Date: 29 Jun 2022
Participants on council's EU-funded PEACE IV ‘Transform for Change’ project came together this week at a special event in the city to mark the finale of the project.
NICVA delivered the ‘Transformative Leadership’ element of the programme along with local partners - East Belfast Community Development Agency, Falls Community Council, Forward South Partnership and West Belfast Partnership Board.
600 people took part in the programme since it was launched in November 2019 with 43 courses delivered across 15 interface areas in Belfast. Over 200 people registered to complete the ILM award in leadership and management and 20 projects have been developed or are being implemented across the city.
Among the projects are the development of two community gardens in north and inner east Belfast, walking and informational tours and cultural and community events. Local residents, volunteers from community groups, public sector staff and political sector representatives took part in the programme.
At the event at the Clayton Hotel on Monday, participants reflected on what they learnt on the programme and shared how it has impacted them and their communities. This included real transformation from new relationships being built, becoming more involved in the local community, new projects started and becoming more confident as a leader.
Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor, Councillor Tina Black, said: “I’m delighted to celebrate the achievements of the Council’s PEACE IV Transform for Change project. Belfast has come a long way as a city over the last 20 years and various initiatives, not least the PEACE IV programme, have helped improve community relations during this time.
“This project has built leadership skills and created great connections and relationships between individuals in community and voluntary, statutory and public sectors. This will build capacity and confidence and encourage collaboration going forward. Leadership is also so important to our community plan - the Belfast Agenda - recognising and building on our city’s achievements in looking to the future.”
Councillor Mal O’Hara, Deputy Chair of the council’s Shared City Partnership, added: “This project forms part of our PEACE IV Local Action Plan, which received £14.5 million funding from the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, to deliver programmes that support peace and reconciliation work and support good relations across the city.
“To reflect on the importance or our diverse communities, over £6 million was invested under the Building Positive relations theme to build peace in communities and empower individuals across the city to promote respect, cultural diversity and an environment where people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.
“All the people who have taken part in the project have contributed to the building of good relations in the city and I hope this will continue to create positive change in their communities.”
The PEACE IV programme is an EU funded cross-border initiative supporting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region. The programme is financed through the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
For more information, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/PEACEIV