Celebrating success in East Belfast

Discussions at the third East Belfast Networking event of the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme
On 2 April over 40 participants from the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme gathered to celebrate all that had been achieved and look to the future. Managed by EBCDA, the Community Capacity and Leadership Programme was managed by NICVA and delivered by NICVA along with a consortium of delivery partners. 
The networking event held in East Belfast Network Centre was an opportunity to celebrate success and plan for the future. The programme has been a real success for the people, organisations and communities in East Belfast. We are delighted that 449 people and 181 organisations have participated in the East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership Programme since it started in May 2017.  Over 100 people have achieved accreditation during this time as well, which is an amazing achievement.
Helen McLaughlin, Programme Coordinator at NICVA remarked on what a great achievement this was for East Belfast, which was down to the enthusiastic participation of community and voluntary groups and organisations in the programme. She thanked EBCDA for managing the programme, and all the programme partners – Interaction Institute, Youth Action and Tides for their work, as well as her colleagues at NICVA.
Michael Briggs, EBCDA, then conveyed how the programme had started and shared his reflections on the programme's success. He thanked all those who had contributed to the programme’s success, not least The Executive Office for funding the programme through SIF.

"The East Belfast Community Capacity & Leadership Programme has achieved beyond our expectations.  Whilst it was very much a training programme targeted at the community sector in East Belfast, It has been a great process for developing contacts and networks across East Belfast.  It has provided so many opportunities for organisations in East Belfast to participate in high quality, accredited and non-accredited training and support the development of organisations and the staff, volunteers and structures of those organisations.  The professional delivery by NICVA and their partners of Interaction Institute, Tides Training and Youth Action NI has been a wonderful experience for our organisation." 

Participants shared the impact that the programme had on their groups and organisations as follows: 
More confident
More productive
Better community cohesion
Stronger relationships
New relationships
More collaborative working
Increased community engagement
New people on boards
Using new methods and processes
More effective management of volunteers
Better governance

Dr Mark Browne, from The Executive Office, congratulated all those involved in the programme and commended the impact that it has had on individuals and communities. He spoke of the other work The Executive Office were doing and how people could get involved. He then presented certificates to those who had completed the programme. Within the programme there was a wide range of courses including: evening /half-day/one day sessions, TQUK Level 3 Education and Training, Facilitative Leadership, ILM Level 3 Management of volunteers, ILM Level 3 Leadership and Management, ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring and OCN courses.


This programme, funded by the Northern Ireland Executive’s Social Investment Fund as part of the Delivering Social Change programme, worked with community groups and individuals in East Belfast to improve their capacity and leadership. It helped groups identify solutions to address the challenges and issues that they face in their local communities. The programme improved leadership skills and confidence and provided the chance to work together and network with others.