14 Aug 2022

Hundreds enjoy REACH Across Shared History finale at Derry college

Curtain falls on year-long series of courses, workshops and events

Hundreds enjoy REACH Across Shared History finale at Derry college

Mayor Sandra Duffy pictured with some of the young people taking part in the REACH Across grand finale at the North West Regional College. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

Mayor Sandra Duffy was the special guest at the REACH Across Shared History finale event, highlighting all the work, achievements and participation of young people from throughout the North West, in helping to create greater under- standing of the damage caused by conflict, as well as the benefits of integration and cross-community friendships.

Held at the North West Regional College, over 250 participants brought the curtain down on a year-long series of courses, workshops and events that were part of a Shared History, Shared Learning Project - funded by the Shared History Fund and delivered by the Heritage Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland.

During the project, REACH Across planned, delivered and evaluated shared learning sessions involving schools and youth clubs throughout the North West, as well as shared history workshops, education visits to local cultural and historical locations and an activity residential, to develop contact established during the programme.

Groups participating in the project were also invited to design and produce items with a Shared History focus and this included canvas paintings, small furniture, garden planters and even a project-related song.

Children from the Model Primary School taking part in one of Alan Warke’s drumming sessions.

Jamie McNulty, Shared History education officer, said she was delighted with the project and the wide and varied number of young people who participated.

She added: “The project also included learning days for local primary schools and included guided tours of the City Walls and local museums, as well as performances by Highland dancers, Irish dancers and the Londonderry Bands Forum.

“Additional workshops and events included Theatre of Witness workshops for project Volunteers and also project participants and Human Library sessions that informed young people of cultural and social prejudices in Northern Ireland.

“Other events included a hair and make-up workshop that compared styles over a 100 years and Peace Line tours to help young people have a better understanding of the consequences of conflict and the ongoing need for 'peace Walls'.”

Over the past year, REACH Across have worked with 249 young people from the primary, post-primary and youth sectors, during a year that was still affected by school and youth club restrictions.

Jim McGreevy, Northern Ireland committee member, speaking at the event, said: ‘The Heritage Fund is delighted to support  the REACH Across Shared Learning Project  through the Shared History Fund.”

He added: “We are delivering the Shared History Fund on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to help a wide range of groups mark the centenary of Northern Ireland in a thoughtful, inclusive and engaging way.

Mayor Sandra Duffy pictured with organisers, speakers and participants.

“This project is one of 39 projects funded through the programme and will help a wide range of people explore the key events and moments in Northern Ireland’s history.’

REACH Across and associate schools and youth clubs, would like to thank the Heritage Fund for providing a grant that would improve community relations amongst local young people and help participants to understand our troubled past and to be more active in our shared future.

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