Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance (CESCA) is an alliance of eighteen diverse community and voluntary organisations working in Cork city. We work in partnership with and are supported by the HSE Social Inclusion Services in Cork and also work closely with the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Service.

CESCA was established in 2014 to promote and progress the equality and social inclusion agendas in the city and to ensure that there was space and recognition of civil society and community development organisations within a wider equality and social justice remit. From the time of our inception we have worked across the nine equality grounds provided for under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and an additional ground of socio-economic status.


Social Inclusion and Equality
To support and resource marginalised communities to amplify social exclusion and equality issues and to engage with local and national stakeholders aiming to achieve positive change.

We achieve this through working in partnership with the communities we support, our advocacy work and through strategic networking availing of the interagency and collaborative mechanisms operational within the city. CESCA is a named partner with actionable goals in the Cork City LECP 2016-2021 highlighting the recognition we have and the responsibility we hold in progressing the equality agenda.

CESCA was established in 2014 to progress and promote the equality and social inclusion agendas in the city.



Educational Disadvantage and Lifelong Learning
To support marginalised communities experiencing educational disadvantage so they can participate fully, engage with and progress through lifelong learning opportunities.

Members of CESCA recognise the existence of educational disadvantage within Cork City and have a proven track record and a commitment to developing and delivering educational opportunities for the most marginalised communities to engage with and progress. There is a common understanding among the members of CESCA of lifelong learning being provided from the ‘cradle to the grave.’ The early years Sector, the youth sector, the adult education sector and work with older communities are all well represented within CESCA. The members of CESCA also have a strong commitment to the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival and have been strongly dedicated to the organisation and facilitation of community based activities over the lifetime of the festival.


Employment and Social Enterprise
To engage with marginalised communities who are unemployed but who do not fall within mainstream employment services aiming to move individuals closer to the labour market and create social enterprise opportunities.

All members of CESCA have a long track record in providing both direct employment opportunities and in successfully hosting supported employment positions including CE schemes, TUS, Jobs Bridge Schemes for marginalised members of society. A number of partners have evolved best practice models supporting those furthest from the labour market to progress to supported employment and relevant, sustainable employment. Other member organisations also have expertise in social enterprise and have developed successful social enterprises including a community café and a community boatyard.


Interagency Working in the Community and Voluntary Sector
Raise awareness of the critical role of the community and voluntary sector in supporting marginalised communities, the importance of interagency working and the increasing challenges we face.

Through our strength as an alliance and our collective expertise, CESCA has successfully influenced the equality agenda in Cork city. In a changing city, CESCA’s unique representation of diverse voices across multiple fora contributes to improving social cohesion and bringing a holistic and inclusive approach to achieving equality within the City. Our collective contribution to the Cork City Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) has also been a vital way to advocate for those citizens without a direct voice in that process. We therefore serve as a model of best practice of good inter-organisational collaborations are and what they can achieve.


To further our goals CESCA holds an annual Equality Day in December to coincide with World Human Rights Day and we make effective use of the interagency and collaborative mechanisms operational within the city. We have meaningful representation on local decision-making forums, have specific actions in the Cork City Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) and undertake collective campaigning on equality issues locally and nationally.

Furthermore each CESCA member works in partnership with the communities they support through equality-based community development approaches that aim to ensure that the voices and experiences of their communities are amplified.