would like to think that we challenge people to look at their own lives and realise where offers them the best work-life balance and value for hard earned money
The team behind this project has developed awareness and knowledge of the lesser-known information on the Beara peninsula, created digital promotional material on the peninsula and created children’s storybooks.
They engaged widely with the local community to promote the area while lobbying for more inward investment into rural Ireland to create more opportunities for those who choose a rural way of life.
The team is calling on the government including local TDs, Senators and European MEPs, to pay particular attention to the importance and benefits of rural regeneration.
The team's efforts were rewarded with the 2021 YSI Make Our Community Better Award.