Dungannon communities encouraged to "meet the neighbours"
Published: Wed, 18 Apr 2012
Dungannon residents were recently encouraged to get to know their neighbours better at an event we hosted jointly with the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme (STEP).
The information sharing event, which was held in the Youth Club in Dungannon, was intended to increase awareness of cultural diversity locally and promote good relations between residents of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Denise McNally is our new District Manager for Dungannon. “Great work is being done in local communities to develop an awareness of the diverse groups found in a modern society like ours and the benefits that they bring.” she said. “We want to encourage all residents, whatever their background, to participate fully in their local community in order to improve the quality of life for everyone in Dungannon and South Tyrone.”
Our Race Relations Officer Linda Hutchinson added, “We want to ensure that all people can enjoy full and fair access to housing services and employment opportunities within the Housing Executive. We also aim to support the promotion of good relations between and within ethnic groups and communities and to promote an environment where any form of hate crime will not be tolerated in any of our estates.”
The event included an exhibition of photos from the local Traveller community and a presentation highlighting the benefits and challenges presented to the Fivemiletown Estates Group which participated in our Shared Neighbourhood Programme. This initiative aimed to develop shared areas where people choose to live with others, regardless of their religion or race, in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all.
Residents from Milltown, Cunninghams Lane, Fairmount Park, Annaghshee and Coalisland, as well as a number of local migrant workers attended on the day.
Supporting Communities Northern Ireland is also providing ongoing training and support to the participating community groups to develop an awareness of the diversity to be found in the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough.
The event provided community groups with the opportunity to bring to life the principles of our Good Relations policy. We hope that successful events like these will encourage other areas to create their own shared communities where diversity is welcomed and people of all backgrounds live, work, learn and play together.