Pupils Design Shared Future For Dundrum Housing

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Local Pupils have Designs on a Shared Future at new Dundrum Housing Scheme.

More than 50 children from primary schools in Dundrum and Clough have taken part in a series of art workshops to help lay foundations for a new shared neighbourhood project in their local area.

Clanmil Housing is currently building 16 apartments at Main Street in Dundrum.  The new development is being promoted as a shared neighbourhood.

The fun and educational arts programme was organised by Clanmil working with Community Arts Partnership.  It provided pupils from Sacred Heart Primary School, Knockevin Special School and Cross-Community Play Group in Dundrum and Cumran Primary School in Clough with opportunities to come together in their community to reflect on and engage creatively around their identity.

Dundrum pupils design a shared space: Included are Rhianna Murray, Joshua Alexander, Evan Stone and Molly Rooney from Sacred Heart and Cumran Primary Schools for the fun and educational arts programme.  Also pictured are Clanmil’s Community Cohesion Officer Gerard Rosato and artist Fionnula Duffin.

Through the project the children are being encouraged to consider the concept of Shared Neighbourhoods and the reality of segregation, and to explore possibilities for the future.

The children’s ideas will be used to inspire a unique artwork or sculpture for permanent display within the new housing scheme.

The development in Dundrum is one of ten shared neighbourhoods to be delivered under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building a United Community (TBUC) strategy, which aims to build a more shared society.  Clanmil is working to deliver a total of four shared neighbourhoods across Northern Ireland and has also staged art workshops in Banbridge and South Belfast as part of this work.

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said: “The concept of sharing where we live can be a complex issue and this project is about encouraging the children to explore and develop ideas through art that are relevant to them and their families.  The images they are creating together wonderfully capture how young people perceive the community they live in, want the future to be and how people of all backgrounds can make better progress together.

“It is crucial that we take their creative ideas on board and move forward in a positive way.

“We see housing as central to driving change and these new homes, which are welcoming for everyone, are a strong step forward.  Not only will the new homes help reduce housing waiting lists but they will also provide people with the choice of living in a safe neighbourhood that welcomes diversity.”

Shared housing schemes give people the choice of living in neighbourhoods with people from many backgrounds and traditions and Clanmil is committed to delivering homes that are welcoming to all.

Charo Lanao, Community Facilitator at Community Arts Partnership, said: “This creative project has really captured the children’s imagination and enthusiasm.  Their ideas will inspire an amazing artwork for the community to enjoy for years to come.

“It’s lovely to see new friendships form among the pupils as they engage in new conversations about important community issues and we hope these connections will continue beyond this project.

“Building relationships and holding meaningful conversations are at the foundation of a healthy neighbourhood.”