Sunday 24 September 2017 09:35:00 AM

NMD Strategic Stakeholder Forum Launched
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A new community-led plan will provide an exciting new vision for the future of residents in the Newry Mourne and Down area.

It represents a new way for community planning partners to work together to improve the quality of life for local people.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew met with members of the Newry Mourne and Down Strategic Stakeholder Forum at PIPS in  Newry on 7 September 2017.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew is pictured with members of the Newry, Mourne and Down Strategic Stakeholder Forum at P.I.P.S. Newry as part of the launch celebrations of the Newry, Mourne and Down Community Plan, ‘Living Well Together’.

The NMD Strategic Forum: pictured (l-r) are Deborah Boden, Down Community Transport; Seamus McCabe, PIPs Newry and Mourne; Eileen Murphy, Womens Aid, Armagh and Down;  Stephen McClelland, N & M Enterprise Agency; Nicholas McCrickard, County Down Rural Community Network; Rosemarie McDonnell,Citizens Advice, Newry; Raymond Jackson, Confederation of Community Groups; Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew; Sharon Kennon, Community Development and Health Network; Jane Gribbin, Volunteer Now; Martin Carey, Mourne Heritage Trust; Brian Groves, Newry and Mourne Community Transport; and Janice Symington – Down Business Centre.

The launch celebrations of the Newry Mourne and Down Community Plan – ‘Living Well Together’ – was attended by a number of the organisations that have been meeting regularly as the ‘Strategic Stakeholder Forum’ (SSF) for the Community and Voluntary Sector working with Newry, Mourne and Down Community Planning Partnership to produce the Community Plan – ‘Living Well Together’.

Newly Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Mulgrew said: “PIPS is one of a number of local community umbrella groups and larger charities representing the wider community’s interests that have come together to influence how local services and government resources are being allocated across Newry, Mourne and Down.

“I wish to acknowledge, especially on World Suicide Prevention Day, the important work being undertaken by PIPS to raise awareness of mental health preventative and treatment programmes across other community and voluntary organisations and the wider community.”

The SSF has now elected its first joint Chairpersons who are Nicholas McCrickard, County Down Rural Community Network and Rosemarie McDonnell, Citizens Advice Newry, Mourne and Down.  They will also participate in the main Community Planning Partnership Board for Newry Mourne and Down on behalf of the Strategic Stakeholder Forum.

SSF Joint Chairperson Rosemarie McDonnell said: “Both Nicholas and I are delighted to be part of the Strategic Stakeholder Forum and to be joint Chairpersons. Community Planning is about empowerment, making better informed decisions and sustainability.

“It is the vehicle through which we in the Community and Voluntary sector can provide input to and participate in improving local service delivery and infrastructure. We look forward to engaging with all agencies involved. The SSF ensures that there is community involvement at all levels of the Community Planning process, including participation from the seven local District Electoral Area Forums, the Thematic Groups and the Community Planning Partnership Board.”

Joint Chairperson Nicholas McCrickard added: “A ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ for the Strategic Stakeholder Forum has been developed, which outlines a vision to coordinate and communicate the priorities of the Voluntary and Community sector and to act as a vehicle with which to engage with Newry Mourne and Down Community Planning Partnership on an on-going basis. Members of the Strategic Stakeholder Forum are committed to using the Memorandum to get the voice of the Community and Voluntary sector heard in Community Planning.”

The SSF has also agreed twelve representatives who will sit on the respective Community Planning thematic groups of Environment and Spatial Development, Health and Wellbeing, Economic Development, Regeneration and Tourism and Safety and Good Relations. All Forum members are committed to making Community Planning work for the people of Newry Mourne and Down and the SSF will continue to develop and grow.

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Recent events run by PIPS in Newry have included an annual 10k run, a 5k walk and an annual balloon release, which took place on 3 September 2017. PIPS will be running an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course on the 12 and 13 September 2017.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or despair contact lifeline on:

 0808 808 8000.