Page 1




Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

CONTENTS Foreword from the United States Consul General Gregory S. Burton


From the Chairperson and CHIEF EXECUTIVE










Young people climbing at Skytrek in west Belfast, part funded through the Alpha Prgramme, managed by Groundwork NI.

Rasharkin Shared Play Space Takes Shape ‘Meanwhile’ Craigavon Programme Gets Businesses Moving Northern Ireland’s ‘Biggest Eyesore’ Spruced Up Special Programme focuses on Belfast Interfaces Banbridge in Playpark Heaven Alpha Programme Impacts on Projects Helping Local People ‘Grow Their Own’

Delivering the Primary School Curriculum with Forest Schools Building Employability With The Green Jobs Team Community Relations Support for East Belfast

New Peace Walls Project for North Belfast Promoting Positive Expressions of Cultural Heritage Monaghan Activitists Learn Cypriot Lessons DGIT Toolkit Produced Connect 4 Conference Examines Regeneration in a Recession

Quality Statement Financial Report Groundwork NI Board Members Advisors to the Board Groundwork NI Staff

08 10 11 12 13 13 14

18 20 20

22 23 24 24 25

28 28 30 30 32


Foreword from United States Consul General, Belfast The United States has a strong record as a supporter of organisations across Northern Ireland seeking to improve relations within and between communities. Groundwork Northern Ireland has played a particularly important and transformational role in the communities in which it works, cultivating effective community partnerships that improve the quality of life for everyone. I have personally seen the positive impact of the community-driven opening of the gate at Alexandra Park. President Obama, in his recent remarks at the Waterfront Hall, acknowledged the work of everyone involved in the project and described it as a shining example of what is possible. President Obama challenged every person in Northern Ireland to consider how he or she can rise above the old divisions and make different choices. Groundwork staff, community representatives, local residents, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and all other statutory bodies who had a role in the work in and around Alexandra Park have certainly met that challenge. Northern Ireland has achieved so much this year and we can all see an even brighter future ahead. We have also seen examples of how gains can be lost in the absence of dialogue, compromise and a spirit of collective responsibility. I take comfort knowing that organisations like Groundwork Northern Ireland are ready to respond. It is a privilege to commend Groundwork’s Annual Review for 2012-13 to you and to commend the organisation, its staff and Board members, for their important contributions to building healthy communities and a shared future in Northern Ireland.

FROM THE CHAIRPERSON & chief executive Chairperson’s Report: Last year was a remarkable one for Groundwork Northern Ireland. A particular moment of pride came in Brussels, where, as guests of the European Commission and in the company of the First and Deputy First Ministers we and Belfast City Council addressed a packed auditorium of representatives from across Europe on how European Peace subvention is making a significant impact on peoples’ lives in Northern Ireland. To see Groundwork’s strong, community-led approach to interface regeneration ranked alongside the work of the Theatre of Witness (The Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry) and Football for All (The Irish Football Association), was a powerful validation of our work. We’ve had a very positive response as a result. On other fronts, the Groundwork NI Green Jobs Programme, funded by the European Social Fund and the Department for Employment & Learning and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, will be launched soon. In essence, this is our first programme focusing on creating

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S Report: During the period reflected in this Annual Review, the Trust consolidated and expanded our technical services by recruiting a Chartered Architect. Our capital project delivery has developed into much larger regeneration projects requiring a multi-disciplinary team and our approach considers not only the natural environment but also the built environment, in various contexts and terrains. Our work, and that of our partners, received a tremendous plaudit from President Barack Obama in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, June 17, 2013.

Gregory S. Burton United States Consul General, Belfast

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

The Peace Gate at the Alexandra Park Interface is still acclaimed two years since opening, as President Obama remarked on its significance in his presidential address. I must put on record my sincere thanks to local partners, residents and stakeholders who came together as the Alexandra Park Steering Group and who continue to work to realise the full potential of the Park and a vision of a shared and peaceful society for all.

opportunities for young people to connect with the world of work. It is a new direction for the Trust, alongside all of our environmental and re-imaging work. Going forward, we are committed to having a Board which is representative of the community we serve and we will look at ways to include the views and opinions of young people in our corporate governance and strategic planning. It may well be that in the next year we recruit one of those promising young participants from the first year of our Green Jobs Programme to our Board. Also this year we reviewed the Senior Management Team and delivered a revised Groundwork NI structure, reinvigorating the Trust under the exemplary management of our Chief Executive Sylvia Gordon. Our finances too, after some very difficult years, are beginning to stabilise. In the years ahead, this new structure and a solid financial base will stand us in good stead for developing further sustainability for our organisation. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues on the Board for their continued commitment and support, the senior management team for their unstinting leadership and all of the staff for the great work they do.

