Peace IV community programmes sustain efforts through lock down and beyond
26 June 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council's PEACE IV funded community projects are slowly returning to life and activity as the lock down restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 19 are eased.
Over the last few months many of those who deliver the 65 projects contributed to the mammoth volunteer effort to help service the most vulnerable in the community who were confined to their homes.
Around a third of Council's projects successfully applied for permission to adjust their contracts to deliver under Covid restrictions and a further ten initiatives successfully completed their entire projects despite the lockdown.
"It has been fantastic to see the resilience and creativity of our 65 PEACE IV projects in adapting to delivery despite Covid restrictions," said Sue Divin, Programme Manager for PEACE with Derry City and Strabane District Council.
"It took a lot of dedication, creativity and lateral thinking – but we'd like to thank every one of them for keeping going.
"Community spirit is a powerful resource in these difficult times.
"As well as contributing to cross-community reconciliation and diversity, collectively, the projects are contributing to the wellbeing of participants and to sustaining the local economy.
"Given the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, the elements of the PEACE IV programme that in particular tackle racism and promote diversity have had added poignancy in the context of the last few months."
The cross-community collaboration between the Glen and Eglinton Men's Sheds were one of the first to hold a socially distanced event following the lifting of restrictions as they revealed their flower bed Spitfire airplane (pictured) installed in Eglinton Village. The project will also install a playground train in the Dunluce Family Centre. The Valued Voices project, which gives voice to the testimonies of victims and survivors, successfully launched its book '200 words, 1 picture' during lockdown. Many youth projects such as the NW Ministry of Youth (Education Authority and Co-operation Ireland) and the Beacon Project (Youth Action) adapted rapidly to zoom and online delivery.
On May 27th Council's Peace IV team hosted an online conference 'The Art of the Possible' which was attended by 43 people from both sides of the Irish border. 'The message from the PEACE IV projects collectively is that the funding from the European Union (Managed by the Special EU Programmes Body SEUPB)' continues to make a significant positive impact event through these challenging times.'
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.