What is a co-op?

A Co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.  In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.

What is our mission?

East Clare Community Co-operative Society aims to provide an inviting space within the community to generate viable and sustainable activities which support the development of the individual and the community”

East Clare Community Co-operative Society Ltd has been in existence for 30 years and has been the starting point for a number of educational, community, social, cultural, developmental and entrepreneurial activities and has a strong track record of being able to deliver useful and lasting change in the community to all members of the community. It is a social enterprise co-operative with a number of interdependent activities from support provision to training and cultural events, to facilitating new enterprise creation. It partners with a diverse range of people and organisations to combine skills to create change and welcomes vistors to meander through the garden, browse in the bookshop and eat in the informal atmosphere of the Garden café.

East Clare Co-op provides a range of activities and services and each of these have their own vision and mission statements. Together they form a centralised hub of community activity in Scariff.   East Clare community co-op is a non-profit cooperative and each of these activities and services support each other in turn supporting the development and needs of the community. Whether this is through the provision of local employment, Support Services or to empower people through learning, networking and community engagement.

  • The Garden Cafe is a vegetarian cafe offering a welcoming space where people can relax and socialise while providing wholesome local food with a varied menu accommodating a range of dietary needs.

  • The second-hand clothes shop, provides quality goods while also acting as an information point for activities within the Co-op.

  • Events: to promote integration within the community through organisation of and participation in social and cultural events.

  • The Community Garden promotes inclusion through accessibility and activities aimed at a broad range of service users, including educational, social and event hosting. The garden also produces food/plants/seeds which are used for consumption in the garden cafe.

  • Family Support Services, this service provides accessible resources to families and individuals in order to meet their social, emotional, physical and mental health needs in an inclusive, confidential, welcoming environment. The service aims to access needs locally, access available funding and collaborate with other service providers including therapists.

  • Sustenance Training and Enterprise Kitchens will provide space to assist and encourage food entrepreneurship and education around healthy eating as well as hosting space for food-based events.

  • Training and Learning, developmental activities within the Co-op provide accessible resources to a diverse range of groups and individuals to improve their knowledge, skills and quality of life at all stages of their development. The service aims to assess needs locally, access available funding and collaborate with other service providers.

Office Staff & Site Administrators 

Gerard English 
Manager
Tara Keegan
Family Support, Training & Development Administrator
Mary Ellen Crowe
Financial Administrator

Ger English has been Manager at the East Clare Community Co-Operative since 2015. His
qualifications and background are in software development and marketing. Having originally worked
across a range of business sectors, he used this experience to setup and manage both a software
development company and a marketing company. He has wide experience in application design,
development and project management.

Tara has a BA in Fine Art Sculpture & Combined Media and an MA in Social Practice & the Creative Environment.  

Other undergraduate studies include Social Studies, Philosophy & Psychology. Tara has previously worked in Management, Event Organisation, Project Managment, Fundraising, Administration & Accounts. 

Tara joined the East Clare Community Co-op Office team in March 2019, having previously volunteered in the Secondhand shop in 2013 & 2014. 

Mary Ellen started working in the cafe in 2017.  She joined the office staff in 2019 as the Financial Administrator.  She has a Masters in Business and a broad range of experience in accounting and other fields. 

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