Groundwork NI Chair Paul McErlean (right) with Belfast City Council’s Michelle Hand at the EU presentation in Brussels.

Paul McErlean Chairperson, Groundwork Northern Ireland

The Groundwork NI practice illustrates the potential of regeneration to make a lasting difference by contributing at a number of levels to the social and economic fabric of our neighbourhoods, towns, cities and rural communities throughout Northern Ireland. The Trust continues to develop our work in the Republic of Ireland with projects in Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim and Dublin. I would like to thank the Board of Groundwork NI for their diligence in steering the organisation through a period of constant flux and challenge. Also to the staff, of whom each and every one has played their part in making Groundwork NI the organisation it is, my deepest thanks.

Sylvia Gordon Chief Executive, Groundwork NI

Groundwork Chief Executive Sylvia Gordon with First and deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson (right) and Martin McGuinness in Brussels.


Jack an d Che e njoying at Caff the new rey Hill pla in west by Grou Belfast yground ndwork , design NI. ed

Secreta ry of St ate There visits A sa Villie lexandra rs Park in n orth Belf (second right) ast.

rs headquarte ndwork’s u ro G at e ous eek. A packed h Respect W h Belfast during Nort

East Belfast’s rance feature at The brand new ent Clonduff Estate.

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

Groundwork Northern Ireland’s plans for a new eco-facility at Colin Community Allotments in outer west Belfast.

ight) on (r g US hann S in it n Ciará lcome vis enson. s ’ k h r e Step ndwo on w Grou lvia Gord s Barbara y e S ir and Affa gé d’ Char


Rasharkin SHARED PLAY space takes shape! Silence was shattered recently in the village of Rasharkin in rural Co. Antrim, as diggers rolled in to start work on a brand new play space for children and young people. Funded under the Sharing our Space initiative, part of the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, the new space is being delivered for the community by Groundwork NI. The programme is intended to create a shared environment for cross community activity particularly in areas suffering from inter-community tensions. A new ‘kickabout’ and play space was created for local youngsters, where football, basketball and other games can be practiced safely and securely. At a cost of £200,000, the new play area is now complete and being enjoyed by Rasharkin’s young people. Sylvia Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of Groundwork NI comments; “Sharing Our Space has been a powerful programme leaving its imprint on many of our communities. “As the initiative draws to a close, local people can see the lasting legacy left to them in the form of new

“It’s great to see the new play area emerge and it is a real boost for the village. It’s tremendous and will be a great asset for the young people in the area – I can’t believe we have got to this stage. Its five years since this project was first suggested and everyone is delighted with the finished job!” Siobhan Elliot, Chair of the Rasharkin Community Association

and better places and spaces, created from scratch or returned to use for their benefit in an atmosphere of cooperation and shared activity. “Groundwork NI has approached the Sharing Our Space Programme with vigour and vision, connecting with local representatives in four different counties and across the border, meaning the impact has been widespread.

Rasharkin’s new play space is now a popular facility for local children and young people.

CHANGING PLACES / Annual Review 2012-2013

ente ourt C Westc den e h t f r stees o w sensory ga e and tru Staff y the n ogramme. jo n e ast ha Pr lp in Belf A e by th funded

Young people enjoying the newly built shared play park in Rasharkin, Co. Antrim

“Transforming spaces and creating shared areas where communities can interact is what our organisation is about and we’re very proud of all that’s been achieved through the Sharing our Space Programme.” Sharing Our Space is also impacting in a range of areas across Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland, delivering new spaces and places for community benefit. These areas include Ballynahinch in Co. Down, Newtownbutler in Co. Fermanagh and Castleblayney in Co. Monaghan.

Sylvia G with H ordon (left ) at th annah First e UTV Lady M Nelson, wh o welc studios ichelle the W omed aterfr t ont H Obama on the st he all. age at

In Belfast, sites at Colin Glen, Black’s Road and Westland are also being developed as part of the Programme.

“This project is a welcome addition to the facilities already provided by Council in the village. The design of the activity area and outdoor gym equipment provide a facility which complements the existing children’s play area, providing a facility which can be used by all age groups. Council are delighted with this initiative and Groundwork NI’s role in making it happen.”

ound ing the new playgr Ava McKenna enjoy m. tri An in e Estat in the Springfarm

Gareth Doyle, Ballymoney Borough Council


‘Meanwhile’ Craigavon programme gets businesses moving New businesses have been springing up in mid-Ulster, thanks to Craigavon Borough Council’s ‘Meanwhile in Craigavon’ initiative, administered by Groundwork NI. Aimed at getting new businesses into empty shops in the Borough, new keyholders have now occupied eight vacant shops in Lurgan and Portadown, with high hopes of booming business. Local businessman Robert Coleman has opened his Twice is Nice shop on Church Walk, selling gently used nursery and children’s goods, toys and designer children’s clothes. Meanwhile, Mark Savage has opened his Floored Design Studio business on Queen Street and began trading in March 2013. Both businesses are benefiting from FREE tenancy for up to four months to boost economic activity as part of the initiative, which is supported by local Chambers of Commerce. A full year of business mentoring support from partners Insight Business Consulting is also part of

the deal, as is a set-up grant of £500! More units are still up for grabs and the second phase of the Meanwhile... programme is now underway. Interest has been high in this scheme, which is beginning to bear fruit for both town centres.

