What’s happening in this area?
Health and Wellbeing
Ashton Community Trust in partnership with YeHa and Lighthouse are delivering a health and wellbeing project to address underlying community and personal issues around mental health and wellbeing. The project has recruited and trained 86 community champions and befrienders who have worked together to co-design and deliver various health interventions and outreach events including a 5-month Take 5 steps to wellbeing social media campaign, a virtual health summit, community celebration events and other health interventions. All information and links to the catalogue of resources developed though this project so far can be found at www.ashtoncentre.com and Ashton Community Trust’s YouTube channel.
Community Restorative Justice Ireland supporting the development of community responses to crime and anti-social behaviour through localised community safety fora. This project, which commenced in July 2021, builds on an earlier Community Safety project delivered in North Belfast by Ashton Community Trust.
The North Belfast CIT Community Safety Programme (2020-21) was led by Ashton Community Trust and delivered in partnership with the Yeha Project and Grace Women’s Centre across New Lodge and Ardoyne. 25 young volunteers from across the New Lodge and Ardoyne undertook training in appreciative inquiry techniques, developed a survey and conducted 119 door-to-door interviews with residents across the CIT area. The findings were consolidated into a community safety plan and included recommendations that were taken forward into a social action project. An OCN Accredited Level 2 Award in Personal and Social Development focusing on youth justice was delivered with the young volunteers and 12 individuals undertook training in Domestic Violence Awareness and the value of Positive Youth Engagement Strategies whilst Safeguarding training was attended by 97 individuals. The social action project involved three different elements – an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Campaign ‘Own Your Choice’, an issue-based Young Women’s Magazine ‘That’s What She Said’ with supporting podcast and two community-based Connected Communities Events. Films and animations created as part of ‘Own Your Choice’ and the magazines published through ‘That’s What She Said’ can be found at www.ashtoncentre.com
Community Restorative Justice Ireland are providing training and professional development support to increase the use of restorative practice in community settings.
Community Capacity Building Project
The North Belfast Communities In Transition Capacity Building Programme ended in June 2021. Led by Ashton Community Trust and delivered across New Lodge and Ardoyne the project worked with 16 community groups. 256 people undertook training and 52.5 bespoke mentoring days were delivered based on the pre-identified need. Nine social action projects were delivered with combined participation of 149 local people. These collaborative projects allowed for the development of new and existing working relationships across the CIT area. The programme hosted four networking events that were attended by 85 individuals. Supported by Community Places a Community Capacity Building Toolkit was produced that reflected programme learning with specific reference on how to build local capacity and what is required to promote the development of shared, resilient and lawful community. The project celebration ‘Connected Communities Creating Change’ is captured through a series of short films available at www.ashtoncentre.com where the Community Capacity Building Toolkit is also available.
Facilitating Area Regeneration
The Communities in Transition Area Regeneration project ended in March 2021. Through the project Ashton Community Trust worked with people from New Lodge and Ardoyne to enable them to learn about making urban regeneration happen and to get involved in the design of an urban regeneration plan.
Funded by The Executive Office