Causeway Rural Urban Network (CRUN)

Causeway Rural & Urban Network is an umbrella organisation and supports a diverse range of community and voluntary groups in the Causeway area. CRUN was established with PEACE funding from the Coleraine Borough Partnership and Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust in 1999. Managed by a board of representatives of community groups, community development is at the heart of all CRUN’s activities. As well as supporting with governance, funding and good practice advice, they deliver mental health promotion programmes, community relations, social prescribing, community development and youth empowerment programmes targeting identified need.

Mentor: Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP)

CRUN had participated in a previous round of Elevate and delivered a programme aimed at creating building blocks to increase self-esteem and confidence to a group of 30 individuals who had become cut off from society. The group applied to the Elevate programme again as they felt it was a brilliant opportunity to network, engage with the community, learn more and improve their knowledge and response to local community health inequalities.

It was necessary to take the previous work further to lay firmer foundations to address the health inequalities identified with the hope these will be sustained into the future. A 10-week programme around the four key cornerstones of Stress Management, Personal Development, Diet and Exercise was developed and made available on both Zoom and face to face.  The group had been identified from participants in a self –esteem and confidence building course. 20 people aged 25 –70 were identified to attend the sessions by breaking down social isolation barriers especially for those who had to shield due to Covid.

The organisation also wished to focus on increasing its networking opportunities. As a small team, they were busy delivering programmes and working with the community and felt they would like to reassess their focus and felt that the Elevate mentoring programme could help with this.


The project funded through Elevate enabled participants to work together to identify their own needs and aspirations, take action to exert influence on the decisions which affect their lives and improve the quality of their own lives, the communities in which they live, and societies of which they are a part. CRUN feels that they have built the resilience of the group and empowered them to take actions for more positive change in their community.

CRUN collaborated with their participants in such a way that their experience was recognised, and their views and outlook were respected. They were able to tackle social isolation – bringing the group together in an ‘in person setting’ was a great opportunity for those who have little opportunity for social connection and feel very much at the fringes of society.

A key difference that the Elevate mentoring made to CRUN was that they have strengthened their connections with community partners. With the support of MEAAP, they developed and delivered another health focused programme to their local community. They are now planning to run another round of the same programme as it was received so positively and was very successful.

The Elevate mentoring enabled them to discuss the opportunity for CRUN to conduct a formal community needs consultation for future planning of the organisation with Sarah from MEAAP. This has been discussed with the wider team at CRUN and will be actioned in the coming months.

The CRUN team also attended the Elevate training on Community Development and Health Inequalities. They were able to keep in mind all the elements of the training as they planned and progressed with the programme and the importance of giving participants more control over their own journeys and letting their voices be heard. They were more aware of the elements of health inequalities when discussing barriers to access supports.

The Elevate programme is a great way to help address the health inequalities in your local area. The opportunity to bring local people together to improve health and wellbeing is fantastic. Everyone always learns something new along the way!”

 Lorna O’Neill,  Project Officer

 “I have thoroughly enjoyed the connections with members of my local community. I found the support and knowledge a real benefit and made me realise that as a community, there is so much we can do to help ourselves and others.”