Ministers hail positive impact of good relations projects

The Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment towards the delivery of good relations projects in 2021/22 is another key step towards building a united and shared society. First Minister Paul Givan and Education Minister Michelle McIlveen were speaking in Limavady during a visit to a T:BUC Camp being delivered by Roe Valley Residents Association.

By Paul Givan MLA

Lagan Valley

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There they saw first-hand how the Executive’s Together: Building a United Community Strategy is actively bringing young people from different backgrounds and traditions together.

First Minister Paul Givan said: “The amazing work of initiatives such as the T:BUC Camp delivered by Roe Valley Residents Association is an example of how T:BUC funding is helping to engender real and lasting societal change.

“The T:BUC Camps Programme is inspiring. It is a great example of the incredible good relations work that is helping to bring about positive change across so many communities here.

“The Camps Programme is a key headline action of the T:BUC Strategy and reflects the Executive’s ongoing commitment to ending division and improving community relations. The camps bring people of different backgrounds and traditions together for shared activities. This not only breaks down barriers in the present, but has a profound and lasting impact in creating a better future.

“This effort plays a key role in helping us continue the journey towards creating a more united and shared society.”

The DUP Education Minister Michelle McIlveen added: “The T:BUC Camps programme is an important initiative which demonstrates what can be achieved through a joined up approach involving The Executive Office, the Department of Education and the Education Authority, bringing together young people from different community backgrounds.

“For some young people a T:BUC Camp can be the first opportunity to come together on a cross-community basis to meet people they may not otherwise do. It is an opportunity to take part in an exciting programme as well as making new friends.

“I hope there are some young people here today who will want to build on the experience gained in their involvement in the T:BUC camps programme and I would encourage that very much.”

Notes to editors:

Five Urban Villages have been created. Over 600 T:BUC Camps have been delivered. 10 Shared Neighbourhoods have been created and work is ongoing on Shared Campuses to educate the leaders of the future.

The T:BUC Camps Programme plays an important role in bringing young people together. Since it began in 2015, well over six hundred camps have been delivered here, to nearly 22,000 young people. The latest evaluation of the Programme has been extremely positive; 8 out of 10 young people feel more favourable to people from a different background to their own after taking part in a camp.

The Roe Valley Residents Programme is one of 118 T:BUC camp programmes which are being delivered across the province this year giving lots of young people important learning opportunities.

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