East meets West at the Leap

Published: Thur, 29 May 2014
Our staff with the Carrowshee Park & Sylvan Hill & Whitehill community groups
NIHE Carrowshee Sylvan Whitehill
As part of an initiative to create better neighbours, groups from Lisnaskea and Bangor recently came together for an activity weekend at Todd’s Leap in Co Tyrone.
Our Shared Communities Project supported the scheme which saw residents from Carrowshee Park & Sylvan Hill, Lisnaskea and Whitehill, Bangor jointly look at what it takes to be a ‘good neighbour’ and how diverse Northern Ireland is.
On the first day it was the young people from the two communities who arrived at Todd’s Leap with their leaders to participate in a variety of activities which helped break the ice.  There was a serious message regarding team building and co-operation at the centre of the activities which included archery, zip lining, body zorbing, and off road driving.  
The second day brought a number of the community groups’ committee members to the meeting.  The two groups took the opportunity to discuss the principles of 'being a good neighbour' which aimed to help the groups design a Shared Neighbourhood Charter specifically for their local community to which all residents can sign up to.  
The demographic landscape of Northern Ireland is changing as an increasing number of ethnic minorities make it their home.  The Carrowshee Park & Sylvan Hill and Whitehill groups welcomed ‘Small World’ to the residential for a workshop on diversity.  They were able to meet representatives from Somalia, Zimbabwe and Romania who shared their experience of journeying to Northern Ireland and happily answered questions about the home and culture.
Kathleen Breen from Carrowshee Park & Sylvan Hill commented:
“This was a terrific opportunity for residents from our community to find out more about being good neighbours and start to create a charter for our area.  It is vital our young people are involved and I am delighted with their enthusiasm.”
“On behalf of both groups I’d like to thank the Housing Executive for arranging this event and who have supported us so well.”
Tracey Morrow from Whitehill Community Group echoed these sentiments and went on to say:
“We thoroughly enjoyed the event particularly the workshop on examining how diverse our society now is. The all-embracing approach by those participating was hearting to see.”
Our Head of Income Collection and Neighbourhoods, Jennifer Hawthorne, concluded:
“We were delighted to support this joint initiative by Carrowshee Park & Sylvan Hill and Whitehill groups.  Both of them have demonstrated an open approach to the Housing Executive’s Shared Communities Project which has seen them go from strength to strength.  I wish them well as they develop a Shared Neighbourhood Charter for their own communities.”