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An Elevate Buzz in Ballymena

CDHN’s Elevate Team were delighted to meet our new Elevate mentee groups for 2022-23 at the All-Saints’ Parish Centre in Ballymena on Friday 23 Sept. This year, 22 groups were successful in applying to the PHA-funded Elevate programme from across Northern Ireland with a range of interests and participants.
They do all have one thing in common of course – each group is taking part in the Elevate programme in order to deepen their learning about using community development to tackle health inequalities. Elevate provides them with mentoring to support them in their community development practice, and provides up to £5000 of funding to deliver a project aimed at using community development to tackle health inequalities facing their community or target group.

Elevate Mentee Groups 2022-23
All Saints Men’s Group
Antrim and Newtownabbey Seniors’ Forum
Belfast Exposed
Brookville Enterprises
Compass Advocacy Network
Crossfire Trust
FND Matters (Functional Neurological Disorder)
Footprints Women’s Centre
Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative
Fresh Minds Education
Greater Shankill Job Assist
Inspiring Yarns
Kildress Wolfe Tones GAA
NI Rare Disease Partnership
Polish Sisterhood
Rural Support
The Be Kind Project
The Parent Rooms
Warrenpoint Women’s Group
West Belfast Job Assist
Peninsula Healthy Living Centre

Frank McGreevy, Coordinator of All Saints’ Men’s Group, one of this year’s newly successful Elevate groups said: “We applied to Elevate because we would really value the support of an experienced mentor in helping us to develop connections with the migrant community living in Ballymena and we’re delighted that our Mentor is from a local organisation. We were also attracted by the grant which will enable us to integrate people from ethnic groups that are new to our area into our local community through our exercise and mindfulness classes.

Edel Rogan from Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership (NIRDP) said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Elevate mentoring and grants programme again this year and are looking forward to working with our mentor Women’s Tec, connecting with other mentees and continuing to develop our understanding of using community development to address the health inequalities experienced by people in the community we support.”

Each group will benefit from the input of an experienced mentor organisation, bringing years of knowledge and experience about community development. This year, our mentor organisations are: ARC Healthy Living Centre; Clanrye Group; County Down Rural Community Network; Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership; Supporting Communities NI, and Women’s Tec, all of whom are looking forward to engaging with their mentee groups.

Aidan Ormsby, Operations Manager and mentor with ARC Healthy Living Centre said: “ARC Healthy Living Centre has been an Elevate mentoring organisation for a number of years. We really value the Elevate approach of working with community focussed groups and sharing any knowledge and experience that can benefit the community and the organisations within it.”

Stephanie Houston and Patricia Harte, from CDHN’s Elevate team, ensured that mentees and mentors spent time at the event getting to know each other. Patricia and Stephanie said: “We are very excited to launch this year’s programme. There has been a great buzz in the room and it’s been fantastic to see mentors meeting with their mentees, building connections and starting to plan.  We have a great mix of mentees and mentors and are looking forward to working with the groups over the coming months.” 

Janelle Clegg, Senior Health & Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer at Public Health Agency, congratulated the organisations who had been successful in securing a place on this year’s Elevate mentoring and grants programme: “We are delighted that organisations will have the opportunity to put collective learning on health inequalities into practice in a supportive environment and look forward to hearing more about the individual projects throughout the year”.

This event is the first of many opportunities mentee groups will have to meet, network and learn from each other throughout the Elevate Programme. We wish them all every success on their Elevate journey!