More Than £1m For Local Reconciliation

11 April 2019

News Release

Over £1million of funding has been announced to help build reconciliation in local communities.

The Community Relations Council is delighted to reveal the successful organisations that will be receiving support from its Core Funding Grants Scheme for the 2019/20 year. The fund is supported by The Executive Office.

There are a total of 29 projects receiving support of £1.2million.

The 2019/20 core funding portfolio will cover the whole region and address the key themes of the T:BUC strategy.

This year also sees five new groups entering the programme:

  • Early Years,
  • Youth Initiatives,
  • The Nerve Centre,
  • North Belfast Interface Network
  • Irish Football Association

Speaking at the official launch of this year’s scheme, Community Relations Council Chair, Peter Osborne, said:

Reconciliation is about relationship building on the ground.  It is hard, challenging work made more so within the current environment.  We are deeply appreciative of the courage, resolve and commitment of these organisations and their staff as they do their part to build a better future for us all.

The Core Funding Scheme contributes towards the salary and running costs of organisations considered of strategic importance in promoting community relations work in Northern Ireland. This work includes peace and reconciliation centres; those involved in mediation and conflict transformation training; community arts; church-based work on reconciliation themes; cultural organisations and interface projects.


For more information contact Paul Jordan

Phone 9022 7500

Core funded Groups

Here is a list of the core funded groups

List of funded groups below:

Name Group Details Award
174 Trust

As a non-denominational Christian charity, 174 Trust acts as a transforming presence in the community by following Christ’s example in restoring hope, promoting justice, building peace and providing leadership. The Trust works to promote a strong, just and peaceful society that respects the dignity of every person and enables them to flourish

Core Funding will support the provision of the shared space ‘Duncairn Complex’ enabling it to continue to act as a transformative presence in North Belfast by offering activities, programmes, events, 24/7. It will enable cross-community and good relations programmes to be delivered in response to ongoing needs providing opportunities for people to hear the voice of others and consider their own perspectives

An Gaeláras Limited                                           

The Droichead project in An Gaeláras has been key in the development of an innovative successful working relationship with those considered to be representative of a disparate cultural community. Its success is reflected in the normalising of a working relationship between representatives of the Irish Language community, Ulster Scots and Marching Bands.

Community Relations Forum (CRF)

The Mission Statement for Community Relations forum, an organisation established in 2003, and running prior as Newtownabbey Community Relations Forum since 1993, is:

“To promote good community relations, by encouraging honest and open dialogue, enabling people to have a better understanding of and respect for each other’s views and opinions”.

CRF aims to achieve this through the following:

Continue to develop the reputation and work occurring within the Barron Hall (CRF run building) as the only shared space venue within Newtownabbey through publicity, networking and providing events, classes, dialogue forums and training.

Many of the issues addressed, especially those addressed reactively, are contentious in nature. CRF is able to chair and facilitate such meetings while providing a safe shared space.


Community Relations In Schools (CRIS)

CRIS was established in 1982, by local educators and community activists eager that schools engage together, to form relationships and to counter communal conflict and division. Although our present context has changed the purpose of CRIS remains to actively support schools to play a role in building a shared and reconciled society in Northern Ireland.

CRIS as a leading agent of change will leverage and share its practice, expertise and resources to embed and advance relationship-focused models of collaboration. Core funding investment will both promote and utilise schools as shared space locations and facilitate intergenerational peace building in multiple localities across the region.

Corrymeela Community

The Building Reconciled Communities is a three-year project, which delivers on Corrymeela’s Strategic plan 2018-2021. This initiative will enable Corrymeela to engage individuals and communities on the Island of Ireland and beyond in activities that result in increased reconciliation, diminished fears and sectarianism, understanding the implications of Brexit to border communities and questions of belonging, the centenary of partition and changing dynamics in communities.

From 2019-2021, the project will develop resources and work with directly educators, young people, women, youth workers, faith-based communities and a diverse group of stakeholders who are interested, curious or actively engaged, leading work on sectarianism, community relations and wider legacy issues.

Early Years

Early Years, as a non-profit making organisation since 1965, has developed and delivered projects targeted at pre-school, school age and youth in the field of respecting difference and shared education. The implementation to fidelity of the Media Initiative for Children Respecting Difference Programme aims to bring about positive attitudinal and behavioural change among children, young people, parents, teachers and the wider community.

The programme supports, focused community relations activities with children and young people from marginalised and divided communities, ethnic minority communities and vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds, with the aim of active participation by parents and children in the communities where they live and the continued improvement of attitudes among children of different backgrounds, and that respect for difference and sharing is evident in those local communities.

