Greater Shankill Alternatives R.I.O.T Programme

Posted May 23, 2013 by Shankill Alternatives in Updates
2013-03-11 10.12.18

Greater Shankill Alternatives delivered a programme called ‘R.I.O.T.’ (Reducing Interface Offending and Tensions) to a group of 10 Impact Training participants over 10 workshops (not including the mural workshops, which were done in addition to their class / training time in Impact).

The R.I.O.T. programme began with an introduction to Alternatives and the work the organisation delivers / facilitates.  The workshop was completed with a group agreement being created, and a number of introductory discussions were facilitated to determine general perceptions, beliefs, morals and values of the group on a diverse range of lifestyle topics.  The second workshop concentrated the concept of violence.  This involved the group defining what violence meant to them, what defined it, their experiences of it, their perceptions of it, the different types of violence and their views and opinions on each of these.  This led into workshop three, which focused on examples of violence.  This was discussed from a macro to a micro level, beginning with examples of international violence, the impact of this, type of violence and the perceptions linked to the various forms violence takes.  Following this, the same process was used to discuss examples of national violence, local violence, violence within our society, our community and examples of individual violence (based on experiences and observations from within the group).

In workshop four the group did a community mapping exercise of local interface ‘hotspot’ areas, using I.T. as a research tool, combined with their own knowledge.  They identified physical and non-physical interface ‘hotspot’ areas within Belfast and marked them on a map.  They then discussed the facilities within the relevant and specific communities, the population, the socio-economic status, and so on, to begin to create an understanding of the areas and the issues they face.  This introduced the concept of those who are affected by interface rioting (victim, community and offender / individual).  This concept, and the consequences for each, built the foundation for the next three workshops, with workshop five focusing on the impact of rioting and consequences for the offender / individual, workshop six concentrating on the victim and workshop seven looking at the impact and consequences on and for the community as a whole.  In workshop eight the group did a tour of local interface ‘hotspot’ areas, and visited many of those identified in workshop four.  This included physical and non-physical interface areas within Belfast.  During this the group could physically see and analyse the areas and the impact and consequences that interface violence may have on the houses, businesses, leisure facilities and people within that particular area (discussed in workshop seven).  Workshop nine was a trip to the PSNI training centre (Steeple), where the group had the opportunity to engage with PSNI officers, the equipment they use, the issues they face, the impact and consequences the PSNI observe as a result of interface rioting, and the impact that interface rioting has on them.  Throughout the workshops the group were also involved in a mural project that highlights the negative impacts and potential consequences of interface violence, for the community, victim and offender / individual.  The final workshop was an evaluation of the R.I.O.T. programme as a whole, and overall resulted in positive comments and Rickter results.

Some of the comments from the evaluation questionnaire were:


  • “The session that had the most impact on me was the Agree / Disagree because I was able to get other people’s opinions.”
  • “…the whole thing gave me more knowledge.”
  • “…it helped me understand more.”
  • Liked “getting to go on tour and the police station.”
  • Learnt “all about violence and how both communities are affected.”

Within the questionnaire the group scored the programme as an average of 8/10 (0 being poor, and 10 being very good).  Some also commented that the programme was well presented and fun although could have had more games, trips and trying on the equipment at Steeple.




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