Community Planning conference highlights success of collaborative working

Community Planning conference highlights success of collaborative working

Tue, June 11, 2024

Causeway Coast and Glens Community Planning Partnership has hosted an event to showcase their recent achievements and share examples of how collaborative working between partners has benefited citizens in the Borough. 

The conference, held at the Bushtown Hotel, Coleraine at the end of May, included two practical case studies, delivered in collaboration with partners in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors.

Members of the Community Planning Partnership were delighted to hear from the Chief Executive of one of our statutory partners, Grainia Long from Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Drawing from her diverse experience across the public bodies and charities, Grainia spoke of the importance of acknowledging the journey of community planning to date and the challenges that each partner can face, but also highlighting that these are not insurmountable. 

She focussed on what can be achieved by taking a problem-solving approach, taking calculated risks, and having the appropriate experts in the room to work innovatively and creatively to overcome barriers. 

The then Mayor Councillor Steven Callaghan welcomed the progress to date saying: “Working with partners in the Borough is key to ensuring we support our communities effectively, thank you to Causeway Coast and Glens Community Planning Partnership for arranging this collaborative showcase event.”

Speaking on behalf of the Anti-Poverty Steering Group, Louise Scullion, Council’s Community Development Manager and Ricky Wright, CEO and founder of Vineyard Compassion provided examples of what had been achieved through collective action, including the ‘Where to Turn’ campaign and grants to assist those experiencing food or fuel insecurity or loneliness. 

Marc McGerty from Council’s Labour Market Partnership highlighted the extensive work that had been undertaken by the group. Between 2023 and 2024, the LMP has enabled 383 people to work towards achieving a qualification, with 131 gaining employment or promotion.

Community Planning Partnership Chair Councillor Dermott Nicholl and Vice Chair Vince Redmond PSNI added: “Working collaboratively with our statutory partners and action leads ensured that the day was a great success, with positive feedback from those in attendance noting that the day had left them enthused and reinvigorated about the future of community planning within the Causeway Coast and Glens area.”

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Council’s Where to Turn leaflet can be downloaded here:

Pictured at the Community Planning conference in the Bushtown Hotel, Coleraine are (L-R) Elizabeth Beattie, Head of Policy and Community Planning CCGBC; Marc McGerty, Labour Market Partnership manager CCGBC; Louise Scullion, Community Development Manager CCGBC; Gary Mullan, Community Planning Officer CCGBC; Grainia Long, Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Ricky Wight, CEO and founder of Vineyard Compassion and Bebhinn McKinley, Community Planning Officer CCGBC. Julie Welsh, Head of Service for Community and Culture CCGBC, Louise Clarke, NI Housing Executive; Elizabeth Beattie, Head of Policy and Community Planning CCGBC, and Pat Mulvenna, Director of Leisure and Development CCGBC at the Community Planning conference. Members of the Causeway Community Planning Strategic Partnership at the Community Planning conference, which took place at the Bushtown Hotel, Coleraine. Leah Glass, Northern Health and Social Care Trust; Avril Sharkey, Department for Communities; Simon Sloan, Department for Communities; Michael McCaffrey, PCSP officer; Liam Hinphey, Age Friendly Coordinator; Elizabeth Craig, Multi-Disciplinary Team; Bronagh Crory, Northern Health Trust, and Roger Downey, Sport & Wellbeing Development Unit Manager CCGBC.