Belfast Telegraph

Local groups lead the way with new community project

Three community groups from north Belfast have successfully completed a course which has enhanced their leadership skills.

Ardoyne Youth Providers’ Forum, First Step Drop In Centre, in York Street, and Sailortown Regeneration Group in Garmoyle Street graduated from the International Fund for Ireland Community Leadership Programme (CLP) which was delivered by NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action).

The celebration event marked the end of year one of the £2.1m Community Leadership Programme (CLP) with a final roundtable learning event and graduation ceremony.

The event took place in the Radisson Hotel, Farnham Estate, in Cavan |recently.

The trio who all participated in the programme, successfully completed all training courses and an action-learning project, which received £2,500 as part of the fund’s CLP investment.

When asked to leave a legacy statement from their experience on the programme and for others who may wish to take part, Ardoyne Youth Providers stated: “Go for it. It has given us the motivation and energy to continue to build and develop a sustainable youth programme.”

First Step Drop In Centre commented: “CLP has enabled us to think outside the box and learn from each others' strengths and leadership qualities.”

Sailortown Regeneration Group added: “We have learned to recognise our strengths and also our ability to communicate and motivate others by our self-confidence.”

Rose-Mary Farrell, board member of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “The Community Leadership Programme allows the fund to identify, nurture and train potential leaders and agents for change, particularly in areas of weak community infrastructure.

“To this end, we have been delighted to support the Community Leadership Programme since its inception in 1993.

“The aim of this new £2.1m three-year investment programme is to empower communities to develop their leadership skills to enable them to build more effective communities and improve the conditions in which they live.

“I’m delighted that the hard work of NICVA in designing and delivering this training, along with their partners from Stellar and University of Ulster, has gained such excellent results.”

She continued: “I would also like to thank our international donors for their generous support — the USA, the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

Una McKernan from NICVA commented: “NICVA is delighted that the first year of this fantastic training |programme has gone so well.

“The first 27 groups, over 120 individuals, through the Programme are |already showing lots of evidence of |improved leadership skills, which can only benefit how their organisations are run and the local communities they operate in.”

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