05 Sep 2023

Local community groups from across the Rowallane area in partnership with Choice Housing came together over the weekend to mark 5 years of shared housing in the local area.

The Picnic in the Park event, which took place in the Walled Garden, Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch welcomed more than 200 guests who were treated to music, dancing, and a range of activities and multi-cultural displays.

Organised by the Rowallane and Slieve Croob Community Twinning Group, in association with Choice Housing, the event welcomed representation from a wide range of local community groups, Choice Housing and partner organisations who support local community relations efforts in the area.

This marked another successful year for Choice and partners in working together to deliver local, tailored initiatives that strengthen community relations.

Jonathan Bleakley, Community Development Manager said,

“For Choice to continue to deliver long-term tenancies across a range of housing provision there is a need to create sustainable communities as part of this process. In order to achieve this, it is vital that we engage and communicate with local communities, and work towards empowering them to deliver real change for their area. “

The Picnic in the Park event was supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.

Jonathan Blakley  added,

It’s great to see so many local groups and partners as well as tenants at the event, it demonstrates the importance of involving a wide range of stakeholders if you really want to achieve sustainable community relations that plays a positive role in that local community.”