East Belfast Mission

“Turas” meaning journey or pilgrimage in both Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaidhlig is an Irish language project which aims to connect people from Protestant communities to their own history with the Irish language. Turas is based on the belief that the language belongs to everyone and that it can be a mechanism of reconciliation. Turas’ main target audience is people living locally in East Belfast but it also uses Irish language and culture to build cross-community understanding and reconciliation.

Falls Women’s Centre

Falls Women’s Centre provides a wraparound holistic service to women living in disadvantaged areas most affected by the conflict inclusive of advice, advocacy, counselling training and education, childcare, lobbying and campaigning on women specific issues.

This proposal supports the continued role of the Good Relations Training Development Coordinator to oversee and implement the Good Relations training and education programme, delivering a range of training and development programmes such as Dealing with the Past, Women in Political Life, diversity and leadership, community development, Train the trainers, shared history, creative arts and confidence building.

Additionally they will host a variety of one-off events throughout the year that enable Women to come together to discuss current issues, the role they play in a shared and equal society and celebration events that enable women to celebrate their achievements.

Forthspring Community Group

Forthspring is an inclusive and innovative organisation based in a shared space at the Springfield/Woodvale interface in West Belfast. Core funding will support Forthspring to enable sustained relationships through a varied range of development programmes and activities, enhancing life opportunities for local people.



Founded in 1995, Intercomm proactively works to combat the social, economic and political problems created by over 30 years of conflict and assist in constructing a concrete and viable peace.

Intercomm is a focussed peacebuilding organisation that has developed an organic peace building practice and model over 20 years of experience and delivery. CRC’s Core Funding Programme has supported vital work in dealing with the past, better understanding our shared history, talking about extremism among young people, community safety and community/police relations in Belfast and further afield.

Irish Football Association Foundation

The Irish Foundation project will create dedicated resources to address community relations issues within football and wider society by the way of facilitating good relations and reconciliation activities alongside relevant stakeholders. Core Funding will enable the Irish FA Foundation to employ a dedicated Community Relations Officer. Increasingly government is using the FA to deliver innovative and far-reaching programmes, using football to help deliver positive social change. IFA Foundation will employ a community relations officer to liaise directly with communities, stakeholders, government and identifying opportunities to build upon and improve community relations in Northern Ireland within and outside the sporting arena.

The activities of the Irish FA Foundation promote, foster and develop equal opportunity and a better society in Northern Ireland. Its programmes aim to create a fun, safe and inclusive environment that inspires a lifelong learning culture and engagement in sporting and physical activity creating opportunities, inspiring change and helping people fulfil their potential on and off the sports pitch.

Londonderry Bands Forum (LBF)

The Londonderry Bands Forum was set up in 2010 as an alternative leadership delivery alliance aiming to, ‘challenge preconceptions and misconceptions (of the bands community) through education and dialogue’. In the convening years they have played a key strategic and local peace-building role providing a unique form of positive mentorship to all bands in the North-west and also a range of ground-breaking grass-roots programmes.

Core Funding will continue to advance this peacebuilding role by providing the staffing resources to expand its educational outreach programmes in schools, provide local training needs, expand local historical knowledge and skills, and encourage cross-community dialogue and celebrate local arts.

Using musicianship as a vehicle it will work in a cross-collaborative way to promote inclusiveness across the city and North-west. In addition, it will allow for the expansion of strategic initiatives such as the development of a North-west Cultural Partnership of key members of the PUL Arts Community. It will allow the LBF to share models of good practice and successful programmes with key strategic groups such as the Northern Ireland wide, Confederation of Ulster Bands. It will allow them to become a valuable sounding board for key government officials, political parties and agencies around contentious issues such as parading and bon-fires. It will allow them to expand their own leadership role in tackling such contentious issues. The funding will also provide the staffing required help regenerate, refurbish and expand the Newgate Cultural and Arts Centre, the focal hub of their work in the Fountain estate, in Derry.

North Belfast Interface Network (NBIN)

The core objective of the NBIN programme is to tackle sectarianism and address the negative impact of segregated living and division in the Ardoyne, Upper Ardoyne, Twaddell, Woodvale and Shankill areas of North Belfast. A key element of this work is to increase the confidence of residents, both within and between communities to meet with each other in non-threatening environments and collaborate with each other on areas of common concern. At the same time residents are challenged to explore subjects such as cultural identity and community allegiances. NBIN believe that this can enhance positive attitudinal change between residents of interface communities in this part of the city and ultimately pave the way for a more inclusive and integrated society.

