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Project Title:A Western Region Community Relations Project
Contact:Derrick Wilson
Address:8 Upper Crescent
Telephone:01265 324550


The Western Routes project originated through a collaborative approach between Community Relations Officers in Cookstown etc and the Future Ways Programme at the University of Ulster. Western Routes was established in 1997 and the strategic aim of the project is to enhance the process of peace and reconciliation in and between the five district council areas in the counties of Tyrone & Fermanagh. Future Ways - A programme Supportive of Community Understanding. The Understanding Conflict Trust initiated a partnership with the University of Ulster to develop specific initiatives in Community Relations Training; to support practical reconciliation programmes; to assist the development of community relations policies and practice within public institutions, the private sector and the workplace.

Strategic Themes:

1. Within Councils - the programme will assist policy & programme development and support staff seeking to develop services with a greater community awareness, with a focus on enhancing the role of the Community Relations Officers.

2. Within and between the local communities - working with women's groups, local umbrella groups, church groups and regional networks.

3. Local partnerships - working directly with and in support of local district partnerships.

4. Inter agency work - in conjunction with initiatives such as Counteract, Sport in the Community, Economic Development, Interface and Adult Education Programmes.

Strategic aims:

To provide training opportunities in community relations issues.

To increase the number of local facilitators who are confident in working with local groups. This will include conflict resolution & mediation training as part of a community development approach.

To work directly with EU Partnership Boards.

To develop supportive training for the membership of the partnership boards and assist partnership boards to implement and evaluate the peace & reconciliation contribution within their programmes.

To support the development of inter church groups within the region.

In view of the central place of churches in rural communities the project proposes a particular focus on church work. This would assist churches to develop programmes on a single identity or cross community basis through adopting a community relations/community development approach.

To support communities in disadvantaged areas & those areas most affected by the conflict.

To assist in the development of community building programmes with umbrella groups, tenant forums, women's groups and regional networks. A specific approach would be developed to bring young adults into community leadership and organisations through innovative approaches via sports and cultural programmes.

Western Routes will be supportive of projects seeking to develop community relations initiatives in border communities.

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