Embedding Wellbeing in Northern Ireland – announcing our project participants

June 12, 2018

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By Aideen McGinley, Chair of the Embedding Wellbeing in Northern Ireland Advisory Group and Co-Chair of the Carnegie Roundtable on Measuring Wellbeing in Northern Ireland.

Today the Carnegie UK Trust has announced the participants of our Embedding Wellbeing in Northern Ireland project.  The Community Planning Partnerships working in the following local authority areas were selected to receive financial and in-kind support from the Trust for the next 2.5 years:

  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council;
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council; and
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

The Advisory Group had the pleasure of reading all of the applications, including the in-depth supplementary information submitted.  I would like to thank all those who submitted applications, the calibre of the applications was extremely high and the Advisory Group had much to discuss.  The successful Community Planning Partnerships were the ones able to show not only that they were working with wellbeing across the Partnership, but also the ones who showed their readiness to engage proactively in taking their work to the next level.

All of the local authorities in Northern Ireland are to be commended for their commitment to Community Planning.  It was clear that so much work has gone into ensuring that the Community Plans reflect the local needs and aspirations of the communities they serve.  Through our Expression of Interest process, we saw some fantastic examples of the spirit of Community Planning in action, and we’re delighted to be able to shine a light on these so that Northern Ireland might just lead the way across the UK and Ireland in Community Planning.

In our analysis, we found a number of common themes across the self-identified successes and challenges, the highs and the lows, of the Community Planning Partnerships in their applications, and are planning to act on this information for the benefit of all.

How will we do this? First of all, the learning generated by our participants as part of the programme in overcoming their own challenges will be shared with the wider Community Planning Partnership network.  Secondly, we are developing a peer to peer support model which will see our project participants share what they have identified as their strengths to date – whether this be community engagement; working with young people; or partnership working – with the other Community Planning Partnerships who recognised these as their challenges.  Third, the enthusiasm and expertise of stakeholders across Northern Ireland and beyond who have expressed an interest in supporting the project will be harnessed for project participants and the wider Community Planning Partnerships to utilise over the next two years.  Finally, as the challenges of data collection and use were mentioned by all applicants, we’ll follow up on these with the Northern Ireland Executive and NISRA to find out what can be done to support Community Planning Partnerships to turn evidence into action.

We look forward to working with the three Community Planning Partnerships until 2020, but also to investing our in-kind resources, support networks, and convening power into improving local wellbeing outcomes for all across Northern Ireland.