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Conference brings community groups together

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Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s first ever Community Centres Conference has been hailed as a resounding success.

Around 110 participants from community organisations across the Borough took part in the event at the Magherabuoy Hotel last week. It provided a valuable opportunity for groups to meet and share experiences, and to hear from a variety of informative and inspirational speakers.

The theme of the event was ‘The importance of community centres and the organisations who run them, in creating resilient, healthy and engaged communities.’ The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, said: “Community facilities provide vital social, leisure, and learning activities across the Borough. I hope the Conference will inspire our community leaders and give them the confidence and tools to reach their full potential.

I would like to thank all those who attended, and our guest speakers who shared their experiences with us.” Speakers included Deborah Clarke from Action with Communities in Rural England, Caroline Lynch from Learmount Community Development Association, Ana Porroche–Escudero, University of Lancaster, Eilish Rooney, Ulster University, Transitional Justice Institute and Joanne McDowell, NI Director with Big Lottery Fund. Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Jonathan McCarron, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Peace IV Co-ordinator, about opportunities for community centres through the forthcoming Peace IV Shared Space Programme.

Favourable feedback showed that those attending found the conference to be thought-provoking and enlightening, and there is a real appetite for the event to become an annual occurrence.

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