Two projects in Derry & Strabane Council area recognised at IPB Awards

Two projects from the Derry and Strabane Council area have received runners up awards at the 2023 IPB Pride of Place Awards.

The Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership’s Minding Mum Project and the Sion Mills Community Forum were nominated for the prestigious competition that acknowledges and celebrates community work across Ireland.

Representatives of both initiatives attended the awards at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin with Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Angela Dobbins, who congratulated them on their success.

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“I am bursting with pride these projects have received national recognition for their dedicated work to make our neighbourhoods better places to live, work and socialise,” she said.

Members of the Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, group from Derry with their Runners Up Award during the ipb pride of place 2022 in association with Co-operation Ireland at the Clayton hotel, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

“The initiatives in Sion Mills and the Waterside are prime examples of the ideals of the Pride of Place awards, bringing together people from different backgrounds to support and improve their lives through a wide range of activities.

“I would like to congratulate both projects and wish you continued success in delivering your service in the future.”

The Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership Minding Mum Project contended for the title of best Urban Community Wellbeing initiative at the awards.

Established in 2008, the partnership is an inter-agency partnership made up of representatives from the community and statutory sectors who have come together to take a collaborative approach to improve the life chances of local people. Based on identified need, a number of key projects have been delivered including Minding Mum, a holistic maternal mental health programme that supports pregnant mothers and mothers of children aged up to one year.

Members of the Sion Mills Community Forum group with their Runners Up Award during the ipb pride of place 2022 in association with Co-operation Ireland at the Clayton hotel, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The programme provides tailored workshops and programming for pregnant women and new mums to support their mental health. It provides opportunities for new mums to get together to support each other to reduce the isolation and anxiety many new mothers experience after the birth of their child.

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Sion Mills Community Forum (SMCF) is a cross community organisation that aims to make the village a happier, safer environment to live in and was Councils’ Rural representative in the Community Wellbeing section. The Forum works with all sectors of the community offering a range of projects and interventions and represents local residents on various agencies and boards. They run mental health and wellbeing projects for older men and women including creative arts classes and a men’s fitness and well-being project. The SMCF also deliver a youth mental health peer mentoring programme that targets those most hard to reach and helps tackle and reduce anti-social behaviour in the village.

The Forum is a voluntary run organisation that prides itself in listening, responding and addressing needs in the local village.

The awards, hosted by RTE’s Marty Whelan, took place in in front of 400 community volunteers from across the island.

Sponsored by IPB Insurance, the Pride of Place competition was initiated 20 years ago though a Co-operation Ireland programme to acknowledge the invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development.

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It has grown into the largest competition recognising community development achievements on the island of Ireland.