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Project Incredible concludes at Newport

6th Dec 2018

The Boys' Brigade and Scouting Ireland have just concluded a working together 'Project Incredible' bringing young people together from different communities in NI, thanks to funding from the Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership. The project is supported by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body under the theme of Shared Spaced and Services.

Twenty-four young people joined together for two evenings in October and one final residential weekend held at Newport from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th November 2018. Boys' Brigade Companies in Newmills and Culnady stayed overnight along with Co Antrim Scouting Ireland Groups from the Lisburn area; 9th Antrim based at St Patrick's Academy, Ballinderry Road and 23rd Antrim from Derriaghy.

During this final weekend of 'Project Incredible' there was a pause for remembrance on Sunday 11 November led by Paul Stewart from Newmills Boys' Brigade. This gave those unfamiliar with remembrance ceremonies an opportunity to learn more about it; and for the young people to share what remembrance meant to them both in the context of War Remembrance and personal remembrance. Other activities during the weekend included swimming, and bowling at Lisburn Leisure Park.

Throughout the weekend the groups engaged in discussions and group work around topics such as similarities and differences between them, identity, the community they live in and the organisations they are part of and their associated activities and traditions. They looked at the BB and Scout uniforms and what each item meant and why that was a part of the uniform. The BB boys shared a lesson on Squad Drill and the young people from Scouting Ireland shared skills on chopping wood - which came in handy for the camp-fire on Saturday night. At the end of the weekend all the participants received a hoodie to unite all in the same identity.

Cllr Jonathan Craig, Chairperson of the Lisburn and Castlereagh Peace IV Partnership, visited the Newport on Saturday 10th November to meet the young people involved along with the Mayor, Cllr Uel Mackin. Speaking about the project he said: "The Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership is committed to ensuring that it offers support to local cross-community projects that work to bring young people from different cultures and communities together and breakdown any barriers there may be in understanding each other's heritage. 'Project Incredible' is just one example of a PEACE funded project."

Mark Feeney, 9th Antrim Scouts Leader said: 'After being a Scout Leader it is great to meet and learn from another organisation like The Boys' Brigade. It is just as good to pass on some of Scouting Ireland too!" This sentiment was echoed by BB Leader Paul Stewart from Newmills who added: "This has been a fantastic project. It has been great to discover the similarities in our youth organisations and great to share ideas."

Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

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