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An anti-bullying song performed by pupils from Killowen and St John’s primary schools in Coleraine has been recognised with a special Good Relations Award from the NI Community Relations Council.
Last year pupils from the two schools came together on a project about their local community, where they composed and recorded ‘These are our Streets’ alongside local musician Ian Hannah. The idea for the song came from the schools’ participation in Radius Housing’s good relations programmes, which focused on mental well-being and developing personal capacity. The Relaxed and Resilient programme which ran in St John’s and Killowen Primary Schools helped tackle antisocial behaviour in the Heights Area through music and well-being training.
‘These are our Streets’ carries strong messages about looking after your local area and neighbours. The NI Community Relations Council recognised the positive impact the pupils’ song has had on building strong community relations in their recent Good Relations Awards. Following the awards the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Ivor Wallace, visited the schools to recognise the achievements of the children.
Speaking at the special event, Lisa Mooney from Radius Housing said “It is wonderful that the efforts and talent of all the children from Killowen and St John’s has been recognised with the Good Relations Award. They may only be in primary school, but they are already showing themselves to be leaders when it comes to building strong communities and friendships. They are a credit to their school and families and have created a wonderful song they can all be proud of.”
Helen McDonnell, Principal of St. John’s said, “It was a delight to accept this award on behalf of everyone within our school communities for their whole-hearted contribution to the good relations work that we do. Thank you to Radius Housing who have got behind all the community-based projects we have undertaken over the last couple of years.”
Arlene Moon, Principal of Killowen PS commented, “It was amazing to experience how the heartfelt messages portrayed by the children in song were received by the local community. We are very grateful to Radius for their support. Both schools are proud of how all the children work and learn together to ensure they help build a once very divided community into a much more united one. It’s great that they have had their efforts recognised with this award!
The project was supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society. A total of £2,080,307 has been invested in the Laurel Hill Gardens Shared Housing development and associated five-year Good Relations Plan.
Radius Housing has both completed and proposed shared housing development in nine areas across Northern Ireland. The Good Relations plan for each includes ‘bridging’ events with the wider community which encourage a range of outcomes including health and well-being and education and training.
You can watch the video for ‘These Are Our Streets’ here https://youtu.be/XkQUSmVsQ6o