Housing Executive hosts Shared Neighbourhood celebration
Published: Wed, 23 May 2012
Seven of our Shared Neighbourhood groups have attended an event to celebrate the achievements to date.
The South East area groups (Knockmore / Tonagh, Redburn / Loughview, Areema , Dunmurry , Killyleagh and Belvoir and Milltown) were invited to come along and share their experiences of the Shared Neighbourhood Programme. Four new groups were also invited to the celebration event as part of the audience.
We hosted the event at our South East Area Office in Strangford House, Court Street, Newtownards. The successful work carried out by community groups through the Shared Neighbourhood Programme was highlighted. It aims 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.
South East Area Manager Stephen Graham explained, "The Housing Executive is delighted to be able to celebrate the vital contribution being made locally by groups who work tirelessly to improve community relations and cohesion where they live and work.
"A lot of excellent work is being done by these groups to develop relationships between and within communities. Today's event provided an opportunity for those attending to highlight the benefits, and identify the challenges, offered by the Shared Neighbourhood Programme. It also provides us with feedback on how best we can support this vital work”.
The projects and initiatives highlighted were tailored to meet the needs of individual communities, addressing issues of concern that affect local residents’ quality of life. These include good relations agreements, healthy eating classes , sports activities, summer schemes for young and old, local fun days and multicultural events.
Additionally, the community groups are helping to develop an awareness of the diverse groups to be found in local communities and to recognise the valuable contributions these make to our society.
We hope that successful initiatives 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.