A young people’s charity is hoping to uncover the reasons why people love Carrickfergus as part of their latest campaign.
The ‘Why I love Carrick’ project, devised by local woman Jessica Hardy, will use social media to gather feedback on the best of the borough.
It is being backed by UK-based group Fixers, who support young people aged 16-25 to tackle any issue that matters to them as part of a project or ‘Fix’.
Explaining the motivation behind the project, Jessica, 21, said: “I love being from Carrick; I love the castle, the sea, and the people.
“Sometimes I feel that Carrickfergus has a problem with self-image, so with the help of Fixers, the campaign that gives young people a voice, I’m encouraging all of you to share why you love Carrick.
“Let’s remind ourselves and the world why Carrick is a great place to live. There is a lot of good stuff going on here, and we can all play an active role in making our own town even better.”
Helping to spread word of the project last week were Fixers young people’s co-ordinator, Chris Pollock, and work experience student David Hamilton.
The team visited all four post-primaries in the town on Thursday morning, including David’s own Carrickfergus Grammar.
Chris explained: “There are a lot of good things about the town, but like most places, if you’re not from there all you might hear are the negative things.
“Jessica approached us about working on this particular Fix and one of the things that we discussed was encouraging people to put forward their reasons why they love the town.
“For some it might be the castle, for others it might be something less obvious.”
David added: “The idea is to get people to just take five minutes and concentrate on the positives about Carrick. I’ve lived here my whole life and there are lots of good things about the town, but those are never the things you hear about in the news.”
The Carrickfergus ‘Fix’ will utilise social media to ensure the campaign can be easily shared, Chris said.
“The good thing about social media is that using the hashtag #whyIloveCarrick allows the term to be searched, so that people can click on the hashtag and see how others responded,” he added.
“The way any Fix works is that if even just one person is positively affected by that particular project, then it has been a success, and we want to encourage others to think in these terms.”
The nature of the campaign will mean it can be easily adapted for other areas. “There’s no reason why there can’t be a ‘Why I love Larne’ project or something similar,” Chris said.
“When we gather enough responses, we can present them to the likes of the council and other agencies. It will also hopefully encourage people in the town to maintain what they already have, and promote Carrick as a place to go as it’s now becoming even more accessible with the new road.”