Equity Diversity Interdependence
Promoting a Peaceful and Fair
Society based on Reconciliation
and Mutual Trust.
Contact: Brian Dougherty
Reconciliation and Conference Centre
4 Limavady Road
Tel: 028 7134 3080
Status of organisation:
Number of staff:
1. Political Youth Wings - North-South and UK –RoI forums for young political party members, addressing policy issues of common concern, eg human rights, racism and sectarianism, anti-poverty strategies, climate change, criminal justice, devolution, models of democracy, etc.
The programme is based around conference-style events that include study visits, group work, and contributions from academics, practitioners and community activists. The programme has encouraged the development of an inter-regional network of young party activists who retain contact between events. They are able to engage in direct political dialogue, and they are comfortable with each other socially.
Further funding mid-way through the year allowed us to re-ignite the programme. A new committee has been formed under the guidance of Claire McLaughlin who is employed with us through the Kickstart to work programme (LSP funded). A conference is scheduled for August under the theme teenage sexual health.
2. Foyle YouthBank Programme - This programme involves a cross-community grant-making committee of young people distributing funding to local youth-led projects. Following consultation and research, funding themes are; sectarianism, personal safety, sexual health and drug and alcohol abuse.
£3,500 of small grants were awarded last year, with 14 committee members also completing an Millenium Volunteers Award. 6 community groups have also recently signed up to the Moneysense element of the programme; Lettershandoney CA, Clooney CA Londonderry YMCA, St Marys YC, The Bytes Project and the Whistle Project (Gobnascale).
A further round of funding for sport related projects has also just been announced.
3. ASB Programme – The ASB Programme is an evolution of the Interact programme and seeks to explore the relationship between sectarianism and anti-social behaviour. We are currently working with 56 young people in, Sion Mills, Newtownstewart, Donemana, Lettershandoney, Bogside. During the year we completed pilot projects in both the Fountain and Pennyburn.(mural and anti-social behaviour awareness booklet).
The programme involves recruiting at least 10 young people from each of the areas who are involved in individual and joint capacity building training. Each of the 5 areas are under-taking a community safety pilot project aimed at addressing anti-social behaviour in their area which aims to encourage information sharing and developing models of good practice. The 5 areas also came together for a residential during the year. We also secured funding for Lettershandoney CA to renovate their youth club.
Damian McSorley replaced Karen McLaughlin in September as co-ordinator.
4. Play for Change Project– This project has been developed by an interagency partnership including Derry Children’s Commission, Derry City Council, NWIFHE and Liberty Consortium and is grounded in the Interagency Play Policy and Strategy for the Derry City Council area. It is a flagship project for the Derry City Council area and involves the creation and programming of an innovative ‘shared space’ building reconciliation through play. As well as developing a unique adventure play area within the grounds of St Columbs Park, the project provides training for young people in playwork supervised by a Play Animator who will soon be employed by SCPH. During the year we secured funding to recruit a Play Animator, Eilis Gill whose role is to develope links to local schools and youth clubs, building on the work carried out initially by Dominic Bonner.
The play area opened at the end of June 09 with an official opening on 25th July 09. Phase two is currently nearing completion and is due to open mid August. We have taken over management of the Play Area. However DCC continues to be responsible for the security, opening hours an, insurance and maintenance of the Play Area. It is open year round (excluding periods of maintenance), from dawn till dusk.
The Adventure Play Environment has proven to be very popular with the public and through our programmes. Eg we had 100 young people from schools across the city at our Christmas event whilst around 40 young people per week are involved in the structured play activities. An oversubscribed summer scheme has been organised for the month of August. We have also secured funding to purchase a TIPI tent for the site and develop a totem pole for the grounds.
6. Capital build – Over the past year work continues to develop on the extension to the accommodation block and kitchen/eating facilities in the house. The economic appraisal and business plan have been updated signed of by OFM/DFM. A 50 year lease has been agreed in principal and meetings are currently on-going with the Valuation and Lands Agency to ascertain what if any, rent would be charged. The design team have been appointed. However we still await the letter of offer for match funding from DSD. We are still on schedule to be on site in January.
Negotiating Change - The 'Negotiating Change' project was developed in response to research commissioned by SCPH that investigated the extent and causes of Protestant alienation within Derry/Londonderry. The research was commissioned at the request of local Protestant community representatives, and is intended to generate policy recommendations promoting inclusion and reconciliation within the city. The research was conducted by the University of Ulster during 2004, and the final report was publicly launched in November 2005.The Negotiating Change Project seeks to address the findings of the research, working on initiatives under the following themes:
•Shared Civic Space & Contentious Symbols;
•Safe & Shared Access to Public Facilities;
•and Sharing Community Development Skills.
The project involves collaboration between a wide range of sectors, organisations, communities and individual. St Columb’s Park House acts as the hub of this network.
The Negotiating Change Project is thus comprised of a number of initiatives, some managed solely by St Columb’s park House and some in which St Columb’s Park House is a partner.
These initiatives are:
6. Cultural Heritage and Identity Programme (Flags Forum) – We have had several meetings in the past year with the regard to the flags forum for the North-west looking to address the issue of symbols and flags in the city and how they impact on community relations. We have secured funding to continue the work and extend the research this summer into Tyrone and Donegal. We also carried out several ‘Whats your colours’ sessions with schools and youth clubs.
7.London~Derry connections. In collaboration with other community relation’s practitioners from across the city, we are working with stakeholders on building compromise and consensus around the name of the city and extend , social cultural, economic and sporting links between the two cities. We were a strong advocate of the UK City of Culture Bid.
8. Ex-combatants capacity building programme with North-west Reconciliation Group - We have been working with the ex-loyalist combatant umbrella group to help build their capacity and re-integrate them into mainstream community relations work. We have received funding to develop a capacity building programme with them over the coming year to include a training needs analysis, strategic plan and a subsequent range of training programmes. We recruited Tom Stone as Part-time Co-ordinator of the programme.
9. Anchor Programme. As part of our consultancy work we were asked by Investing for Health to co-ordinate this pilot programme. It was a 12 week single identity programme with school referrals from St Marys, St Josephs, St Peters and Youthfirst Youth Club, aimed at developing non-academic and confidence building skills amongst the 14 participants. Although challenging, it was ultimately successful and we are hopeful of receiving funding for the programme for this year also.
10. Wider Horizons Programme. We have just receive funding for a 20 week employability programme for 21 young to begin in August and to include an 8 week overseas period in Montreal, Canada. We are partnered with Moville Family Resource Centre and Sarah and George are co-ordinating the programme.
11. Forum for Cities in Transition. In May I was part of 6 team delegation from the city who attended a conference in Mitrovica in Kosovo as the second leg of the this programme funded by the University of Massachusetts and organised in partnership with the N.Ireland Foundation. It involves a network the cities from across the world to share programmes and models of best practice. It also included a presentation to the delegation. We will be hosting next years conference.
12. Gateways to Protestant Participation. Londonderry YMCA are the lead partner in this programme, with ourselves as part of the steering group and host for the L’Derry projects. Julia Kee was appointed as the outreach worker and is based at St Columbs Park House. The programme is hugely successful with 30 groups signed up to the initiative. As well as delivery of the various elements of the programme, it has also included discussion forums and networking events.
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Community Relations Council
6 Murray Street
Tel: 028 9022 7500