Another buzz in East Belfast!

Thursday 22 November saw yet another busy networking event take place in East Belfast as part of the SIF funded East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme.

The event, held at the East Belfast Network Centre, had as its main focus “The Belfast Agenda” which is the Community Plan for the whole of Belfast.

The event was attended by over 60 members of local community and voluntary sector organisations, including a number of students undertaking a Youth Action UU Certificate course as part of the programme.

John Tully, Director of City and Organisational Strategy at Belfast City Council, outlined what the Belfast Agenda is, what the findings of their consultations have been to date, and which priorities have emerged as a result. He also explained why the Belfast Agenda is so important and relevant for everyone living and working in East Belfast. He was joined by three members of his team who facilitated roundtable discussions with participants. Community Planning partners from Belfast MET were also in attendance.

John Tully speaking at the East Belfast Networking event

Jonny Currie of EBCDA outlined the work that they had been doing to date to ensure that people in East Belfast had a say in the Belfast Agenda. There were also inputs from Danni Blackstock, a Youth Action Participant, and Susan Ellison from East Belfast Counselling, about their involvement in the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme.

Participants shared their views and ideas at roundtables, identifying top priorities for East Belfast, and discussing the best way to stay involved and engaged with the Belfast Agenda. They were also invited to use an online polling tool called Mentimeter, which was used to capture and give an immediate visual representation of priorities in the room. All ideas generated will be written up and passed on to the Community Planning Partnership.

The event ended with a firm commitment from John Tully to stay engaged with East Belfast groups, including returning to the final networking event in March 2019.

East Belfast Programme Co-ordinator Helen McLaughlin commented: “This has been an important event for groups taking part in the East Belfast programme – participants had the opportunity to find out more about the Belfast Agenda, and to share their views with Community Planning Partnership stakeholders who will be aware of their views as the Community Planning process continues. We’re looking forward to taking the conversation forward in the Spring”.

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