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Voting now open for the Urban Villages Aisling Award

POSITIVITY: Urban Villages was set up to foster positive community identities in underserved areas POSITIVITY: Urban Villages was set up to foster positive community identities in underserved areas
By Staff Reporter

VOTING has begun online to find the recipient of a new Aisling Award aimed at identifying the best community project based in an Urban Village area.

An initiative of the Stormont Executive championed by the late Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson, Urban Villages were set up in some of the most underserved areas in Belfast and Derry in order to foster positive community identities, build community strength and enhance the local environment.

Among the trailblazing Belfast enterprises to benefit from Urban Villages support are a shipping crate park boasting a restaurant and bike hub in East Belfast, the Men’s Shed in Colin, and St Malachy’s Youth Club in the Market.

Launching the newest addition to the Aisling Awards, Belfast Media Group Chief Editor Robin Livingstone called on readers to vote for their favourite project.

“For 23 years now, the Aisling Awards have been shining a light on the local heroes whose selfless commitment is the backbone of Belfast. We’re proud to be providing a platform for four exemplary grassroots projects in the Urban Villages areas – effectively the frontline of efforts to build a better and more inclusive Belfast.”

The four transformative initatives shortlisted are Turas in East Belfast, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership in outer West Belfast, YEHA and Streetbeat for Carezone in Schools in North Belfast, and South Belfast Youth Action Partnership.

Readers can vote now at: aisling-events.com/urban-villages-ambassador-aisling-award/

You, the reader, will decide who scoops this unique accolade. The four projects shortlisted are:

Colin Neighbourhood Partnership for the Colin Events Programme
Animation of Colin as well as annual public community events and activities with the added dimension of incorporating use of the new Colin Town Square.

YEHA & StreetBeat for Carezone in Schools

A mental health project training students to be peer mentors across Mercy College and Belfast Girls Model; so successful it is now rolling out across all post primary schools in the Urban Village area.

Turas for Turas
Nominated for the development of the Irish language library resource and their partnership with Ionad na Fuiseoige in the Colin Urban Village area. The project based in Skainos is the brainchild of Linda Irvine – who has previously been a recipient of the Aisling Roll of Honour Award for her endeavours to use the Irish language as a tool of reconciliation.

South Belfast Alternatives for South Belfast Youth Action Partnership
A Youth project collaborating across all 3 areas in the south Belfast Urban Village area – the Market, Sandy Row and Donegall Pass.

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