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Action Group News - March Edition

Welcome to the March edition of ROCNI's Action Group News! Flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer...Spring is on its way. The ROCNI team are busy with a new Project Can Do programme, community fairs and  events over the coming weeks.


We're looking forward to our first Project Can Do programme in Ballybeen starting on Tuesday morning. The four week programme will focus on the cost of living and helping residents access support in the local community. Scroll down for further details on how you can get involved. 


Check out more updates in this newsletter including the 'people of goodwill' series, our organisation highlight 'ROC Angels' and the completion of the Newtownabbey Project Can Do health and well programmes. 


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. 


 


We're excited to announce Ballybeen Improvement Group and ROC are working together on a cost of living focused Project Can Do.


The four-week programme in March will look at ways of supporting local residents during the continued cost of living crisis and most importantly signposting them to local organisations. We'll have input from local organisations and beyond to share helpful tips on keeping costs down, keeping healthy and warm, as well as looking after wellbeing. On 16th April, we're hosting a Community Fair to showcase the wide range of support services in the Ballybeen and Dundonald area.


 

Project CAN DO Newtownabbey Update


The Project Can Do Health and Wellbeing programmes in Mossley and Rathcoole completed this week with our community health and wellbeing fairs. A wide range of health and wellbeing charities and organisations as well as the PHA and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council offered advice, tips and freebies to our guests. 


The six week programmes welcomed over 25 people exploring the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing - Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Give to Others and Take Notice. Each session explored a different step through group discussion, games and guest speakers. 


Some highlights from our participants:


'Everyone was so friendly and helpful'       

'Enjoyed the Bean Bag game' 

'It was time to relax' 

'I learnt new games and met new people'           

'Lovely group, lovely people' 

'Chatting, hearing other people's ideas and how they connect' 

'Fellowship with others - finding out a bit about their lives' 


Thank you to Church of the Holy Spirit - Mossley Parish and Newtownabbey Methodist Mission in Rathcoole for hosting Project Can Do. We're grateful to grant funding from the PHA through the Clear Project enabling these programmes and Project Can Do in Larne to take place. Special thanks to all those who participated in Project Can Do, you made the sessions such fun and we enjoyed getting to know you all! 


Interested in a health & wellbeing Project Can Do programme? - Get in touch with Keeva at northernireland@roc.uk.com to find out more. 



 

On the last Friday of each month, we open the ROCNI Office for a few hours in the morning. This is an opportunity for those that we work with to come for a cup of coffee, a chat and a opportunity to meet others who are connected through ROC.


26th Jan 31st May 27th Sept

23rd Feb 28th June 25th Oct

22nd Mar 26th July 22nd Nov

26th April 30th Aug 20th Dec


We are located at The Vine Centre (193 Crumlin Road, Belfast, BT14 7AA)


 

We are excited to announce a brand new social campaign 'PEOPLE OF GOODWILL'


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 benmcgurk@roc.uk.com or 02890351020



 

Thank you to those who joined us on Tuesday 30th January at the McDonald Centre, North Belfast for our Health & Wellbeing Connect Event!


We are excited to tell you that we have a Family Support Connect Event, also happening in the McDonald Centre, on Tuesday 12th March from 6pm-8pm.


This is an opportunity for you to meet different youth and children's organisations, family support groups, agencies and others supporting families in North Belfast. This is a free event! With Information Stands, freebies and refreshments throughout.


 

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 - ROC Angels


In 1989 the Presbyterian Church in Belfast pioneered a group that were out on the streets of the Belfast "Golden Mile" on weekend nights between 11pm and 3am. In 1995 Nightlight became a regular feature on a weekend night in Belfast and many other towns across Northern Ireland until just before the pandemic.


In so many ways the work in Northern Ireland was a first for what has now become a standard in most town and city centres across the UK on weekend nights. 


Northern Ireland man Andy Burns, working in Dundee, was the next to 'do something at night to reach out to clubbers'. In 2000 he launched Dundee Street Chaplains working in the thriving night-time of Dundee on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday's until the wee early hours! 


Catching up in 2005 was England when the church in Halifax, led by Paul Blakey, started Street Angels. This initiative had an aim to offer a safe place and patrols around Halifax town centre which was, in those days, known as the Wild West of West Yorkshire. Street Pastors, a similar scheme, started around this time in London. 


Fast forward to 2024 and Street Angels are now part of ROC with around 100 local projects working on the streets, at festivals, inside nightclubs, offering chaplaincy to shops and businesses and supporting the homeless community. 


In Northern Ireland Street Chaplains are at work in Ballymoney, Lurgan and Newcastle. These teams are out and about on weekend nights offering support to those who are or could become vulnerable. Free hot drinks and opportunity to chat to volunteers about life, faith and issues are also key parts of the outreach Street Chaplains offer. The Newcastle team become chaplains to shops and businesses during the day. 


In the past alongside Nightlight, ROC Angels have supported Club Angels working in Cookstown and Festival Angels working around community festival events in Belfast. 


ROC Angels empowers local people of goodwill to work together for safer, stronger communities especially within the third spaces of society, such as: the night-time economy; music festivals and events; around pubs and clubs; within town and city centres; and local communities. If you think your community could benefit from a ROC Angels project get in touch with us! 


You can read the Street Angels story for free and buy a copy of Andy Burns book 'Feet on the Street' via streetangels.org.uk/book . For more information on ROC Angels visit streetangels.org.uk





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