Ards and North Down Communities Networking and Planning for Change conference was held on Friday 1st May 2015 in the Somme Centre.  This was the sixth in a series of events organised to update the community and voluntary sector on Community Planning.

This series of planned Network Conferences is organised by Ards Development Bureau & Community Network, County Down Rural Community Network and North Down Community Network, in partnership with Community Places.  Each Network is a support organisation: their main priority is to develop, co-ordinate and encourage an inclusive, active, informed and confident community, empowering them to achieve positive change.

Somme Centre Network Meeting 2015

This event, attended by over 100 plus participants started with a brief outline of the background to the conferences which started back in 2009 under the first Review of Public Administration and Local Government Reform.   Networks Managers, Louise Little, Nicholas McCrickard and Cathy Polley gave an overview of the community engagement process to date and introduced three groups from across the Borough. These three presentations were delivered by Aaron McMahon – The Dice Youth Project, Sandra Henderson and Caroline Grierson – First Responders and David McAlonan on behalf of Scrabo Residents Association and Down Capacity Building Initiative.  The newly appointed Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Director for Community and Wellbeing – Graeme Banister delivered a presentation on the Council’s Community Engagement and Community Planning process.

Groups provided feedback on how they could best work with the new Council. Also, each of the groups were asked how they keep their local community informed and how they could get involved in the process of Community Planning.

Somme Centre Network Meeting 2015

For further information on the Conference or to find out more about any of the Networks, please contact: Ards Development Bureau & Community Network (Cathy Polley), Tel: 9181 4625; County Down Rural Community Network (Frances McCormick), Tel: 9182 8884; and North Down Community Network (Louise Little), Tel: 9146 1386.

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