North West Play Resource Centre

The Playhouse was established during 1992, and is a well-used and trusted arts venue at an interface area in the heart of Derry/Londonderry. Artistic Director Pauline Ross was awarded an MBE during 2001 for services to Arts & The Community.

The Playhouse’s Vision is to create community, celebrate diversity and empower people through the arts. Its Mission is to deliver creative, innovative and accessible Arts, Education and Peacebuilding programmes that enrich the lives of the people we serve.

The Playhouse has a 25 year track record of using the power of the arts to promote understanding, empathy, healing and reconciliation amongst Northern Ireland’s diverse communities. During 2019/20 The Playhouse will deliver theatre and visual arts based peacebuilding programmes with communities throughout Northern Ireland.

Partisan Productions

Partisan Productions is a theatre and film production company committed to creating socially engaged art. Its vision is that people are conscious of the factors that shape their lives and are confident to create change. Our mission is to engage people in co-creating compelling, complex and honest theatre about the stuff that matters to them.

Its aim is to contribute to the development of a genuinely shared future for the communities of Northern Ireland. Community relations and development issues lie at the heart of this work.

PeacePlayers International Northern Ireland

Based on the simple premise that ‘children who play together can learn to live together’.

PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland (PPI-NI) leverages sport and its inherent lessons of teamwork, cooperation, communication and determination to unite young people from the historically divided Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist and Catholic/Nationalist/Republican traditions. Through the core funded project PP-NI will extend its programme to work with more young people in more geographical locations as well as train, support and equip those working with the children and young people to fully realise and release the potential of sport for community relations and peace building work.


REACT is based in Armagh City and, supports marginalised groups and individuals through a range of projects. Its focus is to empower communities, develop skills and promote reconciliation through community development, education and training.

REACT provides opportunities for individuals and groups of different cultures and identities to work together to develop mutual understanding and respect.

CRC’s core funding will support some of REACT’s work including creating dialogue to address and reduce sectarian attitudes, work with young men who build bonfires and with bands to address issues which arise around parades in a positive manner.

It will provide vital support for its work in building better relations and improving understanding.

Rural Community Network

RCN is a member led and membership based organisation working with and alongside rural community groups throughout Northern Ireland to build their confidence in dealing with issues resulting from the conflict and to support the integration of minority groups into existing structures and community life. RCN believes that by using a community development approach local communities can be empowered to address the legacy of the past, to look to a shared future and to support the inclusion of monitory groups in rural life.

RCN plays a significant role in reminding policy makers and those working in the sphere of community relations that rural areas still have contested spaces, have legacy issues and are still in need of investment and support to move their communities towards a more shared future. RCN holds a unique role as a rural policy commentator and consultancy agency and we endeavour to be reflective of both a majority and minority voices in the responses we ask government to consider on behalf of rural groups.

RCN continuously links in with key partner organisations to ensure that the rural reach is achieved at time of limited resources and staff capacity.


Shankill Parish Caring Association (SPCA)

Shankill Parish Caring Association brings people together to promote facilitate understanding reconciliation and compassionate response to social need in the Lurgan and Craigavon areas.

SCPA manages the Jethro Centre in Lurgan which opened in September 2006 and its vision is to seek to promote the wellbeing of the inhabitants of Lurgan and its vicinity. It organises activities and holds functions which include people of different religious persuasions from the local community and the wider district.

The Jethro Centre provides a number of day and evening facilities and activities for a range of age groups and core funding supports its good relations work.

Shankill Women’s Centre

Shankill Women’s Centre is dedicated to helping women and their families from all walks of life reach their full potential through a variety of projects and activities. A good relations and cross-community ethos underpins all Shankill Women’s Centre work within the community.

Springboard Opportunities Limited

Springboard develops and delivers innovative cross-community & cross-border programme interventions; to support distinct groups of disadvantaged people from diverse communities to realise their potential, build capacity to form positive and effective relationships with others of a different background and develop increased respect for diversity. Ultimately becoming more active contributors in building a shared, united and more cohesive society.

St Columb’s Park House

St Columbs Park Reconciliation Trust opened in 1994 as a peacebuilding centre offering a safe neutral venue including conference and residential facilities. Its mission is to be the heart of the park, nurturing peaceful, compassionate and vibrant communities. It hosts a range of outreach projects that animate communities and individuals to work together towards a fair, peaceful society where every individual feels valued and can make a positive difference.


