Residents release findings into survey

BROOKFIELD residents have launched the results into a survey aimed at measuring satisfaction with local facilities and services.

The estate was selected to participate in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s Shared Communities Programme. The central purpose of the programme is to develop Shared Housing Neighbourhoods where people choose to live with others regardless of their religion or race in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all, and threatening to no-one.

In order to develop and implement the programme a survey was carried out to measure satisfaction with local facilities and services; to assess attitudes to community relations and community safety; to identify activities/services that could be provided at a local level and, to identify areas of work needed in order to develop and implement a good relations action plan.

On Tuesday November 6 the results of the survey were presented to the community, local councilors and community representatives.

Results of the survey showed that residents were generally satisfied with the majority of services in the area but would like to see some improvements such as a play park and more activities for children, youth and senior citizens. Residents would also like to see some intergenerational and multicultural community events being organized as well as some community safety initiatives in the area.

The survey also found that the majority of respondents frequently mix with people from different community or religious background and are in favour of shared education within local schools. Most are also in favour of the area moving towards a more mixed community rather than predominantly Catholic or Protestant.

Speaking at the launch Aengus Hannaway, Banbridge District Manager said: “The Housing Executive appreciates the excellent work already being carried out by Brookfield Combined Community Association to improve community relations and cohesion in the area. This survey will provide us with feedback on how best we can support this vital work.

“The completion of the survey allows us now to move forward to the next stage of the programme which is to set up a local project team involving local residents and representatives from voluntary and statutory agencies to assist with developing and delivering programmes and services for this community.”

Michelle Copeland from Brookfield Combined Community Association added, “We are looking forward to the next phase of the programme, We want to get our action plan together and then we can begin to see some of the services and programmes that we have envisaged become a reality.”