Holywood Shared Town Consortium is a company limited by guarantee. It is made up of more than 30 agencies and organisations in Holywood and District. It includes schools, churches, sporting organisations, businesses, arts and music groups, with anumber of statutory agencies having observer status.
Our vision is for a Holywood Shared Spaces and Services Plan which will be developed alongside a programme of projects to build relationships, create shared spaces and tackle racism and sectarianism.
A new consortium has been brought together to develop and deliver the proposal. The consortium comprises community, voluntary groups, schools, statutory organisations, private sector partners and churches. The consortium is seeking to develop a participatory process and a programme of work during 2012/2013 that will build inclusive and effective decision-making while delivering projects to address the issues of sectarianism and racism and the wellbeing of people in Holywood and District.
A Shared Spaces and Services Working Group has been established to provide a place for careful consideration of the development of shared spaces and services and that tackles the barriers to working together, including sectarianism and racism.
Aims and Objectives
The project has five aims that bring together ideas, commitment and expertise from community organisations and public sector partners that already had proposals for sharing space and working together.
1. To learn from existing models for building a shared and better future at a local level.
2. To build a representative and effective working group specifically to support the development of a Shared Spaces and Services Plan.
3. To develop mechanisms for engagement by statutory agencies with the forum focussed on effective shared services in Holywood.
4. To deliver a vibrant programme of activity that will challenge sectarianism and racism and support the development of an inclusive identity and sense of belonging for all the people of the area.
5. To develop transformative mechanisms for handling conflict.
The project has two objectives:
1. Delivery of a participative planning process to developing an action plan focussed on shared spaces and services.
2. Delivery of a programme with existing organisations to challenge sectarianism and racism, build enhanced capacity to tackle sensitive issues and work towards a more inclusive identity for all of Holywoods residents.
By working towards the development of a Shared Spaces and Services Plan the project will look realistically not only at what services communities need, but about where they should be located and how their location can contribute to a more integrated, open and connected society and help to tackle the factors that underpin sectarianism and racism. The Plan will cover the Electoral Wards of Holywood Priory, Loughview, Clandeboye, Craigavad, Cultra and Holywood Demesne.
Programme of Activity
There is an associated programme of activity which will help to support participation in the planning process while delivering practical projects on the ground, to tackle racism and sectarianism, build shared spaces and support new relationships between consortium members. These include the following:
Young Americans Project
To bring 200 children from different backgrounds together from 5 schools to build up self-esteem and worth. To show respect for young people from different backgrounds and learn team building / people skills.
History and Film Project
To develop a film within Redburn School which considers the important factors in creating and maintaining good relationships within a community. The life of Redburn Primary school (50 years) and the history of the area will be documented and inform the pupils in creating a charter for the neighbourhood.
Multi-Cultural Youth Inclusion project
A large cultural/ community event for approximately 1500 people which serves members of the Protestant, Catholic and Ethnic Minority communities with the desire to facilitate integration and foster good community relations. The festival will bring people together; community groups, faith based organisations, and young people, in a shared vision.
Anti Racism and Sectarianism Hip Hop Project
This project is the development of a multicultural musical based on real experiences of racism / sectarianism of the RECON group.
Shared Play Area
This project involves the development of a shared play area at Redburn Community Centre. This project endorses recent community consultations (draft NIHE shared neighbourhood plan) through the need for additional Play areas in Redburn/ Loughview. It also secures a local initiative that will contribute to promoting the concept of shared neighbourhoods and shared spaces in Holywood.
Garden Outreach Project
This project involves the development of shared spaces in the Holywood area building on the shared garden at Redburn Primary School.
Study Visits by Consortium Members
To partake in good practice visits within Belfast which can demonstrate good models to tackle sectarianism / racism by local communities. The proposed visits include a focus on an issue based approach to good relations and initiatives like Respect Week (the REAL project), faith based approaches to building inclusive communities (OASIS) and work to bring different groupings together in Ballynafeigh as a mixed community in Belfast.
Shared Spaces programme Photography Book
To document the progress of the shared spaces and services programme January to December 2010
Evaluation and Human Rights Training
To look at the whole area of conflict transformation and human rights so that we can handle conflict impartially and positively. To develop the capacity to deliver mediation locally.
To build skills in self-evaluation.
Town Centre Development Plan
Working with the Town Centre Management, Holywood Chamber of Trade and Holywood Residents' Association the Consortium will facilitate the development of a town centre plan desined to mare Holywood a thriving and safe place to live, work, shop and be entertained.
We are always open to new ideas and projects.
If you are interested in joining the consortium or learning more about this project please feel free to contact Julia Harkness, Holywood Shared Town Consortium, Redburn Community Centre, Jacksons Road, Holywood, BT18 9EZ, email:firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 028 90 428036