Press Release

Assembly Community Connect ‘Gets Involved’ in the City of Culture

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 06 June 2013

Reference: SO 10/12/13

The Northern Ireland Assembly will host a major event at Ebrington Barracks in Derry~Londonderry on Friday 7 June. The event is part of the Assembly's new Community Connect initiative which helps local community and voluntary sector groups to work more effectively with the Assembly and its Committees.

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly William Hay MLA said: "I am delighted that the Assembly is bringing its Community Connect initiative to the City of Culture. I have always been committed to working with local community and voluntary groups to help them get their concerns known to the Assembly. This initiative will provide tangible benefits for local organisations.

"In recent years, the Assembly has been committed to getting out and about and meeting with individuals, groups and organisations right across Northern Ireland. This event will provide a valuable opportunity for local MLAs to see first-hand the work that goes on in the local community and to do what we can to make working with the Assembly as easy as possible.

"As part of the Assembly Community Connect initiative, MLAs will be spending time with various organisations, gaining an in-depth knowledge of individual groups and building valuable relationships. It will also be an opportunity for MLAs to see the work that is being done on the ground and to find out what we can do to help. To start this off, I will also be visiting the offices of Action Mental Health, the Assembly's current Charity of the Year."

The event will include training workshops and presentations on the work of the Assembly and will also provide advice on how groups can make submissions to Assembly Committees and contribute to inquiries.

As part of the event, a panel of local MLAs will also be on hand to provide practical tips on working with the Assembly. A Question and Answer session will give representatives an opportunity to ask questions on the issues that affect local people.

Notes to Editors:

The Assembly Community Connect ‘Get Involved’ event will be held in the Ballroom at Ebrington Barracks on Friday 7 June 2013.

The event will comprise:

  • A training session on how the Assembly works.
  • A panel session where community and voluntary sector participants can put their questions directly to MLAs.
  • A workshop where community and voluntary sector participants will have an opportunity to simulate a committee presentation to a panel of MLAs. This section will also feature advice from an Assembly Clerk on presenting to an Assembly Committee and will end with a feedback session.
  • Roundtable discussions on planning better partnerships between the Assembly and the local Community and voluntary sector.

The MLAs on the panel will be:

  • Sammy Douglas MLA (Assembly Community Connect Chairperson)
  • Mark H Durkan MLA (Assembly Community Connect Board Member)
  • Maeve McLaughlin MLA (Assembly Community Connect Deputy Chairperson)
  • Cathal Ó hOisín MLA (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Community and Voluntary Sector)
  • Pat Ramsey MLA
  • Peter Weir MLA

More information about Assembly Community Connect can be found via the following link on the Assembly’s website

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