An initiative aimed at tackling social issues in Carrick will be launched at the town hall later this month.
Carrickfergus ROC Conversation will be held on January 22, supported by Mid and East Antrim Policing and District Partnership and borough council.
Also in attendance will be representatives from schools, churches, statutory agencies, community and voluntary groups, PSNI and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.
East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs said: “I am pleased to have helped ROC come to Carrickfergus. It is encouraging to learn of the high level of interest in the community about meeting and having a conversation about making a better Carrickfergus.
“I have been aware of the weak community infrastructure in parts of East Antrim and thought that ROC could play an important role in helping to encourage volunteers to help re-energise community activity. I lobbied ROC to come to Carrickfergus.
“I recognise the benefits of creating strong local communities who can help their neighbours and who can draw in help to address local issues. By working together, we can create a safer caring community in which all can flourish.
“I would like to see more adults volunteering and stronger local communities providing positive supportive role models for others to follow.
“Too many young people are not reaching their full potential and can end up NEETs (Not in Education Employment or Training).
“There is also a growing elderly population who may be isolated in their own homes.
“I would hope that through the ROC Conversation, more will recognise the importance of volunteering in the community and gaps in local provision can be identified and addressed.
“If the event proves to be successful, I will be urging that a similar event is held in Larne.
“Several years ago they had helped local volunteers to establish the Millbrook Youth club where there had been a lack of youth provision.”
To date, 120 peoople have registered to attend what ROC has described as the “biggest ROC Conversation in Northern Ireland to date”.
Members of the community will gather to discuss the specific needs of their community and explore practical ways of meeting those needs.
A spokesperson for ROC Conversation said: “The purpose of the ROC Conversation is always to work with the organisations already doing good work in their community.
“We look to explore how existing organisations and community members can work together, possibly with additional guidance from ROC, to meet those needs.”
Tickets can be booked online at www.roc.uk.com/carrickfergus
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