The Churches Trust

The Churches Trust is an interdenominational organisation founded by leaders of the Methodist Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Catholic Churches in the North West area, who recognised the need to stand together as a united voice to address deprivation. It is uniquely placed to promote a more united, shared and cohesive society with an established network that allows it to work in collaboration with churches, schools and diverse range of community groups. It is committed to addressing issues of deprivation, social justice, equality and inclusion. Church leaders recognise that while we have high levels of deprivation and inequalities, it will not be possible to have good community relations.

Core funding from CRC enables it to honour its commitments and to achieve its aims and objectives which are;

  • to promote a more united, shared and cohesive society working in collaboration with churches, schools and a diverse range of community groups.
  • to develop and provide quality services that tackle deprivation and disadvantage focusing on social inclusion, equal opportunity, and improving community relations.
  • to pro-actively enhance and support the economic, social and cultural development of all communities within North West region.
The Junction & Holywell Trust

Core Funding supports the Junction in following work areas: Work to develop training & education resources on Ethical and Shared Remembering: Dealing with Violence and Change 1912-1922. Work as part of Derry & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) Peace IV programme to develop training resources and programmes to develop knowledge and skills of women on themes of: male domination, prejudice, violence, paramilitarism, sectarianism and racism.

Work with Lifestart in SEUPB Peace IV project to develop training resource for Lifestart staff called ‘Shaping Ourselves & Our Children: Building the foundations of good CR in family life’. Programme of work on Public Theology with Johnston McMaster (To increase knowledge base, skills and public confidence of participants in building more equitable, just, compassionate and united community).

Core Funding supports Holywell Trust to manage the Diverse City Community Partnership and connected Garden of Reflection to ensure they are shared spaces for the whole community. Also enables delivery of Good Relations Programmes such as: Human Library, teatime events, Holywell Podcast and City Centre Forums.

Holywell are also engaged in work on Peace IV funded Theatre Peace Building Academy Project (with Playhouse, QUB & Thomas D’Arcy McGee Summer School) -  Use of theatre to address the past by allowing people, through local and international artists, to shares their experiences. Also engaged in work on Influencing Policy to Affect Change, work to engage with the community to enable a citizen centred approach to dealing with divisive issues in time of political deadlock.

The Nerve Centre

The Nerve Centre is Northern Ireland’s leading creative media arts centre. Core Funding will support a dedicated Good Relations Officer, delivering an exciting good relations programme around the Nerve Visual Gallery, a unique shared space in Ebrington, a former military barracks in Derry-Londonderry, and with cultural partners including museums and heritage bodies in targeted areas.

TIDES Training

Founded in 2000 TIDES Training is an organisation with extensive experience working on a local district council and regionally wide basis. Working with grass roots community, ex-combatants, statutory agencies, council staff, elected representatives and their Council constituents. It delivers bespoke accredited and non-accredited training, facilitation, mentoring and mediation services including the facilitation of Good Relations Forums and multiagency groups across all of the Council areas.

In addition it has worked closely with Good Relations Officers within a wide range of Council areas and has direct and in depth knowledge of The Executive Office strategic commitments through the “Together Building a United Community” strategy.


Established in 2001, Trademark is a trade union based social justice organisation dedicated to tackling prejudice, discrimination and inequality through training, research, community and workplace interventions, facilitated dialogue, and the establishment of cooperative enterprises in socially deprived areas.

Uniquely positioned at the heart of the trade union movement and the community relations sector, Trademark is trusted and respected in both of the main communities – as well as in other ‘new’ communities – across Northern Ireland. This enables it to maximise the reach and impact of its work, making inroads at a grassroots level where other groups might encounter obstacles.

Youth Initiatives

Youth Initiatives NI specialises in reaching young people most in need of, but least likely access, good relations youth work. It seeks to address Northern Ireland’s concerns that often good relations work does not have a lasting impact or works with those who are already interested in, and in less in need of, community relations programmes.

The Youth Initiatives “Lasting Impact” project will tackle sectarianism and racism at its roots working with young people currently disinterested or dissident and, through a 5 – 7 year process, help them to become leaders for good relations and change agents in their communities.

Youth Link Northern Ireland

As a partnership of Churches working together, Youth Link will contribute to a more inclusive and peaceful society by enabling young people and youth practitioners to build positive, healthy and sustainable relationships within and between communities through education, training and empowerment programmes.

Core funding will enable Youthlink to contribute to educating and mobilising young people towards the common good and exploring their visions of the future in a way that enables young people to live in a plural non-violent and integrated future that helps society to move towards a positive peace, and a sense of global awareness and citizenship.


Share this page: