Community Development Project reaches milestone

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LARNE Community Development Project (LCDP) is celebrating its 15th successful year of providing support and guidance to local voluntary organisations.

Based at Unit 24, LEDCOM on Bank Road, the charity was set up in 1997 with the aim of promoting the ethos of community development in the town, and over the years has come to the aid countless groups by helping to secure funding, providing training and offering invaluable advice on a range of issues.

And having just been awarded a grant of £50,000 from the Department for Social Development, those behind LCDP are now looking forward to expanding the project’s range of services in the year ahead.

Community development officer Deborah Neill told the Times: “LCDP is one of the longest running organisations of its kind in the local area, and is mainly made up of volunteers. We also have a very experienced management committee drawn from a number of organisations, including Larne Council and the PSNI.

“Up until now we have mainly dealt with groups who are based in Larne Town and the surrounding area. While we will of course continue to do this, we also want to branch out and provide assistance to groups in rural parts of the borough.

“We have a lot to offer community groups and membership is completely free, so there is nothing to lose by signing up with us. We can assist groups in tracking down funding, offer advice in a number of areas, or even help with general administration and book-keeping. What’s more, members can promote their group on our website or bi-annual news letter.

“We have great facilities at LEDCOM and members have full access to them, including our library, which has a wealth of information on community development. Members can also use our premises for meetings or training, and use the photocopying facilities at a reduced rate.”

Another important service that LCDP intends to introduce this year is the creation of a community forum to allow groups to come together, share resources and learn from one another.

“There are so many groups across the borough doing fantastic work and we want to assist them as much as we possibly can. And if we cannot help them, then we will point them to someone within our wide network of contacts who can. But we need those groups to get in touch with us so that we can put them on our database,” Deborah concluded.

For more information on LCDP and how to become a member, visit www.larnecdp.org.uk