Ballynafeigh is Beacon of Hope for Shared Future Says Assembly Committee
Date: Thursday, 16 May 2013
Reference: SD 03/12/13
Members of the Assembly Committee for Social Development today visited Ballynafeigh Community Development Association (BCDA) in South Belfast to see at first-hand how the Housing Executive's 'Shared Communities Programme' has had a positive impact on the local neighbourhood and on the residents who live there.
Members met with BCDA staff and local residents to find out more about how the programme helps to support, develop and celebrate cross community cooperation and cultural diversity.
Speaking after today's visit Committee for Social Development Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA said: "There has been a lot of recent media attention on proposals for a shared future, but it is quite clear that for many years, the people of Ballynafeigh have been laying solid foundations to support that future.
"We have heard very positive comments today from residents and community representatives about how the 'Shared Communities Programme' has helped to challenge prejudice by focussing on good relations and community cohesion. It is evident from what they have told us, that building bridges between communities can be achieved through greater community participation in events and on issues that are relevant and important to the community as a whole.
Mr Maskey concluded: "However, we all know that there is much more to be done. Tackling disadvantage, developing shared housing communities and focussing on neighbourhood renewal will help us reach a point where shared communities are the norm not the exception.'
Notes to Editors:
The Shared Communities Programme
The Shared Communities Programme (SCP) commenced in November 2011 and is delivered on behalf of the Department for Social Development by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. The programme is open to all social housing developments, including new build and surrounding estates are also encouraged to join the programme. Funding allocated to the programme for the period 2011 – 2014 is £614k.
Ballynafeigh Community Development Association
Ballynafeigh Community Development Association (BCDA) is a community development association in South Belfast. It was established in 1974, and in the years since then has focused on its role as a multi-purpose organisation, operating a resource centre and acting as a catalyst for the creation and delivery of social actions to tackle disadvantage and working to sustain, support and celebrate mixed communities within Ballynafeigh and elsewhere
The Committee for Social Development membership is:
Alex Maskey MLA (Chairperson)
Mickey Brady MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Sydney Anderson MLA
Paula Bradley MLA
Pam Brown MLA
Gregory Campbell MLA
Judith Cochrane MLA
Michael Copeland MLA
Mark H Durkan MLA
Fra McCann MLA
David McClarty MLA
The Clerk of the Social Development Committee is:
Dr. Kevin Pelan
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 90 521864