“I’d like to wish the new businesses who have already taken advantage of the Meanwhile in Craigavon... initiative the best of luck for the future.” Cllr Paul Duffy, Vice Chair of Craigavon Borough Council’s Development Committee

Businessman Robert Coleman (left) at the opening of his new business on Lurgan’s Church Walk, with Derek Browne from Insight Business Consulting, Cllr Paul Duffy and Madeleine Kelly (right) from Groundwork NI.

CHANGING PLACES / Annual Review 2012-2013

Northern Ireland’s ‘biggest eyEsore’ spruced up Residents of Bangor have helped transform what was once voted the biggest eyesore in Northern Ireland! Queen’s Parade and King Street in the seaside town had the visible effects of dereliction, blighting one of Co. Downs brightest tourist hotspots nearby. Now, thanks to Groundwork NI, local artists, residents and businesses and funding from the Dulux Let’s Colour Programme, vacant shop fronts have been transformed. In 2009, viewers of UTV voted the Queen’s Parade area the ‘biggest eyesore’ in Northern Ireland, attracting negative press coverage from a range of other outlets.

“This is a fantastic project which has been widely supported by the local community.” Councillor Wesley Irvine, Mayor of North Down

The Dulux Let’s Colour Programme is a UK-wide campaign managed by Groundwork Northern Ireland and Bangor was chosen as the Northern Ireland Flagship project for the initiative. The improvement project, initiated by the Harbour Ward Residents Group, saw the production of eight murals by artists from the Firsty Collective, celebrating the four hundred year history of Bangor as a chartered town. A special community painting day was held, where families and young people helped the transformation process. Each of them left their signatures on a special ‘name wave’, which will help remember those who took part on the special day. Other organisations, both financially and in kind, provided support for the project, including; North Down Borough Council, Bangor & Holywood Town Centre Management, the Flagship Centre Bangor, the Department for Social Development, Haldane Fisher, North Down YMCA, Bangor Methodist Church and William Stevenson & Sons Painters.

Groundwork NI’s Senior Project Development Officer Melanie Rintoul at the transformed shop fronts on Bangor’s Queen’s Parade – once voted Northern Ireland’s biggest eyesore.


SPECIAL PROGRAMME focusES ON BELFAST INTERFACES Interface areas across Belfast are under the microscope, thanks to an initiative funded by Belfast City Council and delivered by Groundwork NI and partner organisations.

Local residents and professionals attended a consultation event on the Falls Road/Shankill interface to help scope new visions for the area.

Fourteen barriers and gates, under the control of the Department for Justice, are the focus for the programme, which aims to inform regeneration plans, help re-imaging work at the sites and, where possible, begin the work of altering physical structures. Belfast City Council has made available £240,000 in capital grants for improvements. Additional ‘in kind’ support has been offered by both the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Department for Justice. Partner organisations for the programme include, Intercomm, the North Belfast Community

“Belfast City Council has been working in association with Groundwork in its interface programme, which aims to work closely with local communities to remove or transform a number of barriers across the city as part of a wider regeneration initiative.” Hazel Francey, Good Relations Manager

CHANGING PLACES / Annual Review 2012-2013

Development and Transition Group and the North Belfast Interface Network. Groundwork NI is the delivery agent for the scheme, working with a range of statutory and voluntary agencies to carry out public consultation. As well as consultations, Groundwork NI’s technical design services will help create concepts for new structures or streetscapes in identified areas. Artists Eleanor Wheeler and Jonny McEwan also attended one of the information sessions on the Falls Road/Shankilll Road interface to help local residents scope their visions. Belfast City Council’s Interface Programme is releasing this funding through the Council’s Peace & Reconciliation Action Plan 2011-2013. It is funded by the EU Programme for Peace & Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland (PEACE III) under Priority 1.1, Building Positive Relations at a local level. Specific information on the sites has been given to residents, who had a chance to comment on sites which may be of concern and individuals from various agencies were available to discuss residents ideas or concerns at the special event.

