The BRAID project was developed in conjunction with Co-operation Ireland to promote Good Relations in the Ballymena area.
The aim was to promote positive relationships between people from a different political, religious or racial background, was key to improving the quality of life for everyone in our communities – making our communities a better place to live, work, socialise and do business.
Fairness, equality and respect should be at the heart of everything that is done.
These values were central to the BRAID project and underpinned all of the elements of the project
The three community groups involved in the project were The Carson Project based in Harryville, the Dunclug Youth Forum and Doury Road Development Group.
Each of these three groups were committed to work together in harmony to develop and build on good relations through a series of events that acted as a catalyst to establish their goals.
The BRAID project had many strands and included planning meetings attending partnership meetings, help from professional mentors with expertise in good relations and community development.
Study trips also took place to other organisations where one could learn from best practice from their experience.
The project finished in March 2019 and meetings with local council officials were planned as well as urban/rural network meetings.
Quite a lot of time and resources were given to a youth strand where youth from different backgrounds and communities engaged in a tailored series of events that included weekly sessions, monthly activities design and delivery of a social action project/training in good relations, cultural diversity, first aid, food hygiene and completing their own CV.
Those youth participating were aged 11-15 on a cross community basis. There was a total of 18 youth participating with at least 6 of those being youth who were excluded from main stream clubs and who possibly could be influencing other youth.
Shared Future Concert
The BRAID project organised a Shared Future Concert held on 5th March at the Braid Arts Centre Bridge Street Ballymena.
It was hopeful that the P.S.N.I pipe band and the Garda concert band took to the stage in what promised to be the concert of the year. The P.S.N.I pipe band is a championship pipe band with major success in competitions behind them. The Garda band performs all over Ireland and is a full time concert band with approximately 30 musicians and singers. So if you like Glenn Miller swing music or prefer Michael Buble, Ed Sherran or Frank Sinatra songs with some country and western mixed with pop and rock and roll, then this concert was a must and truly reflected good relations with its diverse and inclusive programme.
An end of project residential was arranged where group members could evaluate the project in conjunction with Co-Operation Ireland. This evaluation was important as it gave the members time to reflect and consider what was good about the project. Questions answered were also what did not perhaps work well and how if needed could the project be improved .
All groups associated with the project to date were congratulated in their efforts and commitment as they gave of their time on a voluntary basis.
The group would also like to thank the help and support given by Mid And East Antrim Council Good Relations Team especially Bebhinn McKinley and Jane Dunlop.