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Action Group News - April Edition

Welcome to the April edition of ROCNI's Action Group News! We hope you had a blessed Easter enjoying the festivities, Easter eggs and the long bank holiday weekend. After a busy couple of months, the ROCNI staff team appreciated the rest. 

This month, we're looking forward to the ROC Ballybeen Community Fair on Tuesday 16th April as we conclude the Project Can Do programme. We're also preparing for our School Uniform Projects this summer. Check out more updates in this newsletter including the 'people of goodwill' series, our organisation highlight 'Volunteer Now - Be Collective' and the completion of the ROC North Belfast Community Connections Programme. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in ROC's work in Northern Ireland, we hope you enjoy our latest edition of ROCNI Action Group News. 


Project Can Do Ballybeen

Throughout March, ROC have been working with Ballybeen Improvement Group on our cost of living themed Project CAN DO programme. We'll be concluding Project Can Do with a community fair on Tuesday 16th April in Dundonald Methodist Church Hall. 

The Community Fair will have 15+ local groups, regional organisations and statutory agencies showcasing their work and support services. During the fair, there will be three info sessions on keeping costs down, keeping warm on a budget and staying healthy on a budget. The fair is free, with refreshments provided as well as a goody bag for our first 50 guests! We'll also have craft activities and toys for pre-schoolers to enjoy. If you're in the Ballybeen/Dundonald area, pop along to the Community Fair it would be great to see you.

We have limited space remaining in our exhibition zone, if you would like your organisation to showcase at the fair get in touch with Keeva at for further details and to book your place. 


This summer, ROCNI will once again host School Uniform Projects in partnership with churches and community organisations. In 2019, the first ROC School Uniform Project supported over 80 families in West Belfast. Last year, our five School Uniform Projects across the Greater Belfast area provided uniform items to over 650 children. 

The concept of the School Uniform Project is very simple but the impact it has is great. Pre-loved, good-quality uniform items for nursery, primary and post-primary schools are donated and then made freely available for families struggling to afford new uniforms. Each scheme has dedicated days for families to browse and pick out uniforms. Community venues such as church halls are turned into ‘uniform shops’ with volunteers sorting donations ensuring those receiving the uniforms will get good wear out of these items. Items include shirts, trousers, skirts, school branded sweatshirts, PE kits, blazers, school bags and shoes.

The initiative is also a good environmental project reducing the number of textiles going to landfill. Above all, the ROC School Uniform Project aims to provide practical support in a dignified and respectful way. Sadly, we expect demand for this practical support to rise this year. If your area doesn't currently have a school uniform project and you'd be interested in finding out more, click on the link to our resource page  below.


Coffee & Connect

The last Friday of each month is 'Coffee & Connect' at the ROCNI Office (Vine Centre, 193 Crumlin Road, Belfast, BT14 7AA). It's time set aside specifically for Action Group members, leaders, friends and supporters of ROC to join the team for a cuppa and chat as well as meet others connected to ROCNI. 

Our next Coffee & Connect is happening on the 26th April. You will be very welcome to join us!


Are you an organisation based in Northern Ireland? Do you have a project you would like us to share? Then why not get in touch to be featured in our series!

To feature in our PEOPLE OF GOODWILL series. Contact us at or 02890351020


On 20th March, the ROC team hosted a 'ROC Webinar' focusing on 'Getting ready for summer'. An encouraging time together for Action Group Leaders, partners, project leaders and friends of ROC sharing good news stories and reflecting on recruiting and retaining volunteers. During the session, we shared our 'Top 10 Easy Wins for Summer' and we thought they were too good not to share with you!


ROC Webinar - Getting ready for Autumn 

Tuesday 14th May - 7pm

More details coming soon!


ROC North Belfast

Community Connections Programme

Over the past six months, the ROC North Belfast Team have been working on a community connections programme funded by Belfast City Council's Community Micro Grant. The programme involved the compilation and publishing a community directory for the local area, community fair launch event and two connect events highlighting services supporting health and wellbeing and families. To date, 280 community directories have been given away. 

Thank you to those who joined us for the ROC North Belfast Family Support Connect Event on the 12th March, and been involved in the programme this year. Thank you to the McDonald Centre for hosting our events, to Belfast City Council for funding the programme and to all the exhibitors and attendees for joining us. 


Impact of the community directory

"The North Belfast Community Directory is a great source for local people. It‘s a fantastic, free list of services and community groups in a one-stop shop. Even better that the local community have access to both a printed and online version. Bryson Training and Employability engage with young people (16+) using a grassroots approach and this directory is an amazing tool to find out what groups and organisations are in the area. It is also great for the community to find our contact information if they are seeking training in a range of areas." - Aisling Anderson, Recruitment Engagement Navigator, Bryson Training and Employability

"Volunteer Now found compilation and use of this resource a hugely valuable experience. Contributing to its compilation was beneficial in establishing new relationships and added awareness of services available in the local area. This resource has helped us as a service provider for clients, and as a networking tool, enabling us to reach more people for both practical and background support." - David Moore, Volunteering Support Officer, Volunteer Now


We are very grateful for the supporters, trusts and funding bodies who have financially supported us since we launched in May 2012. Every generous gift has enabled us to grow and develop ROC's work in communities across Northern Ireland.

Like many other charities and community and voluntary groups, we have been impacted by the recent funding budget cuts. If you are able to financially support the work of ROC Northern Ireland either through a one-off donation or monthly gift, please click the link below for further details and to donate. Or if you would like to host a fundraising event on our behalf, please contact the ROC Team for further details.


Are you and your organisation interested in featuring in our monthly Action Group News?

Get in touch with us to find out how you can feature as our 'Organisation Highlight' each month!


Organisation Highlight - Volunteer Now & Be Collective

Volunteer Now is the lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering across Northern Ireland.  They build recognition for volunteering and celebrate the contribution volunteers make, providing access to opportunities and encourage people to volunteer, with a huge range of opportunities on their website. Volunteer Now also have volunteering opportunities with their befriendingdriving and shopping support services, as well as Events Volunteering.  They are a resource for volunteer involving organisations providing support on involving volunteers, governance and safeguarding.

Volunteer Now has partnered with Be Collective to bring a dedicated online platform for volunteering to Northern Ireland. The platform supports volunteers through the volunteering process and helps connect more people with a wider range of opportunities. There’s lots of great features to Be Collective like messaging, making a profile, and being able to compile all your experiences, training and roles as well as the skills gained within a social CV. You can search and apply for volunteer roles below. If you can’t find anything you like at the moment – register now, then check back soon – new opportunities are added all the time!

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