by NEIL GREENLEES
Jean Brown, Suffolk Lenadoon
Interface Group Chairperson and Renee Crawford,
Lenadoon Community Forum with members of Upper Falls
Protestant Boys Flute Band and Gleann Chollain Irish
Pipe Band who played together at the strategy
A STRATEGY has been launched to transform the interface
between the loyalist Suffolk Estate and the nationalist Lenadoon
area into a genuinely shared space.
The five year project
drawn up by the Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) was
unveiled last week as the results of a major survey in the area
showed 91% of all respondents were supportive of peacebuilding
work between the two communities.
The scheme entitled
'Interface and Beyond' focuses on six key areas for
peacebuilding including: Creating shared minds and changing
attitudes; developing shared spaces; developing shared
interests; developing shared knowledge, understanding and
advocacy; undertaking shared actions and providing opportunities
for shared learning and development through national and
The launch took place at the Group's
award winning shared facilities on Stewartstown Road.
Symbolically, both Upper Falls Protestant Boys Flute Band and
Gleann Chollain Irish Pipe Band provided music at the event.
SLIG Group Chairperson Jean Brown said the organisation had
come a long way In the 12 years since the first discussions
between Suffolk and Lenadoon's Community Fora took place.
pointed out the launch was taking place in a building shared by
both communities which had brought jobs, childcare and retail
services into the area, and which had changed the physical
appearance of the interface beyond all recognition.
today marks a new phase in the work of Suffolk Lenadoon
Interface Group, and we hope in the lives of our communities,"
" Our new five year strategy is about building
a shared and better future that will provide long term
sustain-ability for the Suffolk and Lenadoon area and a better
quality of life for all who live here — especially our young
"We aim to support the development of shared
projects such as sports, health, youth, culture, childcare and
education while also sharing our experiences of the recent past
with others who may benefit.
"While we acknowledge the
progress we have made SLIG is not complacent and recognise that
a number of challenges remain which we are committed to
overcoming for the benefit of all who live within the Suffolk
and Lenadoon communities."
Mrs. Brown said ultimately the
strategy, rooted in the learnings of recent years, aimed to move
conflict areas forward and involve people at all levels within
the Suffolk Lenadoon communities and wider society.
to be able to share our experiences, good and bad, with the many
other groups which, like us, are still working to ease tensions
and promote sharing in interface areas in Northern Ireland," she