Community Relations Week events in Ballymoney area

BALLYMONEY is supporting Community Relations Week 2013 and its theme ‘Expressing Identity – Addressing Division’ with a series of events planned as part of over 170 happening across Northern Ireland from May 20 to 26.

Community Relations Week is organised by the Community Relations Council (CRC) and includes events run by local councils, public bodies and community and voluntary sector organisations.

Ahead of the week people from Ballymoney can contact the Ballymoney Council for an opportunity to attend the North West launch of Community Relations Week on Monday May 13 in Derry-Londonderry and enjoy a tour of the 2013 City of Culture.

On May 20 the National Regional College will focus on young people in an interactive workshop with Beyond Skin including the launch of the ‘Hands Off My Friend’ initiative.

On May 21 the Ballymoney Museum will host the launch of the GAA historical exhibition.

Other events include an exhibition showcased by the Ballymoney Royal Black District No5 and the launch of the ‘Educating Ourselves Programme’ by Ballymaconnelly LOL 360.

The week will begin with its flagship event, the Community Relations Council policy conference ‘Expressing Identity – Addressing Division?’ in Derry~Londonderry, 2013 City of Culture, on Monday May 20. Key community relations workers from across Northern Ireland come together to plan ways of ensuring good relations successes translate into policy guidelines that strengthen the peace process.

Jacqueline Irwin, CRC’s Chief Executive, welcomes the progress made since Community Relations Week began in 2003 and stresses that the right to express and celebrate our identity is an important part of community life: “In our increasingly diverse society, respect for the rights of others to also express their culture and allegiances has been an enormous and costly challenge. Understanding that we will need to learn to embrace diversity if we are to flourish, is fundamental to our wellbeing as a small community in this fast changing world.”

Welcoming Ballymoney’s involvement she said: “Taking part in Community Relations Week events is an active way of demonstrating dedication to peace building. This is our statement of hope for the future, encouraging us to realise that we can learn the skills necessary to build relationships and bridge division.”

A full listing of Community Relations Week events can be found at www.nicrc.org.uk and printed programmes can be obtained from local libraries.

* Hands Off My Friend - Northern Regional College Ballymoney Campus - Mon 20th May 10.30am – 12.30pm

* Launch of the GAA Historical Exhibition - Ballymoney Museum (Town Hall) - Tue 21st May 12noon – 1pm.

* Ballymoney Royal Black District Exhibition - Dunaghy Orange Hall - Thu 23rd May-Sat 25th May - Thu – Fri 2pm – 8pm Sat 12noon – 5pm

* Educating Ourselves Programme - Ballymaconnelly Orange Hall - Starts Thu 23rd May 8pm – 9.15pm.