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The Lisburn Castlereagh Community Action Plan Launched This Week

The Lisburn Castlereagh Community Action Plan Launched This Week

June 13, 2018

The Lisburn & Castlereagh Strategic Community Planning Partnership (SCPP) has launched its first Action Plan, which outlines the activities planned for the first two years of the 15 year Community Plan, launched last year.

Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the SCPP, said: “Over the past year we have been working with our partners to develop the five community planning themes of Children and Young People, The Economy, Health & Well-being, Where We Live and Our Community into actions.  It has taken strong partnership working to get to where we are today and I would like thank all our community planning partners for all their efforts to date.”

Successful community based projects to date have included: the development of a Youth Council to give our young people a voice; participation in the regional Pensioner’s Parliament; a FireFit programme for young people not engaged in physical activity; the appointment of an Age-friendly Co-ordinator to develop an age-friendly strategy to ensure the Lisburn Castlereagh area is attractive to all; and the development of a partnership between the SCPP and community based organisations like Ballybeen Women’s Centre and the Resurgam Community Development Trust to help people within their own communities.

Dr Theresa Donaldson, Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, speaking about the community planning journey, said: “We are at the stage in the process where our partnership is moving beyond the words and striving to make a difference.  The outcomes approach of this action plan will achieve better social, economic and environmental wellbeing for our area. We will continue to work together to have positive outcomes for our residents.”

Representatives from the local community spoke at the Action Plan launch about their experiences of partnership working within the community, and how it has helped to change their lives for the better. 

Alderman Leathem added: “It was a pleasure to hear today from Jackie, Vicki and Rob about how through collaborative working a real difference can be made to people’s lives.  Jackie through training and support from The Resurgam Trust was able to find employment again at the age of 50+.  This local trust through partnership working with community based organisations and social enterprise organisations is able to offer support to those of all ages wishing to gain employment.

“Vicki spoke about how in her role as the Domestic Violence Officer she can quickly assist those who are suffering from domestic violence in the Lisburn Castlereagh area.  The fast response of Vicki and the PSNI is vital to protect those being abused and their children within the community, which unfortunately has an increasing number of individuals needing support.  Her role has developed over a four year period as a partnership between two agencies; and is now solely funded by the Lisburn & Castlereagh Policing & Community Safety Partnership.

“Finally Rob spoke about how fitness sessions run by NI Fire & Rescue Service, Sport NI and the Council successfully engaged young people who would normally avoid exercise.  The ‘FireFit’ sessions were fun and relaxed using specialised equipment and the pupils were engaged by the firefighters and the trainers.  Each of these ‘in the community’ stories demonstrate the high level of partnership working within the Council area and I commend all those who are part of this process,” concluded Alderman Leathem.

The SCPP intends to continue with existing projects and to develop new ones over the next two years. 

The Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin, talking about the Action Plan, said: “This Action Plan will help to meet the needs of the whole Lisburn Castlereagh community. Proposed projects will be focused on improving pathways into education for looked after children and the provision of support for those under six to get speech and language therapy so they can attain their full educational potential. 

“Physical activity programmes will be developed to tackle obesity, encourage exercise and support good mental health through increased service provision.  Within the Lisburn Castlereagh community we will be working to ensure our housing stock and infrastructure can support an aging population and develop communities to be hubs to support all residents including vulnerable groups and individuals with complex needs.  All the improvements identified through this Action Plan over the next two years will impact positively on people’s lives; and I look forward to seeing how our plan will make a real difference to our local communities across Lisburn and Castlereagh.”

The Community Plan is intended to run until 2032 and this Action Plan can be viewed online at https://www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/resident/community-planning/community-plan-action-plan-2018-2019  and hard copies are available at Lagan Valley Island and Bradford Court.