A new community group in Creggan is determined to make a difference to the local community.
Creggan Mens’ Group was founded after the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team recognised a need for such a group in the area.
The ethos of Creggan Mens’ Group is to help and assist people in the local communities.
The group meet every Wednesday evening to discuss how they can help people and what improvements they can make to the community.
One of the group’s first projects happened several months ago when they gave up their time to clean up a piece of land belonging to William Street Residential Care Home.
“The clean-up of the sun garden in William Street came about when I met with the management of the home,” said Sinn Fein councillor and Creggan Mens’ Group member, Kevin Campbell.
“The management told me about a sun garden which was located outside. It had become overgrown and as a result the residents were not able to use it.”
Creggan Mens’ Group Chairperson, Christy Coyle, explained why they were keen to help the local care home.
“The reason we set-up this group is because we want to make a difference to our local community.
“There is an array of ages in the group. Some of the men in the group work full-time and their area of expertise is a great asset to the group.
“When Kevin Campbell suggested helping out at the care home, we thought it was a fantastic place to start.”
For several days the men’s group worked tirelessly to transform what had become an area full of weeds and dead leaves into a place where care home residents could sit outside.
“I suppose the reason I am part of the men’s group is because the enormous sense of satisfaction I get from helping people,” explained group member, Brian Friel.
“I also think it is an important example to set young people because if they see people within their own community caring for it then perhaps they will think twice before going down the anti-community behaviour route.”
After they completed the work at the residential care home the men decided they wanted to do something to help the Creggan community.
“I am a former pupil at Holy Child P.S.,” explains Christy.
“I knew there was an old garden that was not being used in the school grounds. The garden had been there when I was at the school so the group started to come up with a few ideas.”
Christy met with the principal of Holy Child P.S. and she accepted their offer to help tidy-up the garden area.
“We were given the keys to the gates and for the last few Saturdays we meet at the school to clean up the garden area,” said Christy.
“We got rid of a lot of the old dead trees from the front of the school - it allows a lot more light into the school as a result.”
Creggan man, Liam McMonagle, is the group’s vice chair and he said he would like to see more people join.
“We have men aged from 20 to 60 in this group,” said Liam.
“We started out with only a handful of men but now we have nearly 20 members - the bigger the group the greater the difference we can make to the local community,” he added.
If you would like to join the Creggan Men’s Group and you are interested in helping out in the community telephone 028 71 281900.