Friday, November 24, 2006


During September 2006 an Inaugural Meeting was held to gauge the interest of residents within the Cootehall area of Crawfordsburn, and out of this meeting a community association was formed with a group of enthusiastic members. They now are fully constituted with an action plan covering issues such as Environmental, Social and Housing.
An Interagency meeting was developed to bring together all the agencies, organisations and representatives from the local community to discuss key issues identified by the local community at a public meeting.

Resource Centre Users


Fibromyalgia is a chronic life long condition characterised by muscle pain and chronic fatigue accompanied by a variety of other symptoms. In 1995, when little was known about the condition, a few sufferers frustrated by the lack of help available formed Fibromyalgia Support North Down (FSND).

The group aimed to offer support and advice to other sufferers in North Down and Ards . They also hoped to inform the wider public about Fibromyalgia. Eleven years on and group membership is around 70 run by a committee of 8 volunteers. Group activities include monthly meetings offering a mix of informative and social/recreational activities and informal get-togethers each month. Members can also participate in weekly hydrotherapy classes run by a qualified physiotherapist. There is also a lending library with relevant and up to date information on Fibromyalgia.

In the past eight months FSND has begun a close working relationship with North Down Community Network. Committee meetings are also held monthly in the Resource Centre and Greg Martin, Community Development and Health Worker, was recently co-opted on to FSND’s committee in a non-voting capacity. The support of NDCN has been invaluable and has allowed the current committee to take forward a number of new ideas.

The group is very active and in the past 6 months, in addition to their regular meetings, they have organised a coffee morning and sale, a bus trip, and a table quiz. They also devote a lot of time to raising funds and in the past year have been awarded grants from the VSB, the Ulster Bank, Four Acre Trust and the John Henderson Group.

On Thursday 16th November the group is re-launching itself under a new name- Fibromyalgia Support North Down and Ards (FSNDA). The new name us a more accurate reflection of the geographical spread of the membership who come from Holywood, Bangor, Comber, Ards and the coastal towns of Down and the Ards peninsula. To mark the launch of the FSNDA the group is holding an awareness event at North Down Resource Centre. This will start with a balloon release at around 3.30pm and guests are then invited to join the committee for some light refreshments. All are welcome.

For more information on the event or the Support Group phone
028 9146 1386 or email


Northern Ireland Tenants Action Project (NITAP) delivered a Community Cohesion Course in the Resource Centre during September/October 2006, aimed at members of the community/voluntary groups or individuals with an interest in community development.

The programme has been developed by NITAP and is accredited through the Northern Ireland Open College Network and has the following objectives:-

To understand the meaning of the terms ‘Equality’ and ‘Good Relations’.
Be aware of equality and the law. Understand terms and language used when promoting community cohesion.
Identify the roles which people play in developing/breaking good relations.
Highlight good practice policies and procedures to enhance community cohesion.

Mosaics Unveiled in Whitehill

Whitehill Community Association recently unveiled the Mosaics created in partnership with the Networks ‘Wise the BAP’ community arts programme. The three plaques depict the Bangor Abbey, the old ‘Whitehill Shops/Flats’ and a map of the Whitehill area. The wall was an area previously targeted for repeated graffiti. There was consultation with the residents living in the immediate vicinity of the wall explaining why this area was chosen and what the design was going to be. Since the installation there has been positive comments from both local residents and passers by.

Wise the BAP (Bangor Arts Project)
The community art project, Wise the BAP, has gone from strength to strength. it’s multi-media exhibition launched in the Network’s Resource Centre in June had an extremely favourable response when it was displayed in the Old Museum Arts Centre in September.
The exhibition showcases the creativity of a multi-cultural, multi-talented band of community artists living in and around Bangor. This exhibition was the outcome of year-long, community-based classes in mosaics, digital photography, creative writing and drama. The photographic element of the exhibition is on long-term display in the Resource Centre and a limited edition book of plays for theatre and radio with accompanying CD, Bog Standards, is available for purchase for a measly £5.00 from North Down Community Network.
Wise the BAP is a continuing process. Current activities include digital photography and creative writing. The New Year will bring classes in drawing and puppetry. They are open to all, and at no cost. If you want to get involved, ring us on 9146 1386

North Down District Housing Community Network representatives, at the 2006 NIHE/NITAP Community Conference.
This year’s theme was ‘HEALTH’.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Congratulations to representatives from the Community and Voluntary sector who received their OCN certificates on passing their ‘Community Capacity Building Course’ delivered by Laura O’Dowd from Northern Ireland Tenants Action Project (NITAP).
In total there were 17 participants who completed the course. (15 have since progressed to Level II) Pictured above with the Mayor Roberta Dunlop, Kieron O’Loane (NDAI) Laura O’Dowd and Pat Bowen (NITAP) are some of the community representatives from areas:- Bloomfield, Kilcooley, Clandeboye, Breezemount and two NDCN workers. Participants from the Simon Community, Men’s Action Project and Whitehill Community Association also completed the course and received their certificates.
Topics covered included :- Functions of Teams and Meetings, Fundraising, Managing Funds, Evaluation, Communication Skills, Engaging the Media, Negotiation Skills, Effective Lobbying, Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour.

Members of the North Down Community Network Management Committee on their recent tour of Stormont Buildings, organised by Ald. Lesley Cree MLA and Network member Irene Cree.

NIHE’s Housing Community Networks from North Down and Lisburn on a joint fact finding visit to four Glasgow Community Health Initiatives, on the 30th and 31st March.
The first stop was the Community Health Shop in Greater Easter House where the project operates a ‘One Stop Shop’ which is community led and community directed providing health orientated services free to those who live or work in the area. The next stop was the Cambuslang and Rutherglen Community Health Initiative in South Lanarkshire, working in partnership with local communities and statutory and voluntary organisations to support health-based activities.
The group also visited the Gorbals Healthy Living Initiative.
Last but not least was the Chinese Healthy Living Centre in Glasgow town centre, the Centre was established due to language and cultural differences which can often make it difficult for Chinese people to find out about and use health services, the organisation encourages the wider community to drop into the Centre to find out more about Chinese culture.
Each individual initiative warmly welcomed the 35 members of both Housing Community Networks, taking the time to explain their projects through a series of presentations and tours. The groups have come away with lots of new ideas and contacts and have invited their newfound Glasgow associates to come over to Lisburn and North Down for a return visit.
This project was organised by Pat Bowen of NITAP and funded through the Down Lisburn Trust, Wellnet, NIHE, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and Lisburn City Council with assistance from the North Down Community Network.

Friday, April 14, 2006

With funding through the North Down Local Strategy Partnership and Investing for Health, the Network was able to refurbish the Resource Centre to add extra office space and an extended meeting room to accommodate larger groups.

North Down Community Network is an independent organisation whose main priority is to develop and support the community/voluntary sector of North Down.
  • Capacity Building - support communities to define their needs and empower them to achieve positive change
  • Resource Services - provide a range of services that support different groups at different stages of development, throughout the area serviced by the Network
  • Advocacy - create a strong and independent voice for the North Down Community, representing and articulating the views of the community sector
  • Training - provide opportunities to access quality training, education and lifelong learning for those involved in community activity
  • Partnership - promote meaningful partnerships and collaborative working relationships between the community/voluntary, statutory and business sectors
  • Participation - encourage the development of new community groups in North Down and increase the levels of participation in the community sector