About Us

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Mission Statement

Our Mission is to enhance the quality of life of the people of North Down by effectively supporting, coordinating and representing community and voluntary groups in the area.

Vision

Our vision for the future is of an inclusive, peaceful, safer and economically vibrant North Down which effectively promotes wellbeing and participation through an effective and coordinated voluntary and community sector.

You can find everything you need on this page to learn more about the NDCN’s Activities, History, Strategy, Staff and more. Or use a button to jump to the section you wish to read.

Please view our presentation link which highlights Who We Are, What We Do and How we can Help you as an organisation or individual.

Community Hub

We are located right on Main Street, Bangor next door to the Flagship Centre, please, pop in and hear more about what we do.

We organise and coordinate a range of free activities, that take place on a weekly basis from Monday to Friday.

These activities include:

  • Walking Group
  • Sewing Corner
  • Wise the BAP! Art Class
  • Creative Writing
  • 1-to-1 Laptop and Tablet Tutoring (Booking essential)
  • The Hub Choir
  • Chi-Me
  • Community Cafe
  • …….. Plus many more!

Please click the button for our updated activity list as of June 2019:

Food Share available from 10.30am every Tuesday in our Community Hub.

Food donated by M&S, Tesco, Asda, Lidl and Co-op

History

NDCN exists to help people to help themselves and its vision is that communities in Bangor and the wider north of Down should be safe, peaceful, diverse, inclusive, flourishing and economically vibrant – thus making the area one in which people want to live.

To do this we act as a focal point for the community and for community and voluntary sector organisations in the north of Down. For them we deliver a range of regular services, we react where we can when we are asked and proactively we try to identify issues where we think we can make a difference for their benefit.  We presently have 140 member groups including local Community Associations, members from the Community and Voluntary Sector and also faith-based groups.

NDCN became a limited company and a registered charity in 2003 – our new NI Charity Registration Number is NIC 102333.  Our registered office address is 5 Castle Park Road, Bangor, County Down, in our own Resource Centre (in the grounds of the South Eastern Regional College); and we also have our Community Hub in Bangor’s Flagship on Main Street in Bangor.

Our main funders currently are:

  • The Department for Communities
  • The Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • The Public Health Agency
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Lottery Awards for All

Strategic Plan

Please see attached link of our 2019/2020 Operational Plans.

https://ndcn.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/NDCN-Business-Operational-Plans-2019-2020.docx

 

Activities

NDCN engages in a range of regular projects and activities including the following:

  • Community Development – developing structures at a local level to empower new and existing groups, included is help with Charity Commission registration, Access NI checks, good governance and help with funding and sustainability.
  • Capacity Building / Skills Training – assisting local groups to increase their skills and develop strong, confident communities through community-based learning.
  • Health Promotion – providing a series of programmes for local communities aimed at improving health and emotional wellbeing from sewing to singing and art to creative writing, we have something for everyone.
  • Collaboration & Good Relations – developing joint initiatives between communities and groups to build genuine and trusting relationships to do good things for people communities.
  • Networking & Good Practice Exchange – bringing local communities together and providing opportunities to network, build working relationships, share good practice and provide information on relevant topics to the community, voluntary and statutory sectors.
  • Marketing & promotion – providing an essential service in the dissemination information via NDCN’s fortnightly ezines, website, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Social Economy Development – encouraging local entrepreneurship to help people and communities in need.  Activities include the Community Café which runs from the Flagship Centre and ‘Sew Healthy’ a social enterprise making clothing, seat belts pads and equipment holding bags for people going through Cancer treatment.
  • Sharing Space – providing meeting space and venues for events to member groups and community partners to hold meetings, run training and host larger events.

The Network’s Staff

Louise Little (Manager)

Louise Little was appointed as Manager in August 2014. Working across a range of community and voluntary organisations from across Northern Ireland, Louise believes that NDCN exists to serve communities in North Down, and welcomes all opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

Greg Martin (Community Development & Health Worker)

Greg has been with the Network since 2005 as Community Health Development Worker providing a range of classes, workshops and activities that advise, inform and encourage healthier lifestyles and individual action on health promotion. Our activities are open to all adults and most are free. Check the Health and Wellbeing page for details.

Linda Anderson (Financial Administrator)

Linda Anderson joined NDCN in March 2018 and looks after our finances. She is a busy mum of 3 who loves to spend time in her garden if she ever gets a spare moment.

Lindsey Hall (Administration & communications officer)

Lindsey Hall joined NDCN in February 2018 and looks after a range of our services including admin, our Hub enquiries, Access NI, membership, marketing and social media. Lindsey is also studying part time Counselling Skills at Bangor SERC and is a busy mum of 3!

Ashleigh Hunter (Community Development Worker)

Ashleigh joined NDCN in July 2019 as the Outreach Community Development Worker. Ashleigh works alongside communities in North Down to develop their areas in a way which meets the ongoing needs and hopes of the residents. Ashleigh loves being outdoors - especially for a nice walk.

David Orr (Caretaker/Cleaner)

David Orr started with the Network back in October 2011. Davy is a Joiner/Glazier by trade with previous caretaking experience. Davy is kept busy keeping our Community Hub clean and tidy, opens and closes our workshop unit for our classes and prepares our Resource Centre for our network members to use.

Maeve Booth (Community Cafe Co-ordinator)

Maeve has a real passion for working with people and enjoys running the community cafe every Tuesday. Enjoying serving and supporting people with a warm welcoming smile, Maeve is always pleased to see the regular cafe friends coming in, as well as welcoming new people to the ‘friends of the cafe’ team! Maeve has many years of admin experience, is an exercise fanatic and is also a trained sports injury therapist.

Tony Consiglia (Part-time Youth Worker)

From Newtownards, Tony has been a self-employed electrician for over twenty years. Around three years ago he decided he wanted a change of direction and began to volunteer and study Youth Work. He is currently studying for a degree in Youth work. Tony has worked alongside the Ulster-Scots community, delivering various music related workshops, he is also singer/ guitarist of Newtownfolk folk band. Tony is also passionate about WWW1 and in particular The Somme and has led numerous groups to visit the sites.

NDCN’S Board of Directors

As of 1st November 2018, is as follows:

  • Aaron McMahon – Clandeboye Village Community Association
  • Desmond Gilpin – Independent
  • Emma Pearson – North Down Development Organisation
  • Isobelle Hamilton (Chairperson) – Bloomfield Community Association
  • Karen Worrall – Rathgill Community Association
  • Peter Gay – Independent
  • Simon Bridge (Treasurer) – Holywood Shared Town
  • Valerie Miskimmon - Storehouse NI