The Community Relations Council (CRC) has announced 12 core-funding grant awards to voluntary and community sector organisations engaged in community relations initiatives. In total these awards are worth over £530,000.
The awards have been made under CRC’s Core Funding Programme, financed by the Community Relations Unit of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM). The Core Funding Scheme contributes towards the salary and running costs of a number of organisations which are considered of strategic importance in promoting community relations or cultural diversity work in Northern Ireland. These range from projects supporting peace and reconciliation initiatives, mediation and conflict transformation training, and cross-community interface work to cultural diversity and community arts work.
According to CRC Chief Executive, Duncan Morrow,
‘The CRC Core-Funding Grant Scheme is dedicated to the promotion and development of community relations in Northern Ireland. It supports an essential network and infrastructure of voluntary and community groups to generate, develop and sustain high quality programmes of work. The work that these groups do are of strategic importance.’
Of the 12 awards announced this month ten are renewals of existing projects and two are for new projects. A further 15 projects continue under existing contracts. In total 27 projects are now being funded by the CRC scheme to a value of £1.3 million.
Among the new projects supported is Public Achievement, a training organisation which seeks to build peace through active citizenship. In particular the organisation seeks to support adults as volunteer coaches in order to increase their capacity to engage with young people in overcoming the legacy of sectarianism and conflict.
Among existing projects whose applications for contract renewal have been successful is REACT (Reconciliation, Education and Community Training), a community organisation based in Armagh. REACT has achieved a great deal of progress on contentious issues in the Armagh area around parades, flags and bonfires. Its work on the policing of parades has been used as an example for promoting change in the PSNI’s engagement with bands and the organising and marshalling of parades.