Major Waterside cross-community project proves a success story

A cross-community Common Ground programme in Tullyally and Currynierin has drawn to a successful conclusion with over 400 people from the two estates takning part.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 10:19 am
Local children on an adventure with Far & Wild.

The main aim of this project was to work with the residents in the neighbouring areas to plan and deliver a series of cross-community programmes and events.

Common Groun was an ‘Interface Investment Programme’, a project funded through Derry City and Strabane District Council and supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme managed by SEUPB.

Over three years to March 2021, the project ran a variety of programmes and engaged with over 450 participants from the area.

Cara McLoughlin, project worker, said: “The people who live here are what has made this project so special. Tullyally and Currynierin are portrayed in a very negative light but the truth is that there are many hundreds if not thousands of small acts of kindness and caring that happen every day. These stories go unnoticed and unreported. That doesn’t make them any less important.”

This project also allowed St Columb’s Park house to work closely with the residents of both areas to look for ways in which they could continue to work together to build on the work that has been done since 2018. They were successful in applying to the Community Foundation NI for funding for a legacy programme called ‘Dare to Dream’, which will be funded by the Community Foundation NI.

Becca Bor, project coordinator, said: “These are communities that have a very long history of working together. That is something that I think needs supported in the longer term. It also needs to be amplified and highlighted more in the present moment.”

Dare to Dream will allow local residents to work together to create a shared community plan and identify key priorities for both areas. Once this shared community plan is drafted, residents from both areas will work to implement it together. It will use an innovative process called Participatory Budgeting. This is a process whereby funds are allocated to the community, and the community members propose and vote and then get a chance to vote on how to allocate those funds.

A priority for this project will be to continue the work of advocating for Tullyally and Curryniern, with council, central government, statutory agencies and more, so that they can receive the investment and the resources every community deserves.