BANBRIDGE IN PLAYPARK HEAVEN A new playpark has been delivered in the Dromore area of Co. Down with the help of Groundwork NI. Part of the Banbridge Play scheme, Fairview Park is surrounded by houses with a high proportion of children and young residents, so the new park is a welcome facilities boost for the area. At a cost of £92,000, the natural play area was funded by Banbridge District Council and an extensive door to door consultation was carried out to identify local people’s needs. During the design process, this community consultation allowed plans to be altered to take account of the community’s views and residents were kept informed at every stage of the process. A drop-in consultation event was also held at a local community centre to gauge the views of local people. Sonia Harrison, Lead Landscape Architect from Groundwork NI led the design process for the park and is thrilled with the results. Launched in October 2012, the play park has become an incredibly popular amenity, with a mirror sphere and a giant mushroom for toddlers, while older children enjoy the sliding slopes and rope walking – as well as a giant rubber tyre swing!

Alpha PROGRAMME impacts on ENVIRO projects Eight projects within a ten mile radius of the Mullaghlass landfill site on the outskirts of Belfast have received funding windfalls from the ALPHA Programme. Almost £150,000 was split between the eight projects and prospective grants have been raised this year to give potential funding of £50,000 per project. The programme is administered by Groundwork NI and guided by a steering group which assesses fund applications. Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Crewe United, Cregagh Sports club and Ballymacash Rangers FC received financial support for projects, as did Conservation Volunteers (Knockbracken), Life NI, Listullycurran Rural Development Group and the RSPB’s Belfast WOW Project (Pictured).

At the opening of Dromore’s Fairview Park (left-right) Catriona Regan, Banbridge Council, Cllr Olive Mercer, Groundwork’s Sonia Harrison, Cllr Hazel Gamble, Council Chair Junior McCrum, Cllr Paul Rankin and contractor Colum McNicholl.

A play park like this, with the emphasis on natural play, can be such a boost to a community. It gives children a place to play, but much more importantly a place to learn and explore, sparking their senses and providing a safe environment for play and development. With such an intensive level of community engagement, Groundwork Northern Ireland hopes the community are as proud of the park as we are!


HELPING LOCAL PEOPLE ‘GROW THEIR OWN’ In the last year, Groundwork NI has poured renewed energy into helping local people ‘grow their own’ fruit and vegetables across Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. One key initiative, Donegal Community Gardens, has meant new and revamped community gardens across the county are now operational, producing fresh food for local families at a time of economic stress. Growing sites at Letterkenny, Muff, Raphoe, Newtowncunningham, Pettigo and Moville are now fully operational and as part of the planning process, study visits were held in Strabane, Ederney and Castlederg in Co. Tyrone and also the Colin Community Allotments in west Belfast. The gardens were funded through the European Union’s PEACE III funded Intergenerational Community Peace

Gardens and the programme was managed by the Health Service Executive with Groundwork NI. Training has helped budding gardeners get to grips with the essentials and intergenerational gardening groups have also been established to help promote social cohesion in the localities. Support for the project was also provided by Donegal County Council and the Donegal County Development Board. A special exhibition website, helped capture the experiences of project participants.

Katie McVeigh (front, centre left) from ADOPT in Pettigo with Carol Follis from Groundwork NI (front, centre right) with kids from Scoile Mhuire at the opening of the re-vamped community garden.

CHANGING PLACES / Annual Review 2012-2013


wa er the ing und k r o ). t w f illy (le holder aul Re tment An allo TV reporter P U eye of

Young people in Castledawson creating a new growing space.

In Castledawson, a twelve month intergenerational and cross community programme saw young and older people working together to design and create a growing space and wildlife area at Castledawson Community Allotments. Based in the Riverside estate, the garden is a cross-community venture where Protestant residents learn new horticulture techniques alongside their Catholic neighbours.

Community Gardener M ick McEvo Child Prim y helps H ary Schoo oly l pupils gr food. ow their o wn

27 local people ranging in ages from 4 years old to 75 years old are engaged in the programme. Funded through the European Union’s Peace III Programme, a total of fourteen interactive workshops helped build learning and offered new skills and techniques for growing organic fruit, herbs, flowers and vegetables. Nest boxes were built, as were mini ponds and bat boxes and bug hotels were also a feature of work for participants. Disease and weed control was discussed and advice was given on harvesting and cooking the produce emerging from the allotments.

Users at the Colin Community Allotments prepare to divvy out the ‘spud haul’ from the garden’s poly tunnel.

The workshops also looked at how to design and establish a community garden, building raised beds and footpaths and participants learned best practice for looking after soil, as well as the important role bees and bee keeping play in the natural habitat.


Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

Children from Bangor leave their names on the special ‘Name Wave’ as unsightly buildings on Queen’s Parade get a much needed spruce up.


