Social Development Committee Visit Coleraine and Cloughmills

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 10 March 2016

Reference: SD 03/15/16

The Committee for Social Development visited Coleraine today where it held an external meeting at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s (NIHE) Causeway offices.

Today’s visit was an opportunity for Committee members to hear more about the local NIHE office’s ‘Build Yes’ programme which has seen a redesign of customer facing services and streamlined staff systems. Following the meeting, the Committee also met with NIHE employees working on two pilot schemes.  

Committee Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA said: “It is very encouraging particularly in a time of decreasing resources, that the NIHE is developing innovative approaches aimed towards providing a better customer experience. We were very pleased to meet with the staff involved in the pilots and commend them on the beneficial service they are providing. We hope that the new systems and learning can be rolled out across the entire organisation.”

The Committee also travelled to Cloughmills to visit theIncredible Edible social economy project. The community food initiative runs a number of projects, including one that allows teenage volunteers to be part of the Incredible Edible Mushroom Company, contributing at every point from production to sale. Six young people are recruited annually on a one-day-a-week basis to oversee the business as well as undertake budget projections and selling at markets.

Cloughmills Community Association Chairperson Patrick Frew welcomed the Committee and said: “We were delighted to welcome the Social Development Committee to Incredible Edible Cloughmills today and to give them a flavour of the important work that we do here. This is a social enterprise aimed at those young people aged 16 plus who are not working. This project is about helping to educate these young people about what they can achieve in life. We want to empower them with new skills.”

Mr Maskey concluded: “Committee members thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Incredible Edible Cloughmills and were very impressed by the young people who work here. It is clear to see why this is an award winning project.  It has been great to see funding put to such innovative and practical use, providing our young people with skills they can use in the workplace while boosting their self-confidence.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Further information about the Incredible Edible Project can be found here http://www.cloughmills.org.uk/incredible-edible-cloughmills

Committee Membership:

Mr Alex Maskey (Chairperson)

Mr Fra McCann (Deputy Chairperson)

Mr Jim Allister

Mr Roy Beggs

Ms Paula Bradley

Mr Gregory Campbell

Mr Stewart Dickson

Mr Sammy Douglas

Mr Phil Flanagan

Mrs Dolores Kelly

Mr Adrian McQuillan

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