Ballynahinch Community Collective

Ballynahinch Community Collective is made up of local community groups which joined together in November 2014, as a result of the Health and Wellbeing Plan for the area. A survey at the time had highlighted the issue that communication between different groups in Ballynahinch was poor and the idea behind the creation of BCC was to link people through local projects and enhance cross-community relations through joint activities. They were very active in Covid relief efforts, delivering food parcels, prescription collections and providing meat parcels/activity packs for individuals in the town who were shielding or in need.

Mentor: County Down Rural Community Network

Ballynahinch Community Collective’s Elevate project involved the purchase of computer tablets for the use of isolated individuals who did not have any access to modern day technology and social media. The original plan was to do these in the care homes themselves, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, all activities were moved online. They hosted “get-togethers” on Zoom, delivering sessions to different care homes in the Ballynahinch area.


Participating in the Elevate programme gave the group some insight and confidence regarding running projects and tackling issues of loneliness and isolation in their community. The group is now more aware of the need to address health inequalities in their local community. Their mentor, Daniella, has been able to link them in with the other organisations in the South Eastern Trust area to strengthen their network of connections.

The feedback which the group received from the staff in the care homes was positive and enthusiastic. They have expressed their gratitude and have informed the group how much their residents have enjoyed connecting with the local community – particularly at a time when they could have no visitors or physical contact with wider society.

Using technology to connect has been particularly effective at a time when personal contact has been restricted for those who may be disadvantaged in our local community”.

Audrey Slater, Ballynahinch Community Collective