Delivering the Primary School Curriculum THROUGH Forest Schools School teachers across Northern Ireland are delivering the Primary School Curriculum in a forest setting, thanks to Groundwork NI and the Northern Ireland Forest Schools Association. In the last year, 14 local teachers have been trained up as Forest Schools practitioners, allowing 333 Primary School pupils in 11 different schools, 5 of which are in the north west, to benefit from the Forest Schools approach. Groundwork’s trained leaders work with teachers to show how a diverse range of subjects can be delivered outside a classroom setting, for example, mathematics, with the children estimating tree-heights and circumferences. Records are kept as part of learning about data collection, a particular focus for older children and collected data is then discussed back in the classroom setting with the teacher, bringing mathematics to life and helping contextualize decisionmaking in a real life setting. Pupils are also encouraged to create woodland art using natural items they find in the forest and also to find specific colours, using a colour palette. It has already been estimated by some practitioners that 85% of the Revised Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum may be delivered through the Forest Schools initiative. Children from Glendermott Primary School in Derry/Londonderry begin their Forest Schools quest.

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

It’s a lot of fun for the children too, as activities like den construction, nest

building and creating bug homes provide pupils with an understanding of forest wildlife, bringing them closer to nature and helping increase their awareness of sustainability. Participating teachers are encouraged to apply for The John Muir Award and to achieve this their pupils must keep a diary logging their experiences in the woodland. Many teachers report that the most interesting, imaginative and descriptive writing emerging from their pupils comes in the wake of Forest Schools outings. Key to the programme is its sustainability – once teachers are trained in delivering Forest Schools sessions, they can replicate and adapt the programme each year to suit the topics they are delivering. Geographically based Focus Groups have also been established, helping teachers share ideas and experiences and to plan for future programmes. Forest schools is supported by a range of partners, including the M&S @MyUrbanGreen Programme, Newtownabbey Borough Council, Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership and The Heritage Lottery Fund.

“It’s amazing - one boy who struggles to write even 5 words will usually write 5 sentences to describe his Forest Schools session.” RACHAEL McCORMICK. PRIMARY 3 TEACHER, Earlview Primary, Newtownabbey

Community relations support for east Belfast Northern Ireland’s Office of the First and Deputy First Minister have resourced a small, symbolic project in east Belfast, delivered by Groundwork Northern Ireland. Funded through the Central Good Relations Funding Programme, the project included Inner East Youth Project, Short Strand Community Form, Doyle Youth Club, the Institute for Conflict Research and other critical community partners. Completed over a six-week period, the two-part project focussed on core issues such as interface youth engagement at a sensitive time. A short programme on this theme saw 20 young people working in a crosscommunity setting. A shared neighbourhood programme also engaged with over 300 residents of all ages and backgrounds in inner east Belfast.

“Our areas may be close in geographical terms, but often in terms of approach there can be a distance – projects like this help bridge gaps and focus on a shared approach.” Short Strand Community representative Bernie McConnell

Women from interface areas in east Belfast enjoy cross community activities.

“This part of Belfast often comes under the microscope for the wrong reasons, but this initiative was entirely positive and I commend those who took part.” Raymond Laverty. Inner East Youth Project


Building employability with the Green Jobs Team Unemployed young people aged 16-24 are getting the opportunity to get new skills in horticulture and outdoor work by joining Groundwork Northern Ireland’s Green Jobs Team. Green Jobs NI is a new and innovative programme for young people interested in a career in horticulture. Recruitment for the programme has taken place and the first group of trainees went on the ground in September 2013. A holistic approach is being employed to help the young people’s development, with a focus on essential skills as well as job skills. Each 15 week programme will see a group of unemployed young people aged 16-24 taking part in outdoor work, sustainability projects and developmental activities tailored to the needs of each individual member, helping them progress in their lives.

Part funded by the European Social Fund, the Department for Employment and Learning and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, participants in the Green Jobs Programme will finish with an OCN Level 1 Qualification in Horticulture.

Additional support will be available to help with writing a CV, ICT skills, interview skills and completing a job application form. Also, team members will receive a Construction Skills Register (CSR) card, required to work in construction trades and specialist accreditation from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise in landscaping and related skills like paving and using power tools. First Aid, Health & Safety and Manual Handling qualifications will also form part of the programme. Groundwork NI is excited to be able to offer this programme and can’t wait to see the new team members on the job. The organisation will also help them with essential skills and tailored development activities for each individual member. First day at work for Green Jobs Team members Daireann Flynn (left), Levi McDonald and Conor Cordner (right).

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

A BMX biker aims high at the Urban Sport Park in central Belfast.

Work experience will be carried out at a variety of locations around Northern Ireland, giving participants the opportunity to try out skills and techniques learnt during the programme.


