Local communities form new connections through PEACE IV Good Relations programme
04 March 2021
A three year project aimed at promoting good relations and understanding between eight different communities in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area is coming to a successful conclusion.
The One Community Programme sat within the Building Positive Relations theme under Derry City and Strabane District Council's PEACE IV Programme.
The aim of the initiative was to help embed Good Relations within the emerging Local Growth Partnerships which were being set up at the time.
The projects were created after a series of community workshops with some focusing on older people, some on youth and some on families.
All of the projects had at their core good relations workshops and discussions.
In the Sperrin area the project involved a series of six historical walks and talks in five areas with a lunchtime get together afterwards.
Groups travelled from their own areas to the host village and many new acquaintances were made by people living in neighbouring villages.
In Strabane and Donemana the project focused on giving young people from both areas an opportunity to learn about the sporting cultures and heritage of both traditions here with visits to GAA and Rugby centres of excellence.
They also visited sites of historical significance in Dublin and Belfast. Due to COVID -19 restrictions the group changed the final phase of their project to a media project which recorded the response of the community sector to the pandemic in Donemana and Strabane.
In the Moor area there were two projects, one involving a Water Sports based programme for young people called Bridges Over Water and another targeting older people with a health focused programme of activities.
In the Waterside a project which focused on families and a separate project targeting older people was delivered. The family programme culminated in a Minding Mums Event that attracted over 200 participants. The older persons' project included a visit to a historical attraction in Donegal, lunchtime events and craft workshops.
In the Ballyarnett project young people visited sites of historical significance in Dublin and Belfast and completed an OCN course in personal development.
The Faughan area's project was centred on older people and involved a series of workshops and events in different venues examining different religious and ethnic cultures.
In Foyleside there was a men's shed joint project and a women's project.
In the men's shed project two men's groups from Eglinton and Foyleside took part in workshops, to produce jointly, large planters to be sited in their respective areas.
The project entitled Trains and Planes produced a planter in the form of a Spitfire and one in the form of a plane.
These groups also organised a well-attended Men's Health Conference.
The women's project was entitled Women in Space and Time and there were a number of workshops on culture and health held, there was also an arts and crafts course.
In the Derg area the project was centred on horticultural activities and after a series of workshops planters were distributed throughout the town and wider area, there were also some personal development workshops.
The One Community Programme had over 200 participants over the eight areas engaged over a minimum of six months and the feedback from these participants was extremely positive.
It gave those involved, young and old, a chance to learn about other religions, cultures, histories of local villages and a chance to visit new places to broaden outlooks.
The PEACE IV Programme is supported by the European Union, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.