NVTV Focal Point: Janice BEGGS
by Allan LEONARD for Carnegie Oldpark
10 April 2017
Local community worker in north Belfast, Janice Beggs, was interviewed by NVTV, where she spoke about her recent receipt of the “Local Campaigner of the Year” award from the Sheila McKenzie Foundation, as well as her work as an area manager for the Lower Oldpark Community Association (LOCA).
Video published with kind permission from NVTV, the local public service station for Belfast http://nvtv.co.uk
“You become so passionate for your area, your community — it’s what make me tick. It’s the person I am; I want to give to people,” Beggs described herself.
Beggs explained how the Carnegie Oldpark Library used to serve the community with a youth club and support service. She argued that the area can be regenerated again with this iconic building, as a hub of the community.
Regeneration is key, Beggs said, citing the Crumlin Road Gaol, the recent purchase of the Crumlin Road Courthouse, and the rest of a cultural corridor, including St Anne’s Cathedral, Clifton House, Mater Hospital, and now, the Carnegie Library.
The aim, Beggs explained, is to make the Carnegie Oldpark building benefit not only Lower Oldpark but to bring in others to appreciate the people and place in north Belfast.
Also in her neighbourhood are housing regeneration projects, with recent rebuilds and new builds. Beggs remarked on new folk moving in, former residents returning, and those who never left — all adding to an inclusive and rich diversity of the neighbourhood.
Beggs is very positive about the future of the area, with renewed commitment and investment from the Housing Executive. The challenge is to ensure the sustainability of the community, Beggs concluded, by working with local partners, political representatives, and statutory agencies.
The Carnegie Oldpark project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and by the Architectural Heritage Fund.