Good relations projects hailed by Ministers during County Derry visit

The Executive’s commitment towards the delivery of good relations projects in 2021/22 is another key step towards building a united and shared society, Ministers have said during a visit to Limavady.

First Minister Paul Givan and Education Minister Michelle McIlveen saw first-hand how the Executive’s Together: Building a United Community Strategy is actively bringing young people from different backgrounds and traditions together as they dropped in to the T:BUC Camp delivered by Roe Valley Residents Association.

Mr. Givan said: “The amazing work of initiatives such as the T:BUC Camp delivered by Roe Valley Residents Association is an example of how T:BUC funding is helping to engender real and lasting societal change.

“The T:BUC Camps Programme is inspiring. It is a great example of the incredible good relations work that is helping to bring about positive change across so many communities here.

First Minister Paul Givan and Education Minister Michelle McIlveen join young people who took part in a Together: Building a United Community Camp delivered by Roe Valley Residents Association. It was one of a number of such schemes taking place across Northern Ireland which brings young people of different backgrounds and traditions together for a range of shared activities. Photot: Lorcan Doherty.

“The camps bring people of different backgrounds and traditions together for shared activities. This not only breaks down barriers in the present, but has a profound and lasting impact in creating a better future. This effort plays a key role in helping us continue the journey towards creating a more united and shared society.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “The amazing work being carried out through the T:BUC Camps programme and across the wider T:BUC Strategy is helping to bring people from different cultural traditions together and engender real and lasting societal change.

“The Executive is committed to the good relations journey and to continuing to support projects working towards our goal of creating a truly equal and shared society where everyone can live together, free from intolerance, discrimination and prejudice.”

Minister McIlveen added: “The T:BUC Camps programme is an important initiative which demonstrates what can be achieved through a joined up approach involving The Executive Office, the Department of Education and the Education Authority.

“For some young people a T:BUC Camp can be the first opportunity to come together on a cross-community basis to meet people they may not otherwise do.

“It is an opportunity to take part in an exciting programme as well as making new friends.”

To date Five Urban Villages have been created and over 600 T:BUC Camps involving 22,000 young people delivered across the north.