New Peace Walls Project for North Belfast A new £471,000 project aimed at building community confidence to tackle one of the most visible signs of division in North Belfast – Peace Walls – has been launched. Operated by the Duncairn Community Partnership and funded by the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Walls Programme, the project will encourage direct dialogue between local residents living on the interfaces. Key partners in this initiative are the Tigers Bay and Mountcollyer Concerned Residents Group, the Greater Newington Residents Association, Groundwork NI, Intercomm, North Belfast Community Development and Transition Group and the North Belfast Interface Network. A Project Reference Group, comprising of officials from the Department of Justice, the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the Department for Social Development, Belfast City Council and the PSNI has been established to provide statutory support and practical assistance to the Partnership. Technical assistance in the form of Groundwork’s AutoCAD and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

technology will create visual representations of what a shared future – without Peace Walls – would look like. Building on the Duncairn Gardens 2009 Master Plan, an emphasis will be placed on creating conditions for removing, restructuring or re-opening of Peace Walls. Community consultation is underway on a range of sites across North Belfast, stretching from the Westlink area to Alexandra Park. A new mutual space facility, proposed for a site on the Duncairn Gardens peace line, will also form part of the consultation process. Other derelict sites will be surveyed, with a view to returning them to productive, cross-community use. New initiatives like the Peace Walls Programme help cement ongoing community relations work in North Belfast which has achieved much for its residents over the last decade. Once, this area was a focus for division now a new spirit of co-operation has been created based along achievable goals to enhance the lives of all our residents.

North Belfast’s Henry Street interface, where physical structures are less imposing than in some other areas.

CHANGING MINDS / Annual Review 2012-2013

Promoting positive expressions of cultural heritage Ten neighbourhoods across Derry, Strabane and Omagh are being encouraged to express their culture in positive ways by Groundwork NI and St Columbs Park House. An engagement initiative known as the Sharing Spaces & Promoting Positive Expressions of Culture, Heritage and Identity Programme has been rolled out with the help of the North West PEACE III Partnership and St Columbs Park House. Issues around shared space and cultural expression, heritage and identity have been explored and training and mentoring offered to help communities engage on key themes and to give the confidence to tackle any contentious issues arising. Protocols on flags, murals and bonfires have been discussed, seeking local consensus and agreements, while a budget allocation of £1500 to each community helped resource the process of engagement and community development in local areas. In Omagh, Co. Tyrone, the Strule Park and Centenary Park areas built community cohesion and integration through initiatives like coffee mornings, soup lunches and study visits. Along with another participating neighbourhood, delegates visited Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast to discover its history and these activities provided renewed vigour for positive actions at home. Local people have come together to develop an action plan for future community based activities, including the refurbishment of a community resource room in Omawest Community House in Strule Park. This room will now serve as a base for children’s and young people’s activities and for a series of recreational classes for adults. Positive work in Belfast After seven years of engagement at ground level with local communities, Belfast City Council and Groundwork NI began examining issues around the Twelfth of July in Loyalist areas and annual Internment commemorations in Republican areas of the city. Representatives from fifty areas of Belfast also helped to create more positive expressions of traditional local celebrations and remembrance events in 2012.

Local representatives at the launch of the new Community Resource Room at Ornawest Community House in Omagh.

Six Cultural Networks were established across Belfast, four in Loyalist areas, two in Republican areas, supporting communities in expressing their culture in positive and inclusive ways, whilst recognising differences in heritage and identity. Groundwork NI staff, supported by Network Facilitators drawn from the local community, supported participating groups in holding celebratory events, organised diversionary activities for young people and undertook re-imaging projects. Additionally, some areas were also supplied with Groundwork Bonfire Beacons and bonfire frames to help them manage bonfires more effectively and to deal with issues posed by restricted sites. These created real talking points in the community and helped reduce harmful effects associated with traditional bonfire activities in Belfast, such as fly tipping, emissions problems and surface damage to roads. Part of Belfast City Council’s Peace & Reconciliation Action Plan 2011-2013, the Promoting Positive expression of Cultural Heritage Programme was funded by the EU Programme for Peace & Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland (PEACE III) under Priority 1.1, Building Positive Relations at a local level.


Monaghan activists learn Cypriot lessons It may lie 4,000 kilometers away, but the sunny island of Cyprus is offering new and relevant perspectives on our local peace process. A group of peace building practitioners delivering Peace III projects in Co. Monaghan visited the island recently, to see the effects of conflict and partition in another part of the world. Leftovers from the island’s colonial past include English as a first language - even on road signs - and the drivers also keep to the left of the roads! Facilitators from Groundwork NI and Consensus Research travelled with a dozen peace activists and a packed agenda of visits with organisations from the community, voluntary, government and business sectors was arranged over three days. The visit was part of the New Perspectives Training Programme, financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the PEACE III Programme

and delivered through Monaghan CDB PEACE III Partnership. 1974’s bitter conflict is still raw and the ‘Cyprus Question’ remains unanswered, with competing claims of ownership from Turkey and Greece – Irish Army peace keepers also have a history of intervention in the conflict, through the United Nations. Beginning their visit in the UN ‘Buffer Zone’, the visitors were briefed at the media centre, where a conflict overview was provided and economic development initiatives, sponsored by the United Nation’s Development Programme, were outlined. Visits were arranged to projects on either side of Cyprus’s ‘Green Line’ border, where community and youth activists detailed their approaches to normalizing relations and co-operation on a divided island.

