Clare Focus is a web-based networking and communications tool for the community sector in County Clare. The Clare Focus web-site and weekly e-newsletter provide a comprehensive, regularly up-dated information service covering all facets of community and social life in the County.
Before setting up Clare Focus, Madeline was involved in a number of community and enterprise projects. She was involved in the setting up of Clare Haven Services, a community based organisation which now provides a range of services for women who experience domestic abuse, and was co-founder of Clare Family Resource Centre, the first community based childcare initiative in Co. Clare.
The creation of a web-based community networking tool promotes a vibrant, interconnected community sector in Co. Clare and creates a greater awareness of the work of the community and voluntary sector.
Clare Focus allows locals and visitors to plan all their community, social, arts and business activities in advance. The unique ‘what’s on to-day’ and ‘what’s on this week’ features, self-posting of all events, added to the area of interest and geographical search functions provide a comprehensive, easy to use service that improves people’s access to information and their quality of life.
The information hosted on the Clare Focus website and highlighted in the weekly e-newsletter includes: details of community activities – conferences, seminars, meetings, training courses, workshops, funding opportunities, fundraisers, job vacancies, volunteer opportunities, celebrations, entertainment, exhibitions, music, clubs, societies, festivals, markets, fairs and leisure activities in Co. Clare.
In 2008, Clare Focus extended the community aspects of the web-site through an online community networking feature. The initiative was short-listed in the Clare FBD Business Awards for ‘Best Use of IT’ and ‘Best Innovation in Business’ and participated in the Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Programme. Madeline asserts that the testimonials from people who use the website and e-newsletter are the best recognition and reward that she could receive.