‘Real sense of community’

Spring into Action - staff, volunteers and Glen and Rosemount residents pictured in the Glenview Community Centre earlier this week. (SIA240301)
Spring into Action - staff, volunteers and Glen and Rosemount residents pictured in the Glenview Community Centre earlier this week. (SIA240301)

Pat McAnaney and Miriam Doherty are prominent members of the Glenview Community Centre in Cedar Street.

When they’re not busy helping the vulnerable residents in the local community, Pat and Miriam help to run the Over 50s group and the Women’s Group.

Pat and Miriam attended an event funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in the community centre on Wednesday.

Representatives of many statutory bodies from right across Derry gathered under one roof to offer free and practical advice.

“There’s a real sense of community here in the Glenview Community Centre,” said Pat.

“Everyone here looks out for one another and I think today’s event is just another example of how the people living in the area want to make sure all of the residents are doing ok,” she added.

Wednesday’s event was managed by Roxanne Nixon, who is the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project (N.H.I.P.) Health Development Worker for the Outer West.

Roxanne is based at the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership (B.H.C.P.) offices in Dunluce Court in Ballymagroarty and explained why they decided to host such an event.

“Because we had such a mild winter we had some funding left over from our Winter Health programme. We wanted to make sure the funding was used in the best possible way so we decided to put on two of these information days.

“We called the information days ‘Spring Into Action’ and we hosted one in the Ballymagroarty, Hazelbank and Foyle Springs areas on Tuesday and here we are today doing the same for the people of the Glen and Rosemount.”

Roxanne said a lot of the advice available to people was invaluable.

“We are noticing that many of the people living in the Outer West are not aware of what they are entitled to when it comes to things like securing their homes or insulating their houses.

“Warm Homes are here today to let people know that they might be entitled to help with making their home more energy-efficient.

“Not everyone will know what they are entitled to when it comes to things like Warm Homes to even benefits. It’s through such events that we are able to reach out to the most vulnerable and hard to reach in our society.”

After the event was over Roxanne and the rest of her team posted information leaflets into many of the nearby houses.

“There are people living in the area who are unable to get out of their house so we make sure they get information delivered to them. We are off now to deliver these leaflets - hopefully it makes a difference!” she smiled.

Organisations including Drink Think, Divert, HURT, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Pink Ladies were in attendance to offer local people advice on a variety of community related issues.

“One of biggest issues to have impacted upon this community is the carry on of some of the young people and what makes the situation even worse is that the handful of young people causing the bother are not even from this area,” said Miriam.

“Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) are here today and they are telling residents about how they are entitled to a free lock fitting. It’s through this kind of community togetherness that we can make living in the Rosemount and Glen areas more harmonious for the most vulnerable residents,” she added.

Pat thinks that in order to tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour in the area young people should try and understand how their actions impact upon older people living in the area.

“We have a lot of older people who live on their own in this area and during the winter time we all do our bit to call in on them to make sure they are ok.

She added; “These people live alone and if there’s a large crowd of young people outside their house on a Friday or Saturday night it’s to be expected that they will feel afraid.

“I know most of, if not all of, the young people are good and decent and if they knew the fear they created sometimes I believe they’d think twice,” said Pat.