DGIT TOOLKIT PRODUCED A toolkit has been produced at the completion of a successful, three year collaborative programme between Groundwork NI and Intercomm. Almost thirty organisations from the community, voluntary public and academic sectors in Belfast, Newtownabbey and Derry/Londonderry took part in the Democratising Government in Transition (DGIT) Programme, which is funded by the European Union under the Peace III Programme. Engagement took place on a cross-community, cross -sectoral and inter-departmental level to look at ways of bringing about changes in policy development and service delivery. A Strategic Return on Investment model was also produced to measure the impact of community engagement at interface areas, coupled with the production of GIS service mapping for each of three target areas.

CHANGING MINDS / Annual Review 2012-2013

US academics Professor Byron Bland and Lynn Weilde with the PSNI on Derry’s Walls.

Eighteen DGIT participants from the statutory and community sectors also took part in the Collaborative Leadership training programme at Stanford University’s Centre for International Conflict and Negotiation, California USA.

Education was also a focus and the group met with the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research to hear how better education is opening young minds to the possibility of building relationships with their nearest neighbours. What struck some of the participants was, despite the clear parallels between the two islands, and some ongoing difficulties locally, the Anglo-Irish peace process seemed to be at a far more advanced stage than that of Cyprus’s.

Representatives from Monaghan Peace III Partnership learn Cypriot lessons on peace building.

Delegates found it heartening that economic advantage also seemed to be driving better integration and pragmatic, bottom-up approaches were pushing the first tentative steps towards greater reconciliation in Cyprus – something not lost in the local context in the current economic climate.

CONNECT 4 CONFERENCE Examines REGENERATION IN A RECESSION A special conference organized as part of the Connect 4 Project examined key issues of urban regeneration in Belfast and Dublin, including regenerating communities in a recession. Held in W5 at the Odyssey in Belfast in October 2012, the conference was organized by Groundwork Northern Ireland and the Northside Partnership (Dublin). Funded by the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Bridges Programme and The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Connect 4 initiative seeks to create meaningful and sustainable cross-border and cross-community partnerships within and between voluntary, community and statutory organisations, in the two jurisdictions of north Belfast and north Dublin. Conference delegates explored what parts the public, private, voluntary and community sectors play in analyzing and tackling issues of regeneration.

Minister Nelson McCausland with representatives from the Northside Partnership, Dublin.

Questions around the primary function of urban regeneration were also asked, including the responsibility of the regeneration process to help re-build the quality of people’s lives, as well as transforming the physical environment in which people live. A further, follow up conference on related themes has been planned for October 2013.


Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

Contractor Peter Boyd (left) with Groundwork NI’s Gavin Keown prepare to send bonfire beacons to communities across Northern Ireland.


Financial REPORT We are pleased to report that the Trust recorded a surplus for 2012-13. This is a result of our commitment to the continued improvement of our business model as we endeavour to overcome the funding challenges now facing the Third Sector. In 2012-13 this included reviews of the Senior Management and staff teams that led to an organisational restructure and the employment of new areas of expertise that enhance our product portfolio and the services we offer. We also continued to improve our methods of monitoring and reviewing performance, including improved management reporting that enables the Senior Management Team to address areas of concern in a more timely and effective manner. However, we recognise that we still face many challenges as we work towards enhancing our sustainability and, therefore, we continue to seek out opportunities to diversify our income streams and enter into new markets. 2012-13 saw the results of this strategy as we secured resources to deliver the Green Jobs Programme, a new and exciting area of work that combines a skills and training programme for young people not in education or

employment with the physical regeneration of derelict or vacant space. Total income generated in the year 2012-13 was £3.4 million, representing a 41% increase on the previous year. 31% of this increase was due to advance funding received from the Special EU Programmes Body for the Sharing Our Space capital programme. This funding was carried forward and expended in the first half of 201314. The remaining 10% represented a general increase in business activity. Fees generated through project delivery increased by 13% and the cost of generating funds fell again to 2.3% of total expenditure, compared to 5% in 2011-12 and 9% in 2010-11. The year-end result was an unrestricted surplus of £23,588. Total available funds increased by £884,616 to £2.64 million, of which £2.46 million is restricted to the delivery of programmes of work, leaving £175,436 in general reserves.

