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Newry, Mourne and Down

Council District First in World to Commence Global Trust Project

“That is where the Global Trust Project comes in. On a grassroots level the project will help people in the community to listen to each other, talk together, build trust together, and start creating action plans together – to make real and lasting impact on the things that really matter.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is delighted to announce that the district is the first region in the world to begin a participatory community Global Trust Project.

The Global Trust Project is set to commence as part of the district’s PEACE IV Blueprint programme and is a pioneering innovative idea developed by social entrepreneur, Steve Savides alongside a team of trailblazers in the business, community and creative sectors.

The Blueprint Programme is a comprehensive ethnic minority cultural diversity programme across the Newry, Mourne and Down area, supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Steve has spent his life in-between community and the international corporate world of technology, finance and business. He is passionate about wellbeing and when he isn’t coaching or consulting for business he is teaching people how to move and breathe differently, in ways that help them feel more connected to themselves and others.  He has founded the Global Trust Project in order to tackle the challenges of low trust we face in business and community.

It Takes Trust

Steve explains, “It seems we live in a world where no one trusts anyone anymore. We don’t trust our governments. We don’t trust business. We don’t trust our media. We don’t trust technology. Even on a personal level it is difficult to find anyone or any group outside our family and friends that we trust. 

“But the trouble is, to get anything done takes trust. You have to believe that others will keep the promises they make; do what they say; honour the deal; pay what is owed. Humans do not move without trust, and we need to move on a lot of things. Climate change. Poverty. Gender & Racial Equality. Pandemics. The list goes on. We are giving up on the big institutions to tackle the big issues. It’s ourselves and the community around us who can begin to make an impact.

“That is where the Global Trust Project comes in. On a grassroots level the project will help people in the community to listen to each other, talk together, build trust together, and start creating action plans together – to make real and lasting impact on the things that really matter.

The Global Trust Project vision is to build trust and inspire action in individuals and groups wanting to make an impact on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. These participatory led actions will enable facilitation of meaningful engagement and enhance cultural understanding between the majority and minority population with people of different beliefs, faith, and cultural roots. The outcome of which will be a more equitable approach to assist Black & Minority Ethnic communities build capacity and a strong sense of togetherness as we work to address social, economic and environmental issues that affect us all.

“The Global Trust Project in Newry Mourne and Down will have creativity at the core of engagement, development, delivery, and evaluation guided and facilitated by Ingrid Guyon.

Change The Narrative

Ingrid Guyon is a photographer, self-shooting producer, filmmaker and participatory visual media practitioner passionate advocate of a better world through community engagement and self-representation. In 2009, she established Fotosynthesis, a social enterprise that specialises in participatory photography, with the aim to encourage social inclusion, empathy, self-development, and participation through photography and to keep traditional and experimental photography processes alive. I have an interest in developing more projects around arts, embodiment, spiritual, holistic practices, sustainable projects, eco-living, and the environment.

“We are inviting people living in Newry, Mourne and Down region who wish to change the narrative and to join the Global Trust Project team. This will involve weekly gatherings (currently online) working alongside facilitators within The Global Trust Project international team to enable the development of social action trust productions, community initiatives and legacy projects. No experience necessary and we especially seek those who feel marginalised or have an unequal footing in society.”

To express interest in the Global Trust Project and for further information contact: info.beyondskin@gmail.com

Newry, Mourne and Down

Praises as Pupils Send Powerful Message on Domestic Violence

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill pictured with pupils from St Mary’s High School in Downpatrick, who have been raising awareness of domestic violence and the issues faced by women and girls in today’s society.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has praised pupils from St Mary’s High School in Downpatrick for their efforts to raise awareness of domestic violence.

The school has been working with Women’s Aid on a special project to shine a light on the many issues faced by women and girls in today’s society.Their efforts include the release of a song and video, which is not only raising awareness, but is raising funds to support those affected by domestic abuse.

Speaking after a visit to the school, Michelle O’Neill said: “I was delighted to meet with the girls from St Mary’s in Downpatrick today to hear about their efforts to help tackle the abuse faced by so many women and girls across the community. They are a talented group of young people and their work to raise awareness of these crucial issues is very moving and incredibly powerful.

“The abuse, inequality and misogyny faced by women and girls of all ages is a brutal reality of our society. And, sadly, very many experience violence in their everyday lives. It is a problem that requires everyone’s urgent attention and action.

“As an Executive, we have committed to working together on a strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls. But everyone has a responsibility to do all they can to help change attitudes and behaviours. The inspirational pupils at St Mary’s have done just that and I applaud them for the impactful and sensitive way they have dealt with this issue.

“I also commend the school for bringing this subject to the fore and supporting the students to tell the story.”

Given the ongoing Covid-19 measures in place across the schools community, the song was produced by recording individual voices and layering them to create the final version.

The deputy First Minister said: “Our schools and young people have had such a tough time throughout the pandemic. But they have innovated and adapted to do great things.  It is wonderful to see how St Mary’s have used a creative approach to deliver this important message.”

St Mary’s Principal, Rosemary McLaughlin, said: “The Board of Governors and staff of St Mary’s High School are very proud of the girls who have used their talents in a positive way to highlight injustice in our society. The efforts they have made will really make a difference to Women’s Aid.

“We are an all girls’ school; and we recognise the need to empower our young women. We want to ensure that the girls know there are organisations out there that can help the victim and the perpetrator.  As a school, we discussed the impact that the national lockdown had on women when the message was to stay at home. During lockdown, the increase in domestic abuse and violence against women was well documented by the media. Women’s Aid will now be able to use the much needed resources from this project to support families in the locality.”

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Newry, Mourne and Down

Please Give Our Fire Crews Space to do Their Job

The Health Minister Robin Swann has paid tribute to firefighters from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) who are currently tackling a serious blaze in the Mourne Mountains.

NIFRS has declared a major incident and is escalating its operations in the area to bring the fire under control. A large number of resources will be in attendance and NIFRS has appealed to the public not to travel to the area, in particular Trassey Road, Bloody Bridge, Tollymore Forest and Donard Car Park.

The Minister said: “I’ve been shocked and deeply concerned to see the pictures of this devastating fire spreading across the Mournes. I have spoken to NIFRS Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Michael Graham to pay tribute to the crews. 

“Our firefighters are working hard in extremely challenging circumstances and I want to thank them on behalf of the community for their bravery and commitment. They are taking huge risks to bring the fire under control and make the area safe.

“I would appeal to the public to help NIFRS in their vital work by avoiding Newcastle and the Mournes and allowing the crews to do their job safely and effectively. They must be able to get fire appliances, equipment and firefighters there as quickly as possible, so please do not drive to the area unnecessarily. The public should also avoid gathering or walking in the area. The ongoing incident in the Mournes is not a tourist attraction nor a photo opportunity. Spending long, tiring hours away from family is part of the sacrifice of our emergency services, who work to keep us all safe. Please help by giving our fire crews the space to do their job.”

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