“One Voice” for Young People in Greater Whitewell
Published: Wed, 2 Jul 2014
Young people from across the divide in the Greater Whitewell area of North Belfast have come together, to produce a charity track entitled “One Voice”.
The projectwas facilitated by our Shared Communities Programme and came on the back of a Housing Executive survey which highlighted that people in Greater Whitewell felt there was a lack of youth initiatives in the area. The Greater Whitewell area covers Fairyknowe, Graymount, Longlands, Lower Whitewell, Throne and White City areas.
Over five weeks young people from the six areas worked together with Robbie Bryson and Aaron Andrews from RC Media, learning with digital technologies to produce their own music. The track, which is based on them being together as ’one’, got its first public airing last month at a special community event in St Ninnians Hall to launch the results of the survey. It proved so popular that it has now been made available to download from iTunes, and all proceeds from the sale of the track will go to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of the Housing Executive’s Income Collection and Neighbourhoods Unit explains why projects like this are vital for the success of the Shared Communities Programme:
“The benefits of projects like this are two-fold. Not only do the young people have an opportunity to learn valuable new skills but they have been able to come together in a creative environment to help build relationships. And, that is really what the Shared Communities Programme is all about – bringing people together regardless of religion or ethnicity in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all and threatening to no-one.”
Geraldine O’Kane and Brian Dunn from the Greater Whitewell Community Surgery echoed those sentiments and added:
“We were delighted to see this project going ahead and would like to thank RC Media and the Housing Executive, particularly Connor Smith, for their continued support.
“There is no doubt that new relationships and friendships were formed during the project, and that certainly bodes well for the future of this area. But perhaps equally important is the fact that it has given the young people more confidence and a skill set that could lead to possible future employment opportunities.
“And the icing on the cake has to be that the sale of the track on iTunes could now help raise much needed funds for the Children’s Hospice, which is a cause close to many people’s hearts.”