Income £3,446,171 Expenditure Central Government 1% Charitable activities Local Authorities 17% Cost of generating funds Public Agencies 7% Governance costs European Union 53% Private Sector (85% from Landfill Tax) 20% Increase in restricted funds Other 2% National Lottery <1% Unrestricted surplus

£2,561,555 98% 2% <1% £861,028 £23,588

The above summary financial information has been obtained from the Trust’s full audited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2013, a copy of which can be obtained from the Company Secretary, Groundwork Northern Ireland, 63-75 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB or by emailing

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013

QUALITY STATEMENT Groundwork Northern Ireland is committed to achieving and maintaining the highest standards in the work that we do, with regard to both the environment in which we operate and in how we carry out our work. We have continued to develop and maintain external recognition for our commitment to continuous quality improvement through implementing and developing our range of internal quality systems. Groundwork Northern Ireland are recognised as an “Investor in People”, demonstrating our commitment to developing and supporting our staff. Our ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, which encompasses the processes and systems to design and deliver our projects, was successfully re-accredited in July 2012. In addition our ISO 14001:2004 Management System which encompasses the processes for the Management of environmental consulting, landscaping and community project work including training and education programmes was successfully reaccredited in February 2013. We continue to evaluate our projects and processes by measuring customer, client and staff satisfaction levels with our work, which helps us develop and improve the ways in which we carry out and deliver our work.

teers work at Conservation volun the ject supported by pro a Knockbracken, . Alpha Programme

Skatebo arder at Belfast Park. ’s

Urban S ports

rson tours the MEP Martina Ande erface with Alexandra Park int Ciarán Shannon. ’s NI Groundwork


Groundwork NI Board Members Paul McErlean (Chairperson) (F) MCE Public Relations Ltd

Cllr Claire Hanna Belfast City Council

Jeffrey Jaffee (G) Independent Member

Susan Russam (G) Independent Member

John Kelpie Derry City Council

Leslie Boydell Independent Member

Richard Hanna CCEA

Caroline Murphy (F) Independent Member (left 17/09/12)

Eoin Donnelly (F) Independent Member (left 18/09/2012)

Joy Hadden (G) Independent Member

Rev. Bill Shaw Independent Member (left 03/07/2012)

John Loughran Independent Member (left 18/09/2012)

Denis Ritchie The Federation of Groundwork Trusts

Jane Holmes (F) Independent Member

Clare McCarty (G) Clanmil Housing Association (left 19/11/12)

Harry Smith Independent Member

Groundwork Northern Irelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board, meeting at our Belfast headquarters in Spring 2013.

Advisors to the Board (F) (G)

Sir Tony Hawkhead Groundwork UK

Andrew Hassard Belfast City Council

Elma Newberry (G) Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Kenny Knox Strategic Investment Board

Member of Finance & Personnel Sub Committee Member of Governance Sub Committee

Groundwork ni / Annual Review 2012-2013


Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Gordon

Lead Landscape Architect Sonia Harrison

Director of Business Development & Management Support Peter Watson

Landscape Architect Helen Turton

Personal Assistant to the Directors and HR Officer Fiona Murray Head of Corporate Services Heather Pollock Finance & Administration Officer Malachy Gunn Head of Programmes & Technical Services Richard Rogers Senior Project Development Officers Melanie Rintoul Melvyn Waddell Patsy Laverty Youth Development Officer Kieran Monaghan Project Development Officers Madeleine Kelly Barbara Wallace


Senior Project Development Officer Sean Curran


Senior Project Development Officer Carol Follis

Principal Technician Gavin Keown Senior Landscape Support Officer Jerry Drew Community Gardening Officer Michael McEvoy Marketing & Communications Officer Martin Flynn Good Relations Officer Robert Lee GIS and Green Jobs Officer David Carver Head of Policy & Good Relations Ciarán Shannon Volunteers Victor Wilson Michelle Le Brun Gerry Lenaghan

Regional Landscape Architect Karen Kirkegaard

Groundwork NI would like to thank our staff members who left the organisation during the last year for their contributions to our work. Peter McDonald, Judy Meharg, Siobhán O’Neill and Sean Brennan


Belfast Office Groundwork NI 63-75 Duncairn Gardens Belfast BT15 2GB T: 028 9074 9494

South West Office Groundwork NI C/O Aisling Centre 37 Darling Street Enniskillen BT74 7DP T: 028 6632 5129

Twitter account @groundworkNI Groundwork Northern Ireland is a Company Limited by Guarantee and Registered in Northern Ireland. Registered Office 63-75 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB. Company Registration No. NI 25852. Charity Registration No. XR22322. VAT Registration No. 690 8061 23.

Front Cover: Groundwork NIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Green Jobs Team trainees get to work on their first day

North West Office Groundwork NI C/O Creggan Country Park Westway Creggan Derry/Londonderry BT48 9NU T: 028 7126 9448

Groundwork Annual Report 2012-13