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June 2020 Newsletter

PEACE IV – June 2020 Newsletter.

 

 

Planes, Trains and Men’s Sheds.

The Paddock. Eglinton. Cue heavy downpour. A small huddle – socially distanced huddle – of men in flat caps and raincoats, gather stoically with umbrellas.

As lockdown is slowly lifted, there are signs of life emerging from the PEACE IV Programme. A diverse range of survival tactics were employed across the sixty-five funded community projects. Many of those delivering Peace projects, volunteered heroically in helping their local communities through the worst stages of the crisis. Some took to digital zooming like proverbial ducks to water. Others, like penguins to the Sahara. All communities were impacted – with variation depending on rurality, Wi-Fi access, deprivation and age/health profile of participants. By June 2020, most have found their way back into delivering peace work in the ‘new normal’.

The cross-community collaboration between the Glen and Eglinton Men’s Sheds is one of the first to hold a socially distanced launch. David is there waggling a two metre stick – in jest, but also a pertinent reminder of social distancing. Part of the Council Led ‘One Community’ project, the Men’s Shed partnership had been established before lockdown. ‘The Glen is one of the few cross-community areas in Derry’s cityside,’ says Maurice from the Glen. ‘Still, this project is one of the first times we’ve done a joint project with another group. Martin from council approached us and promoted the idea of Men’s Sheds working together. We made contact on the cross-community aspect with Eglinton. By co-incidence, they came up with building an airplane and we were for building a train for kids in Dunluce Family Centre. The project became Planes and Trains. We liked the sound of that.’

Bob, Chair of the Eglinton Men’s Shed, explains today’s launch. ‘It’s a tribute to Eglinton’s history,’ he says. ‘In 1943, Eglinton air base was built to protect the dock. The RAF took it over. Called it HMS Gannet during the war.’ The wooden model spitfire replica is bursting with marigolds and geraniums. ‘Council funded the timber and flowers,’ says Bob. ‘It was a joint effort between ourselves and the Glen Men’s Shed. We enjoyed working together.’ As the rain eases, there’s a shuffling and positioning around the spitfire. It stands pride of place in the paddock, easily viewed from the stone wall and information panel at the wooden gate. ‘Last year, we got most improved village in Ulster in Bloom,’ says Bob, ‘This year’s competition was shelved due to Coronavirus. Next year we’ll hopefully be off to a head start.’ Official photos pronounce the project formally launched.

After meeting twelve weeks of Tuesday morning meetings the rapport is evident. ‘We alternated venues,’ says Maurice. ‘We’ve a great relationship built in the course of this and we want to keep that going. Hopefully we can grow that, as well as flowers, in the future.’

PEACE IV NW Ministry of Youth Project goes zoom. (Co-operation Ireland and Eaducation Authority)

PEACE IV Valued Voices Project successfully launches ‘200 Words and One Picture’ book during lockdown (Towards Understanding and Healing).

‘The Art of the Possible’

Far from giving up under Covid, the PEACE IV Team in council have been working as hard as possible to maintain an ‘open for business’ approach. On 27th May we held an online conference ‘The Art of The Possible’. 43 individuals attended, representing a wide range of projects from within our council area and the event was also joined by a number of PEACE IV projects from Donegal. With some collective wisdom, projects have been able to inspire and help each other adjust to digital and socially distanced delivery. Around a third of our projects have applied for, and been granted permission, to adjust their contracts to delivery under Covid restrictions. Around 10 projects also successfully completed their entire projects despite the lockdown. It took a lot of dedication, creativity and lateral thinking – but we’d like to thank every one of them for keeping going. The work of the PEACE IV programme has, in these difficult times, not just been helping reconciliation, but also contributed very positively to community and individual wellbeing by keeping people encouraged and connected.

 

Opportunities to take part:

 

1. ARCH Project (Arts Reconciliation Culture and Heritage)

Ever fancied learning tinwhistle, bagpipes, bodhrán or lambeg? Need a resource to talk about culture with young people? Perhaps you’ve a natural flair for highland dancing but you never knew it… Check out the free resources on YouTube from the Newgate Arts and Cultural Centre https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kd1hYcvJW0&feature=youtu.be

Contact for further information: chris@newgatearts.com

 

2. A Day in the Life – Nerve Centre Decade of Commemorations call for participants.

A Day in the Life is an online programme that gives you the chance to preserve your place in history by contributing to the Tower Museum’s contemporary collection of life in the North West during the 2020 pandemic.

How will this programme work?

  • We will offer five fun activities including letter writing, family history, cooking & music.
  • You’ll receive a package in the post with helpful items to get you started.
  • An online community hosted in Slack will allow you to share activities and engage in conversations with others.
  • Activities are encouraged by all members of your family or group, but can also be completed by yourself.

Expert facilitators and curators from the Nerve Centre, Tower Museum and PRONI, musician Paddy Nash and a well-known local chef will join us on our journey.

Details:

  • This programme is FREE and open to anyone aged 18+.
  • Participants must be from Derry City & Strabane District Council area or Donegal.
  • The programme will run between 16th June to 3rd July.
  • There will be six scheduled live meet-ups on June 16th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 30th and July 3rd, from 11am to 12.30pm.

 

If you have any questions or disability access requirements you would like to discuss with us in advance, please contact p.larkin@nervecentre.org or sign up @ https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-in-the-life-tickets-108439688026

 

3. Support for groups during Covid19.

 

The Community Support Section of Council Website has a range of useful information: Resources to Keep people Healthy, Get Help and Advice, Volunteering, Child Friendly Information, Support for Community Organisations Including Funding Support, Data Protection and Keeping Children Safe from Abuse.www.derrystrabane.com/communitysupport

 

For further information on the local council programme contact: peace@derrystrabane.com or visit our website www.derrystrabane.com/Peace-IV

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.