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254. A recreational center for the whole community

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Coop Name: Co-operative Support Services ( CSS Ireland) N° of Employees: 48
City: Dublin N° of Members: 7
Country: Ireland Year of formation: 2006
Website: http://www.css.coop
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About this coop:

Co-operative Support Services (CSS) is a social enterprise development agency serving the diverse communities of island of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its work is focused on development and support for democratically managed models of enterprise to meet the needs of local communities. The key function of CSS is the promotion, development and support of co-operative/social enterprise sector as part of local sustainable economic development. CSS encourages and supports potential community entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice. The approach creates ownership of the proposal amongst all involved and commitment to the long-term sustainability of the enterprise.

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His and Hers Recreational Co-operative Society Galway is one of the seven member co-operatives of CSS, Ireland, who provides support services to co-operative businesses, particularly those set up by non-Irish nationals. It is a co-operatively owned centre situated at 44A, Ballybane Industrial Estates, Galway. The venture was established in 2009, but formerly launched on May 1, 2010 as a recreational centre for the people of Galway and its environs. His and Hers Recreational Centre has eight members, each with diverse competencies in event organization and management, music and dance. The Centre specializes in organizing dance classes for students, music lessons, renting the space out for functions and providing leisure and a relaxing environment to people within the community.

His and Hers Recreational Co-operative is owned and controlled by its members whose common goals are to support themselves and their community by following the principles and ideas of co-operative enterprise. Moreover, the Centre is the first of its kind to be owned by a co-operative society not only in Galway but in the whole of the Republic of Ireland. The initiative for starting the centre came from the chairperson of the organization, Mrs Bola Olajide, who, while on holiday in America, developed an interest in establishing the kind of recreational projects she saw during her visit.

Since the formal launch of the recreational centre a lot of progress has been made and the centre has been able to increase its income. The Centre has been operating dance classes and piano lessons for students after school hours on weekdays, renting out the space on Saturdays for functions, and allowing other groups to use the space occasionally. They still face some barriers, though, to becoming fully autonomous, such as limitations imposed by the leasing of the space, and limited resources for purchasing equipment.

Author of this story
Mrinal Gaurav
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