About Us

Established in 1981 as the Community Workers’ Co-operative (CWC), Community Work Ireland is a national organisation that promotes and supports community work as a means of addressing poverty, social exclusion and inequality, promoting, protecting and advancing human rights and ultimately achieving social change that will contribute to the creation of a just, sustainable and equal society.


The CWI currently has two overarching goals under which there are five strategic priorities:

Goal 1 Supporting and Promoting Community Work

CWI’s goal is the achievement of recognition and validation by all stakeholders of autonomous community work as a value-based professional discipline and is appropriately resourced to achieve its objectives.

  • Strategic Priority 1 To embed community work in the design, development, implementation and monitoring of relevant programmes, policies, structures and practices
  • Strategic Priority 2 To resource community work and CWI members through the collaborative development of   information and analysis and representation of core issues on existing, new and emerging structures.
  • Strategic Priority 3 To provide networking and learning opportunities for community workers and other stakeholders

Goal 2 Organisational Sustainability and Development

CWI’s goal is a sustainable organisation, recognised, acknowledged and resourced as the national organisation promoting and supporting community work with an active and engaged membership base.

  • Strategic Priority 4 To consolidate and develop the CWI membership
  • Strategic Priority 5 To ensure the sustainability and further development of CWI

CWI Values

CWI values reflect the values of community development and it is these that underpin the work of the organisation. Community Work Ireland believes in and is committed to the values outlined below and as set out in the All Ireland Standards for Community Work:

  • Collectivity –Working in a collective way that emphasises the right of members to collectively influence the work of the organisation. A collective approach requires practitioners to focus on the potential benefits for communities rather than focusing only on benefits to individuals. CWI believes in and is committed to collaboration and partnership approaches to achieving common goals;
  • Community Empowerment – Community empowerment involves an approach which leads people and communities to be resilient, organised, included and influential;
  • Social Justice and Sustainable Development – Promoting a just society involves promoting policies and practices that challenge injustice, poverty, inequality, discrimination and social exclusion, and valuing diversity of identities and approaches. Promoting a sustainable society involves promoting environmentally, economically and socially sustainable policies and practices;
  • Human Rights – In seeking a society where human rights and equality are realised and discrimination is addressed, community development is reinforced by human rights mechanisms and frameworks, processes and standards for the protection and promotion of human rights for all;
  • Equality – Promoting equality and challenging inequality and oppression
  • Anti-discrimination – CWI is opposed to discrimination in all its forms and is committed to working to eliminate discrimination;
  • Participation – Participation is rooted in the self-identification of needs and interests, the formulation of responses by the community or group concerned and is central to their ability to continue to influence outcomes.

CWI is committed to putting these values into practice underpinned as they are by those of professional commitment, integrity, transparency in governance and team approaches to decision-making. The voice of CWI members is central to all CWI work.

CWI does this by:

  • Providing information and opportunities for capacity building.
  • Promoting standards for quality community work.
  • Engaging with the community sector on important issues & themes.
  • Producing relevant publications & materials
  • Representing the community sector on various forums
  • Engaging with the social partnership process, primarily through engagement with the Community Platform


CWI Staff Team

Rachel Doyle and Ann Irwin are the joint CWC National Co-ordinators

CWI Central Group

The CWI is governed by the Central Group. The CWI Central Group for 2017 is:

  • Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson
  • Áine Deeley
  • Mary O’Donoghue
  • Patricia Brennan
  • Joe Donohue
  • Obert Makaza
  • Valerie McFarlane
  • Jamie Gorman
  • Oonagh McArdle
  • Siobhán McLoughlin



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