Londonderry community organisations are being invited to take part in a new scheme aimed at tackling the issue of bonfires, and the associated anti-social problems which can affect communities over the summer months.
Through Derry City Council’s Good Relations Programme organisations can engage in a number of training events to raise awareness about issues such as safety and finding positive alternatives to bonfires.
Mayor Martin Reilly said: “I would like to encourage local community organisations to get involved in this scheme, which provides essential support for any area which is affected by these problems year in year out.
“The scheme not only increases awareness, it brings together members of all communities and provides them with practical training which will help promote safety and create a better environment for everyone.
“Our Safe Community is one of the key aims highlighted in the new good relations strategy 2014-17 and our community relations officers are committed to working with local communities to either assist in the elimination of bonfires or assist with the promotion of safe, family focused and non-sectarian cultural celebrations.”
Laura Hamilton, Community Relations Officer, said: “Some of the courses have proved so popular that we have had to arrange repeat courses,” she said. “Over the next week there is a Why bonfires – is there an alternative? dialogue event being held on May 21 (7-9pm) in the DiverseCity Offices and it is hoped that many of the leaders within the groups will take this opportunity to come along and have their say in discussion around various aspects of bonfires and alternatives.
“On May 22 risk assessment training is taking place with some spaces available on the evening course which will also be held in the DiverseCity Building, 6pm-8.30pm, and finally hand held radio training for events will take place in the shared future centre on Friday, May 23 from 10am – 2.30pm.”
If you belong to a group or organisation connected to or involved in bonfires and alternatives, and are interested in attending any of these events please contact Laura Hamilton, Community Relations Officer, on 07736213164 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org