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Good Relations Projects Awards Winners 2011
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THE Ballyhornan and District Community Association is one of five  community groups across Northern Ireland celebrating their success in achieving a Good Relations Award.

The NI Housing Executive and members of the Housing Community Network recently celebrated the 2011 Community Relations Week by hosting an event to promote Good Relations and to mark the achievements of the five community groups.

The Good Relations Awards scheme is funded jointly by the Housing Executive and the Community Relations Council. The awards were designed to provide community groups with the opportunity to practically bring to life the principles of the Housing Executive’s Good Relations policy.

Each of the winning groups will receive an award of £2,000 funded jointly by the Housing Executive and the Community Relations Council.

Pictured at the presentation were Brian Rowntree , Housing Executive Chairman, members of Ballyhornan and District Community Association - Jennifer Davey, Youth Leader, Michelle Stewart, Youth Support Worker, Patricia Curran, Chairperson, Noel Curran, Director, and Aidan Brannigan, NIHE Downpatrick District Manager.

The Ballyhornan project focused on a multi-cultural drama programme. A delighted Patricia Curran, Chairperson of the Ballyhornan and District Community Association, said on gaining the award,  “We are delighted to receive this Award which will greatly help our work within the local community. By working with young people at the youth club we hope to promote their understanding of different cultures through a community arts programme and in a drama production focusing on multi-cultural issues to encourage and promote a mixed community.

“We are involving the young people and their parents in all issues dealing with mutual understanding tolerance and differences through this drama programme.”

Last year the Ballyhornan and District Community Association involved young people in a programme where they learned Bollywood dancing, sampled foods from different countries and explored the history of those countries.

Brian Rowntree, Chairman of the Housing Executive said, “A lot of excellent work is being done by our community groups and we hope that these awards will contribute to making a real difference on the ground by increasing respect for diversity and develop relationships between and within communities.

“The Housing Executive is delighted to be able to highlight good practice and to support those who work tirelessly to improve community relations and cohesion within their communities. The presentations from previous winners are inspirational and show how even a small grant can reap huge rewards.”

Commenting at the awards ceremony, Brian Holmes Director of Supporting Communities NI said, “Community Groups warmly welcomed the 2011 Good Relations Awards and in this 5th year of operation we received the highest number of applications yet. The judging panel was very impressed by the commitment shown by volunteers to deliver Good Relations projects”.