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Action Group News - May Edition

Welcome to the May edition of ROCNI's Action Group News - a packed bumper edition with a round up of all this month's news! 


May is a special month for ROC Northern Ireland as we mark 12 years since our launch in 2012. As we look back over the years, we have much to celebrate. We are thankful for the many volunteers, supporters, partner organisations and funders who have invested in ROC Northern Ireland. Check out more updates in this newsletter including details on Volunteers Week and the upcoming ROC Webinar, our organisation highlight 'Care for the Family' and the completion of the ROC Ballybeen Project Can Do 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. 


 


ROC launched in Northern Ireland with a special event on 9th May 2012 at the Waterfront Hall. Since then, we have worked with statutory agencies, churches, faith-based and community organisations setting up new initiatives across Northern Ireland. We have facilitated over 25 ROC Conversation community engagement events supporting ROC Action Groups as they move the talk into action. There have been 'quick wins' and longer term programmes from ROC Cafes for children and young people to ROC Care befriending schemes for those in later life. We also mentored families finding it tough through the Covid-19 pandemic. We have pioneered new capacity building programmes and compassion projects to provide practical support in our communities - all with a small staff team with limited financial resources.


We could not do this without the support of many people, like you, partnering with us. Thank you for being part of the ROC Northern Ireland journey. To help us build strong foundations for the next 12 years of ROCNI, would you consider supporting us financially with a gift of £12 a month? Or a one-off donation? Your gift will enable us to empower many more people of goodwill to work together for safer, stronger communities.  Donations can be made via our online donation page or call the ROCNI team about other options.   


 

Volunteers Week | 3rd - 9th June


Volunteers Week is a special time celebrating the invaluable contribution of volunteers in our communities. This year marks 40 years of Volunteers Week in the UK. ROCNI Development Manager, Keeva, recently attended the launch of Volunteers Week organised by Volunteer Now. 


Volunteers Week is an opportunity to thank volunteers and recognise the value of their time, passion and skills as well as inspire others to give volunteering a go.


For Volunteers Week, ROC Northern Ireland will be showcasing our incredible volunteers on our socials from 3rd to 9th June. Volunteer Now staff will be joining us for Coffee & Connect on 31st May as we mark the start of Volunteers Week - we hope you can join us too. 


All churches, charities, community and volunteer involving groups are invited to mark this special week. To find out how to get involved and for free resources, check out www.volunteersweek.org 



 

Project Can Do Ballybeen


Over the past two months, ROC has worked alongside Ballybeen Improvement Group (BIG) on a 'Cost of Living' themed Project Can Do programme. The weekly sessions concluded with a Community Fair on 16th April in Dundonald Methodist Church Hall showcasing the wide variety of support services in the local area and beyond. Over 18 exhibitors filled the church hall with freebies given away and information shared. The one-minute snapshot at the end of the event challenged exhibitors to share all about their organisation and services in this limited time frame! 


Thank you Dundonald Methodist Church for hosting the Community Fair, for all our exhibitors, to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council for funding the event and to Sarah-Jane at BIG who worked tirelessly to make this happen! 




















 


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. 


 

Join us at our national ROC Webinar on Tuesday 14th May bringing together ROC Action Group Leaders, Street Angels coordinators, partners and friends of ROC from across the UK. We'll be 'preparing for autumn' focusing on the Building Blocks for Community Transformation as well as good news stories and updates on ROC's work across the UK. We hope you can join us for our first evening ROC Webinar kicking off at 7pm on zoom.


To confirm your place, please RSVP here or email keevawatson@roc.uk.com or mattheweason@roc.uk.com and the zoom link will be sent to you. 


 

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 benmcgurk@roc.uk.com 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


Big Parenting Questions: Care for the Family Event

Lagan Valley Vineyard, Lisburn. 2nd May 2024, 7:30pm


Big Parenting Questions is a brand-new event for mums, dads and carers, designed to offer hope and help through this transitional time in a child's life and navigate the leap from childhood to adolescence.


Raising children isn’t for the faint-hearted. Just when parents think they’ve got a handle on parenting, their child moves to the next stage of life and many of the tactics they’ve acquired become less effective, or even obsolete. As children get older, decision-making becomes trickier and there are no clearcut answers to many of their requests. ‘Can I have a phone?’ ‘Can I stay home on my own?’ ‘Can I have Snapchat?’ It can feel like unknown territory, scrambling to find answers and parents feeling overwhelmed with questions of their own. How do you know what’s best for your child? How can you give them the freedom to grow without letting them wander into chaos?


Parents will come away with:

- A framework to help them answer tricky questions

- Strategies to keep their child safe, both in the real world and online

- Ways to help their child establish their identity and develop independence, and lots more!


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