ROC Northern Ireland
Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) launched in Northern Ireland in May 2012. Since then, ROC have been empowering people of goodwill to work together for safer, kinder communities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland.
ROC Café Rathfern: a Friday night youth drop-in for 12-16 year olds in Rathfern Social Activity Centre in Newtownabbey. There is plenty of activity at the ROC Café with sports activities, arts and crafts, music lessons, a tuck shop and trips out. Check out the ROC Café Rathfern Facebook page for updates.
ROC Care Rathcoole: a befriending scheme providing a befriender volunteer to visit or phone an isolated older person living in the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey. Social isolation is a rising isolation in our communities affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Older people are most profoundly affected with ‘1 in 3 older people saying TV is their main form of company’ (AGE UK). Loneliness is found to be as bad for health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The conversation and company of a befriender improves health and wellbeing for our clients.
The project is run in partnership with Newtownabbey Methodist Mission and is part funded by Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
What has happened as a result of the ROC Conversations?
There are a number of outcomes from the ROC Conversations in Northern Ireland Many of these are not “measurable”, but we have heard enough examples of them to know that this has gone on all over the place:
INSPIRATION – people came away from the Conversations inspired to do something simple. One person said to me “I have always meant to have my neighbours round for a coffee, I really must do that”.
INFORMATION – people came away more aware of what was going on in their communities and the issues, including the impact of isolation and loneliness, the challenges that young people face these days and of course the wonderful work that so many people already do to help others.
CONNECTION – individuals and organisations are connecting in new ways as a result, from “I never knew your organisation existed, we should work together” to “I have exactly the resource that you need for what you do” and even “you and I have the same idea, let’s work together!”
ACTION – it seems many people don’t need more Conversation to get on do something, they just do it.
Areas of Focus
ROC Action Groups: We currently have nine ROC Action Groups in Northern Ireland that aim to ‘move the talk from their ROC Conversation into action’.
A local Action Group is made up of people from statutory agencies, churches, community organisations, schools as well as local residents who want to work together to make a difference and bring about transformation in their community.
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