Over the past 18 months CRJI have been working alongside and engaging with community groups and individuals to build capacity and support transition. We could not have started at a worse time, ‘the middle of a pandemic’, but we knuckled down and got stuck into whatever community initiative was going. We helped deliver food parcels to make face shields and assisted communities litter picking. We went wherever was needed and kept ourselves busy and on the ground.
We engaged and met with many groups and individuals through whatever channels were available to increase awareness about the CIT Project. We conducted zoom meetings, google hangout meetings, sent out audio presentations and conducted a survey monkey to engage with and keep the community abreast of what the project was doing. Through all these engagements we were able to establish the formation of the North Lurgan and Drumgask Community Safety Engagement Forum.
With the establishment of the CSEF working relations and engagement with statutory bodies and the criminal justice system slowly began to improve. Feedback from participants of the forum indicates community now feel they have a ‘vehicle in which to steer their agenda to ensure their issues and concerns are top of the list at the Forum meetings’. The forum is community led and started with just 12-member groups that has since developed into a positive collaborative working partnership with over 20 partners made up from both Statutory bodies and community groups.
To date the forum has been instrumental in improving community development by either accessing or providing various training opportunities for its members and partners. These training opportunities have included level 1,2 & 3 in Restorative Practices, Child and Adult Protection Training, Committee Skills Training, Suicide Awareness Training, Mind Skills Training, Finance Training, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Training, Befriender Training, Community Champion Training, Community Resilience Model Training. Drug Awareness Training.
The forum has helped to develop better working relationships between the PSNI and community Groups particularly in relation to ASB and drugs as these were two of the top concerns identified by the community in their ‘Priority Plan’ in Nov 2020.
CRJI launched an Addiction & Drug Awareness Media and Billboard Campaign throughout the area in the new year and this was greatly supported by community groups, the Police, all Political Parties and the TEO. From this campaign CRJI received an influx of referrals/self-referrals from members of the community looking help and support with drugs.
CRJI provides a safe and confidential community service available to all. We are here to support our community.
If you feel we could help with any issue, please contact either Gabby or Fiona in Mount Zion or via email.