BALLYKELLY Men’s Shed have officially launched a 5 year Development Plan that is focused on the improvement and well-being of residents within the local village.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Sean Bateson attended the highly anticipated launch of the development plan and dedicated community hub alongside local councillors which took place in the Drummond Hotel on Thursday February 13.
The event also was an opportunity to honour one of the Men’s Sheds longest serving volunteers and founder Brian Mc Cluskey who set up the organisation formally 5 years ago and who has been involved with many charities over the years.
The community hub asset, which is located in the old Shackleton Residential area, previously a closed site, represents an ideal place where like-minded charities, organisations and voluntary groups can work together and co-create an enterprising community development that supports all members of the wider rural community areas.
The new development plan aims to support the enhancement of the following activities and services delivered by a partnership approach led by Ballykelly Men’s Shed and Community Association;
- A dedicated mental health and well-being programme for men, women and carers.
-A dedicated woman’s group: Ballykelly Hens Shed.
-A support programme for young men and women with disabilities, including sensory, physical and intellectual disabilities
- Woodworking and horticultural hobbies including the development of community allotment space
- A two day Luncheon Club with social and recreational activities
- Affordable premises for a variety of local enterprises, community organisations and voluntary groups
- Increased access to community health based services to improve the health and well-being of all within the rural village of Ballykelly, and outlying rural areas
-Increased environmental activities and preservation of the natural beauty of the area;
-Employment and training opportunities for the community;
-A dedicated community relations hub
-A community garden
According to the development plan which focuses on ‘empowering Local People’, it outlines that, like other rural areas experiencing poverty and deprivation, the Ballykelly area currently have little or no social, recreational or educational opportunities available in their locality.
The plan states ;
‘This Rural Community Hub will address some of this imbalance but there is still a lot of unmet needs in the community.
‘The lack of sporting , youth and outdoor recreational provision is a major issue within the community as evidenced by our questionairres and consultations.
‘It is hoped that these pressing issues will be addressed in the near future and will be led by a strong supported community voice.
‘We will use the principles of community development and build a strong community in the village of Ballykelly through partnership, social inclusion and diversity.’
The Ballykelly Community Rural Hub will be open to all, being a focal point in a rural community facing isolation, financial hardship and lack of community/social activities.
Anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved should contact Ballykelly Men's Shed and Community Assocation on 028 7776 7232.