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Action Group News - July Edition

Welcome to the July edition of ROCNI's Action Group News!

Today sees the start of the school uniform summer holidays (though the weather seems to have forgotten the 'summer' bit). Summer 2024 is going to be busy with seven ROC School Uniform Projects across Greater Belfast. Our first pop-up uniform shop opens tomorrow (Tuesday 2nd July in Ballybeen. Scroll down for more details on the project and find out how you can get involved!

We've updated the resources from the ROC HQ team as well as details on CAP Northern Ireland's recently launched Client Report.

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest in ROC's work in Northern Ireland, we hope you have a great summer filled with sunshine, rest and fun. Enjoy our latest edition of ROCNI Action Group News.


School's out for summer! No doubt teachers and pupils alike are glad to see the start of the holidays. Whilst you may not want to see the uniform or school bag for the next two months, ROC's School Uniform Projects can make use of items no longer needed to help families across Greater Belfast. 

We now have SEVEN School Uniform Projects in Ballybeen - Dundonald, Glengormley, North, South and West Belfast - with a recently added new location Belvoir in South Belfast. Each project is hosting pop-up shops giving away new and good quality pre-loved uniforms for local nursery, primary and post-primary schools. 

To help us support families finding times tough, we need:

  • blazers

  • sweatshirts & jumpers particularly school branded ones 

  • trousers & skirts

  • shirts & polo-shirts

  • PE Kits

  • school shoes & trainers

  • school bags & pencil cases

Each project needs volunteers whether collecting and sorting donations, being on the welcome team or a personal shopper, every helping hand enables our projects help hundreds of families. If you could give an hour or two over the summer, get in touch with Keeva - for further details. 

Over the past six years, the ROC School Uniform Project has grown in number of projects as demand for this practical support has soared. In 2022, we added the Winter Coat Project and together these form our ROC Compassion Projects. Last year, we supported over 2000 people with uniforms and winter apparel. Apart from small grants from Black Santa and the Esme Mitchell Fund this year, we do not receive any funding to cover ROC's staff time to coordinate, manage and promote the Compassion Projects. If you're able, please consider supporting the School Uniform Project by giving a one-off financial donation or becoming a monthly supporter to ROCNI. A gift of any size will go a long way in practically supporting families in Northern Ireland. Gifts can be donated online here or get in touch with the ROC Team for other options. 

We are excited to announce that we have a brand new School Uniform Project location opening in Belvoir Community HUB, helping families in Outer South Belfast.

Pop-up Shop opening times:

29th July - 2nd August from 10am - 2pm

19th August - 23rd August from 10am -2pm

Donations can be made during opening hours (Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm


ROC Webinar Resources

Did you miss our recent ROC Webinar? Fear not, we have uploaded the masterclasses onto ROC's online shop which you can download to watch at a time to suit you. Choose from 'Building Blocks to Community Transformation' and the topical 'Using AI for fundraising' - with more Masterclass videos coming soon. 

We also have a range of helpful resources on our website to equip you and your team and churches with the skills they need for community transformation. Click here to find out more.


ROC Newsletter - Summer 2024

To find out more about ROC's work across the UK, click here for the recent Summer Update!


The last Friday of each month is 'Coffee & Connect' at the ROCNI Office (Vine Centre, 193 Crumlin Road, Belfast, BT14 7AA). It's a time to set aside specifically for Action Group members, leaders, project volunteers, 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 us happening on the 26th July. 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


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 community and voluntary sector groups, ROC has been impacted by funding budget cuts. 

There are a number of ways you, your church or group can help us... 

Would you consider giving a one-off donation or a monthly gift to support our work here? Further details on how to make a donation, click the link below. Or could you host a fundraising event on our behalf...a coffee morning? take on one of the events at this year's Belfast Marathon? a sponsored walk? a supermarket bag pack? If you would like to get involved or have a fundraising idea, 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 - Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

Christians Against Poverty has been working in Northern Ireland for 15 years this year.

While they have achieved a lot in this time, thanks to their partner churches, industry partners and referrers and amazing volunteers, there is still much to do. CAP recently launched the 'Under the rubble of debt and poverty: Client Report 2024' with some startling statistics. 

In the last 12 months, there has been an alarming rise in reliance on credit to survive. Three in five (60%) of clients here who responded to the survey had to borrow money to pay house bills, while a similar figure (58%), borrowed to cover food, clothing or other living costs.

Another problem is deficit budgets, where there is simply not enough money coming in to cover essentials. Across the UK, nearly (47%) of survey respondents in 2023 had a budget that was not sustainable in the long term. Both the numbers of such cases and the depth of the deficit are worrying.

Much more is needed to resolve these issues - not to mention the many other issues linked to struggling with debt and poverty - poor physical and mental health, loneliness and isolation, relationship breakdown. CAP continues their work seeking close partnerships with others - whether industry, voluntary organisations or faith-based bodies - as a way to make a real difference as they continue to strive to their vision of an end to poverty here in Northern Ireland. 

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