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NOW helping to shape the future – McCann

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann today visited the NOW premises on the Springfield Road.

NOW is a social enterprise that works to help people gain qualifications and life experience and support them to move into employment. Junior Minister McCann was briefed on how NOW are working to address poverty and social exclusion in the Greater Belfast area.

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: “The Executive is determined to meet the needs of everyone in particular those who are suffering disadvantage or who have been left on the margins of society. By promoting equality, and by targeting poverty and social exclusion, we can help people and businesses to grow and develop. 

“The Executive’s Delivering Social Change Framework provides a new level of joined-up working across Government departments to take forward initiatives which have genuine impact on the ground and achieve real, long lasting social benefits for those who need it most. We want everyone to be equipped with the skills to contribute to growing our economy and for everyone to benefit from our mainstream education, health and employment programmes.

“NOW is a fantastic example of an organisation working in partnership with the community, businesses and wider society. They already make a tangible difference and through their efforts are laying the foundation for sustained social improvement and economic growth. Since 2001 NOW has been carrying out important work on a daily basis, tackling poverty and social exclusion and improving the lives of some of our most marginalised and vulnerable people. The work NOW are involved in supports the Executive’s Disability Strategy as it is delivers measurable changes to the lives of people with disabilities and their families.”

Junior Minister McCann met with staff and listened to a presentation given by some of their service users about how NOW has impacted on their lives. The Junior Minister concluded:“It was very useful to be given an update today on the range of services available to people. Whether it is training or employment opportunities, youth and volunteer programmes, support is available to meet their individual needs. I commend NOW for the positive difference they have and continue to make in the Greater Belfast area. They are helping people of all abilities, empowering people to grow in confidence which will ultimately lead to improved health, education and ultimately better life opportunities.”

For more information go to:  http://www.nowproject.co.uk

Notes to editors:

1. Delivering Social Change is the Executive’s comprehensive delivery framework set up to tackle poverty and social exclusion. It aims to deliver a sustained reduction in poverty and associated issues across all ages, improve children and young people’s health, well being and life opportunities and break the long-term cycle of multi-generational problems. For more information go to http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/index/delivering-social-change.htm 

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