Council Survey For the 50+ Age Group To Improve Services

Council’s “Your Age, Your Community, Your Opinion” Survey Now Open.

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Council’s “Your Age, Your Community, Your Opinion” Survey Now Open.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council has opened a survey ‘Your Age, Your Community, Your Opinion’ to help better understand life within its district for residents over 50 years of age.

Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Laura Devlin said: “The ‘Your Age, Your Community, Your Opinion’ survey is a great opportunity for residents of the district who are 50 years of age or over, to give their opinion on a range of matters such as housing and transport, and to ultimately further improve public services in their area that will help them retain independence.

“The district has an increasing ageing population, and while this is something that is celebrated it also will present challenges for how the Council support local communities to prepare for a shift in our ageing demographic.

“I invite all persons within this age bracket, or with people with concern for residents in this age bracket, to share your experiences and your opinions via this Survey to help identify where public services can be improved.”

The Survey is open now and is available online at: www.newrymounredown.org

via the Council’s Facebook Page,

or phone 07962 300361 for assisted completion. 

The survey link is also available at:https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YourAgeCommunitySurvey

Closing date for Survey entries is Thursday 26 November 2020.

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Newry, Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum supports Council’s ‘One District, One Message’ Covid-19 message

‘One District, One Message’ is the latest Council appeal to everyone to take personal responsibility for their health and safety, and to protect their families and others by adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.

This is the background to the relaunch of The Newry Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum, an interagency partnership committed to working together towards an inclusive community to create opportunities that embrace diversity. This project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented many challenges and anxieties for everyone in society and across all local communities as daily lives are barely recognisable. Evidence exists that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups have been impacted more by COVID-19 but the influencing factors are complex such as BAME communities are more likely to face housing challenges, which may exacerbate COVID-19 transmission, morbidity and mortality.

They also are more likely to work in key worker jobs with higher risk of exposure, and report being more likely to use public transport to reach their place of work.

There may additionally be a concern that some individuals experience poorer access to healthcare or may be less likely to seek care when needed and may unfortunately experience or fear racism.

Communication and understanding are also important considerations in relaying COVID-19 specific advice and information to all communities. Newry Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum is already contributing to ensure dissemination of vital information and support to BME communities across the district.

The aim of the forum is to adopt a strategic approach to identify real needs of BME communities living in the district. The Intercultural Forum will seek to maximise resources and opportunities to promote equity, diversity and interdependence.

Beyond the pandemic the Intercultural Forum will work to develop a stronger, better, fairer society that will encourage people to live, learn, work and play together.

The latest chapter of Newry, Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum has launched this month with a virtual meeting via Zoom to abide by the Government Covid Restrictions. The Forum’s mission is to service the development and continuation of an interagency partnership under the Peace IV objective of Building Positive Relations.

Forsythe Consulting was recently appointed after winning the tender under Peace IV Building Positive Relations to facilitate Newry Mourne and Down Intercultural Forum Development.

The Programme will provide opportunities for sustained, meaningful and purposeful contact between individuals and groups of different backgrounds, on a cross border basis. The overall aim of the programme is the facilitation of meaningful engagement between BME and indigenous communities and building the capacity of BME communities.

The Forum carries a vital civic leadership role in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area with the potential strength of collective voice and commitment to an inclusive society where citizens from a BME (BAME) background feel fairly treated, safe and recognized with all that they are and bring, being valued as a person and valuing others.

Partnership working and sharing vital information is already to the fore of the Forum’s purpose with both Health Trusts, Ethnic Minority Centre, PSNI, Advice NMD, Wah Help Chinese Community Association, SERC, SRC, Newry Chamber of Commerce, County Down Rural Community Network, Housing Executive and others having engaged across a strong diverse core group.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said: “The Council is very pleased to see all of the partners and agencies in the forum working closely together, and we are keen that the Forum is further developed and expanded over coming years with more groups getting involved.

“As the work continues into the second phase of the Forum we look forward to seeing more community and statutory agencies as well as local businesses work alongside the general public to make the Newry, Mourne and Down area a welcoming and safer place to live.”

If you or your organisation would like to participate on the forum or you would like more information on the Forum, please contact us by email: nmdiforum@gmail.com  

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.