Fortwilliam & Macrory

Presbyterian Church

Bricks to Bridges Projects

The following projects exist under the umbrella of Bricks to Bridges:

1) Establishing a Restorative Ethos throughout all projects

  • Valuing relationship and cultivating healthy growth
  • Taking responsibility to be present and responsive 
  • Engaging in a way that enables the possibility of reparation and/or transformation
  • Promoting and empowering voluntary participation and non-coerciveness
  • Promoting the inclusion of all stakeholders in any situation
  • Being sensitive to the needs of victims
  • Safeguarding relationships and quality practice through accountability

2) Interface Development

2.1 Bike Clubs

We have opened two Bike Clubs - one in the Fortwilliam site, (577 Antrim Road), and the other at Macrory, (Duncairn Gardens) We are offering courses in basic bike handling and road-safety skills for residents living in these areas. Three of the courses will be offered to 10-14 year-olds and one of the courses will be offered to adults. The programme is about promoting cycling as an accessible means of physical exercise, and encouraging more people to make road journeys on bikes. Its also about creating a space for relationship building across the interface through a shared interest in bikes. This programme is funded through Active Belfast and CTC Bike Club. The club is currently running on Tuesdays 430-6pm.

Bike Repair & Maintenance Apprenticeship

We are seeking funding for an OCN-accredited, 10-week Basic Bike Repair & Maintenance Apprenticeship at Macrory, for up to six young people from both Tiger’s Bay and the New Lodge as part of a multi-agency strategy to address anti-social behaviour in the area. Partnering agencies include: York Road Community Police, Youth Justice Agency, Rathbone, and BELB’s North Area Project.

2.2 Friday Night Football Club

Macrory United has emerged as a core of eight 12+ year-olds from Tigers Bay have  begun training in Macrory on Friday evenings from 6-7pm. From September 2012, young people from the New Lodge will also be training as part of a partnership with New Lodge Youth Centre. This will begin on a single-identity basis initially with a view to mixing the teams in the coming months.

2.3 Community-Pride Events

We support the planning and delivery of community-wide events that seek to establish a new annual rhythm of cross-community traditions for young people and their families, such as the annual Lantern Parade, which will be held on Tuesday 30th October this year.

2.4 Inner North Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership

We support the Children and Young People’s Sub Group through seeking to strengthen its representativeness and capacity in its endeavour to collaborate on youth service planning and delivery.

2.5 Fortwilliam Garden Project

We have been developing community gardens in the grounds of the Fortwilliam site since March 2012. We recognise the garden as a potential space for recreation, community service, relationship building, learning, and private relfection. By learning to harness nature's energy flow to grow flowers and food, we also begin to cultivate within, making way for new growth. The current project targets young people from the four neighbouring care homes, as well as referrals from Youth Justice Agency, and members of the congregation. The garden is open for referrals on Monday and Thursday 11am-1pm, and Saturday 10am-12pm. The project also offers participants OCN accredited training in Basic Horticultural Skills. Click here for more details.

3) Church & Community Forum on Youth Club Misbehaviour Management

We work with LINC/CCWA and Jennymount Methodist to facilitate a local church & community forum for youth-club leaders on the topic of misbehaviour management. Through organizing a series of three meetings, the project seeks to:

  • Build relationships with neighbouring churches and community groups who also provide a youth club or drop-in service
  • Learn from the work each group is doing in the area
  • Improve misbehaviour management practice through collaborative discussion of current practice
  • Assist local churches to get connected with other community youth service providers in the area

Click here to view the notes from the first session of the series

Click here to view the notes from the second session of the series