Belfast Telegraph

Neighbourhood groups are making a difference

by Chris McCann

The four working groups which make up the Crumlin / Ardoyne Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership held a showcase event last week to highlight their progress to date.

Social Development Minister Alex Attwood launched the event in the Ardoyne Community Centre on Thursday, October 27.

The working groups discussed progress across the areas of health; community life; education and employment and the economy.

Mr Attwood said: “It is encouraging to see at first hand the work of the Crumlin / Ardoyne Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership.”

He said that in the three year period up to March 2011, his Department was providing £3.6million to support a range of community-based groups and service providers in the area.

“This will help to support community development, youth support work, counselling services, local health initiatives, education classes, training provision and childcare. It will also help local women’s groups and the senior citizens’ forum to carry on their vital work.”

Mr Attwood continued: “As the Executive’s key strategy for tackling disadvantage, Neighbourhood Renewal relies on partnership.

“The involvement of local people is essential but it is also pleasing to note the good working relationships with the Housing Executive, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, OFMDFM and others that have helped to support the Crumlin / Ardoyne Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership.”

Manus Maguire, Chair of the Partnership said: “Crumlin / Ardoyne Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership works to improve the area by helping the community to come up with solutions to a range of local problems.

“Through the Neighbourhood Partnership front-line community services are being delivered for the benefit of local people.

“The successes demonstrated today are only the tip of the iceberg — as a community we are more than happy to work in partnership to improve the quality of life for people across this neighbourhood.”

The government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy “People and Places” aims to close the gap between the quality of life in deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of society through community renewal, economic renewal, physical renewal and social renewal.

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