Greater Shankill Alternatives AGM 2013

Posted May 21, 2013 by Shankill Alternatives in Updates
GSA AGM 2013

Greater Shankill AGM 2013 took place at the Spectrum Centre on Wednesday, 15th May.  The audience was representative of local and regional community organisations, statutory organisations, young people, adult programme participants’, PSNI, funders, work colleagues and so on, who came to listen to the diversity of the work Greater Shankill Alternatives does.

Following the normal procedures within an AGM, the audience were encouraged to read the Annual Report, which quantifies the work done within Greater Shankill Alternatives through the past year, and to which the staff referred to during their presentations.  Staff from the Intensive Youth Support Project described the work and some of the challenges he is presented with when working with vulnerable young people who are engaging in anti-social and risk-taking behaviours.  Youth Prevention projects were also presented as was the Youth Safety Network, which is a consortium of three organisations (Northern Ireland Alternatives, Challenge for Youth and the Terry Enright Foundation), who have established youth led Youth Safety Partnerships across both rural and urban, Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.  Out of this came the GAP Scheme, and one of Alternatives young people, who is currently on the GAP scheme, spoke about his learning and personal and professional development he has got from the scheme.

Next came a presentation from ACT (Action for Community Transformation), which started as a conflict transformation programme to provide opportunities and structures for former combatants to become positively involved in community and personal development initiatives in their transition from conflict to peace.  The process of training, capacity building and community development, through to ACT becoming its own company was presented, along with the challenges and positives experienced in being part of the work.

Lastly, staff from the MACS (Mediation And Community Support) programme, which is a partnership between Northern Ireland Alternatives and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) who deliver mediation and community support to primarily NIHE tenants experiencing forms of anti-social behaviour, spoke about her work, what she enjoyed, and what she found testing within it.  This linked to the MUMS (Mothers Understanding Modern Society) parenting awareness programme, which our Probation Board worker spoke about and presented certificates to participants’ who completed the programme.

Greater Shankill Alternatives AGM ended with the launch of three murals, done within the last eight weeks of the year.  The first was an anti-drugs mural, completed by members of the Youth Safety Partnership and GAP scheme, which read the message “Drugs don’t work, they just make you worse.”  The second was a restorative justice mural, developed by Greater Shankill Alternatives staff to highlight the ethos and processes within restorative justice practice.  The third was an anti-voilence mural done in partnership with a group from Impact Training, and artist Daniella Balmaverde which depicts the message that all young people have a choice, and highlighted the consequences of negative and positive choices on a young person’s life.

Overall, Greater Shankill Alternatives was well received and we would like to thank all those that attended for their support, as well as those who have supported the work throughout the year.

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