Bangor Alternatives is a government accredited restorative justice organisation with offices in north, south, east, Shankill and Bangor working across Ards and North Down.
Bangor Alternatives was established in 2005 as a community based restorative programme working with the Ards and North Down area to address issues of community conflict with a focus on paramilitary attacks. It emerged from the centrally co-ordinating organisation, Northern Ireland Alternatives, which has been operational since 1997and has over 30 members of staff.
The following programmes are currently being rolled out within Kilcooley and the Ards and North Down area.
Neighbourhood Renewal/Community Development
The following programmes are continuing
41 restorative interventions have ensued since lockdown measures were introduced. This includes mediation with those in dispute as well as statutory and other specialist support services.
Start is an employability and personal development programme for 16-24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training. Three Start programmes currently operate in North Down and Ards, Shankill/North Belfast, and East/South Belfast.
Staff have continued to provide educational support to young people in the neighbourhood throughout the lockdown period. Employability and Essential Skills have continued via online platforms.
The SAFE programme has brought 20 residents together to discuss community safety issues and identify community lead resolutions. This programme will include the establishment of a ‘Community Engagement Forum’ who will consist of residents from Kilcooley, Rathgill and neighbouring areas. The Forum will be involved with co-designing education/awareness raising events, information and learning visits and local relationship building. The aim of the project is to create safer communities for everyone.
Community Restorative Justice Ireland and Northern Ireland Alternatives are delivering the STARS – Striving To Achieving a Restorative Society programme. With Kilcooley being identified as a Communities In Transition area, Bangor Alternatives have recruited 30 key stakeholders from the locality in efforts to educate said recruited individuals on alternative methods in dealing with conflict in in repairing hurt and harm in the neighbourhood.
Dream big and raise aspirations
Achieve life goals and targets
Respect others and treat everyone equally
Engage with the community and have your voice heard
DARE is an initiative facilitated by Bangor Alternatives and ‘Bangor Yes’ (Extern). This programme is funded by the Executive Office as part of the Children and Young People strand of the Communities in Transition Project.
The DARE Programme will engage with Primary School aged children from the Rathgill and Kilcooley area around their personal and social development and support the children and their families to improve educational attainment. This programme will largely be delivered in schools and out of the formal school setting.
The DARE Programme will engage with Post Primary School aged children from the CIT area. The programme aims to raise aspirations for participants and support them to achieve goals bespoke to each young person.
The DARE Programme will be also be implementing a Youth Key Stakeholders Forum, and facilitating a number of events and campaigns designed to help young people and parents access services and support.