Communities minister meets local groups

SOUTH Antrim MLA and Executive Minister Declan Kearney has welcomed a visit to the constituency by his colleague, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

The minister met with organisations engaged in community regeneration and the fight-back against the cost of living crisis.

The Sinn Féin MLA said: “I was delighted to welcome my Ministerial colleague Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, to South Antrim where we both met and engaged directly with local organisations working on the frontline to support our community in the fight back against the cost of living crisis.

“We had very useful discussions with groups including TIDAL in Toomebridge, the Antrim Foodbank operation in High Street, and Advice NI based at Farranshane House in Rathenraw.

“From community regeneration through to direct action aimed at mitigating the cost of living and poverty crisis engulfing our society at this time, these organisations demonstrate the importance of community empowerment and grass roots community development.

“Both Minster Hargey and I were greatly impressed by the extent to which those management and volunteers we met are invested in their work, and the passion with which they spoke of the massive impact of rising poverty in our communities.

“I want to extend sincere thanks on behalf of myself, and Minister Deirdre Hargey, for the warm welcome from everyone we met, and important insights shared with us into how they are battling to meet the growing needs of those whose daily lives have been devastated by unprecedented crippling poverty.

“Their dedication to alleviating the plight of those in need, and their holistic approach to assisting every person who seeks help is inspirational.

“Minister Hargey confirmed she is absolutely committed to ensuring that her department will continue to provide every available assistance to organisations on the frontline of this cost of living crisis, and to working closely with those on the ground to develop effective anti-poverty strategies.”

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