What’s happening in this area?
Health and Well-being
East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA) are delivering a project which will raise awareness of available services in the area, train local people as community champions and befrienders and provide targeted holistic interventions to families within the community, tackling issues such as substance abuse and addiction, social isolation and mental health. The project has worked with 35 community groups in the project area to deliver mental health and drug and alcohol awareness training to individuals living and volunteering in the area. 550 people directly taken part in the training and interventions delivered by the project and the project has created almost 100 community mental health champions and befrienders who now have the confidence to engage their communities and create positive change. A guide in the form of an app has been created to be a hyper local directory of services which is easily accessible and interactive, providing immediate support when it is needed. This can be downloaded via the app store or google play and more information can be found at www.healthhubeastbelfast.com.
Culture and Identity
Ballymac Friendship Trust Limited are delivering a programme to positively celebrate loyalist culture and identity and build the capacity of individuals and groups to become agents of social change in their area through the arts. The project has worked with individuals across The Mount and Ballymacarrett to deliver a series of cultural events which celebrated the positive aspects of culture and heritage of the area. It also worked with groups and individuals to train them through arts and culture skills development. Moving forward the project will provide an opportunity to promote a positive narrative of PUL culture and identity which will continue to grow and boost civic pride in the area.
NI Alternatives are working to establish a local Community Safety Forum in East Belfast, focusing on community safety issues linked to the impact of paramilitarism and coercive control in the area.
Ex Prisoner Support
The ACT Initiative are delivering an Ex Prisoner Support Programme in four Communities in Transition areas, including East Belfast. The project seeks to build acceptance of ex-prisoners in the community and realise the positive contribution to society they have to make. It also includes an element of support services including advocacy, welfare rights and mental health support.
NI Alternatives are working with both 4-11yr olds and 12-16yr old and their parents to improve the educational attainment of children and raise their aspirations in terms of employment for the future.
Restorative Practices Project
The STARS (Striving Towards a Restorative Society) is being delivered across all eight CIT areas by Community Restorative Justice Ireland and NI Alternatives. The project aims to increase the use of restorative practices in community settings through provision of training and mentoring support.
Community Capacity Building
The East Belfast Communities in Transtion: Building Capacity programme, which completed in June 21, was delivered by NICVA in partnership with East Belfast Community Development Association. The project engaged with over 25 groups from The Mount and Ballymacarrett areas. The Programme started in 2020 just before the first COVID19 lockdown. More than 100 individual Staff, Volunteers, Board members and Trustees, participated in 100 plus training programmes and events. Participants developed a range of new skills including Leadership and Management, Governance, Fundraising, Coaching and Mentoring. The legacy of the Communities in Transition Programme is that the new skills learnt will be applied by the participants in their workplace, for the benefit of their groups and communities. In addition an East Belfast Community Development Toolkit and a Coaching Framework were developed as resources for the Groups.
For further information on the Programme and the impact it had please follow the link Celebrating East Belfast’s Communities in Transition: Building Capacity Programme | NICVA
Funded by The Executive Office