Downpatrick And Ballynahinch Residents Meet Through Bric

Residents’ associations from Downpatrick and Ballynahinch have been brought together in a ground-breaking cross community engagement evening.

Facilitated by the EU PEACE III funded Building Relationships in Communities (bric) Programme, the event saw representatives from Downpatrick Community Collective and Ballynahinch based Langley Road Community Association join to discuss their experiences of the bric Programme and the learning and skills gathered from it.

[caption id="attachment_51084" align="alignleft" width="390"]Members of Langley Road Conmmunity Assocation and Downpatrick Community Collective get together. Members of Langley Road Conmmunity Assocation and Downpatrick Community Collective get together.[/caption]

Speaking at the event, Dan McEvoy, Chairperson of Downpatrick Community Collective, said: “The bric Programme has helped emphasise the importance of putting Good Relations at the heart of all our activities and the benefits this can have for us all.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our involvement with the project and look forward to taking a range of initiatives and projects forward using the skills, knowledge and understanding we have gained from it.”

The bric Programme is a unique partnership between the Rural Development Council, Housing Executive and Tides Training which cultivates good relations across Northern Ireland through.

Andrew Steenson, Chairperson of Langley Road Community Association said: “The bric Programme helped give us a greater understanding not only of other cultures and history but also that of our own backgrounds and the events that impacted on our communities. The programme challenged perspectives and helped break down numerous barriers while giving us a valuable insight into the huge benefits of making sure Good Relations is a core goal of everything we do.”

BRIC Programme Manager Kerry McIvor, said: “Through our working partnership with the Housing Executive and Tides Training, the bric Programme has been active throughout Northern Ireland and has worked to enhance community relations, improve the environment of local areas, and benefit local residents. This event has been a massive step forward for all those involved and we are delighted to have been able to support both groups as they work towards improving their internal and external Good Relations strategies.”

Raj Thomspon, Housing Executive Good Relations Officer, added: “The Housing Executive is delighted to be associated with the bric Programme and the invaluable work it does to help empower local residents as they work to achieve their goals of creating neighbourliness and inclusiveness in all aspects of community life. The Downpatrick and Langley groups have been an absolute pleasure to work with and this has been a very exciting and rewarding event to work on. Events like this help ensure the legacy of the bric Programme remains intact for years to come.”