INTRODUCTION

Chair & Executive Director

EBCDA Introduction

Welcome to our annual report covering April 2019 – March 2020.  This is the final year of our 5-year strategy 2015 – 2020 theme “People Build Communities” we have followed the same format as the previous 4 years to present a more graphic representation of our work over the year.

As in previous years, this report can only give you a brief flavour of the extent of our work. We would like to highlight some pieces of work for the year, that have had significant impact.

  • We were the East Belfast delivery partner for NICVA in the citywide Transformative Leadership Programme (TLP).  This was a fantastic piece of work to be involved with. Our staff team of four trainers delivered a ten-session training programme to 15 participants who all had a passion for collaborative working to address complex challenges in Inner East Belfast.  The Programme allowed participants to explore where power lies in communities, discussed how to communicate an inspiring vision, examined the barriers to transformation, and emphasised the importance of social innovation.  The group also developed a practical project to put their learning into action.

  • We developed a programme of health initiatives aimed at improving men’s health across East Belfast. These initiatives targeted men of all ages to gently encourage and improve health outcomes including better access to men’s health information and support.  We worked with and supported groups with activities including Fitness, Walking, Archery, Tai Chi, Target Multi-Games, Chair-based Exercises, Cooking and a range of Men’s Health Toolbox Talks.

Transformative Leadership
MensHealth
  • As part of our dementia focused work, over 100 individuals in East Belfast have been trained in becoming “Dementia Friends”. The training increased awareness and understanding around dementia and encourages people to be more dementia friendly in their local communities.  In addition, it encouraged businesses and community groups on how to make their setting more accessible for those living with dementia. This training is only a small part of the wider work being done in partnership with a range of organisations to ensure East Belfast is a dementia friendly community for all.

  • We developed a Chronic Pain Support Programme, working in partnership with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance.  We held two twelve-week programmes this year with topics including self-managing your pain, Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing, arts & crafts, tai-chi, gentle yoga and gentle physical activity, all with a focus on peer support.  The Programme has had a positive impact on the lives of those people living with chronic pain and we look forward to the future developments of the programme.

  • We continue to manage East Belfast Network Centre on a daily basis, on behalf of Templemore Avenue School Trust.

  • The East Belfast Race Relations Network continues to help create meaningful and sustainable links between ethnic minority organisations and service providers and statutory bodies in East Belfast. We organised Know Your Community monthly meetings in local hubs to enable information sharing, support integration and help in addressing the needs. Delivered English classes tailored to the specific demands of the new communities, supported victims of hate crime, linked with relevant agencies and local groups to raise the awareness of the different cultures to smooth the transition and reduce potential tensions.

East Belfast Innovation Award
Launch
  • The East Belfast Street Team project has gained huge momentum over the past year.  The coordination and the collaborative relationships with delivery partners has been pivotal to the success.  An effective model for reporting and scheduling has been implemented.  Relationships have continued to develop with statutory organisations, through key communications and the organisation of networking events.  A more coordinated approach throughout East Belfast now exists through the facilitation of monthly stakeholder meetings.  We are excited for the future continued development of relationships and the new collaborate projects being planned.

  • As an Umbrella Body for Access NI and a Registered Helper Group with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, we continued to support community organisations in East Belfast.  This includes countersigning enhanced Access NI disclosures and supporting organisations to meet their obligations to the Charity Commission.  Provision of this basic level of support enables groups to develop organisational capacity and personal confidence in their work.

  • We were pleased to have been a finalist in 4 categories for various piece of work in EastSide Awards and even more pleased to have won the EastSide Award for Innovation for our East Belfast Community Capacity & Leadership Programme in partnership with NICVA and the award for Best Community Project for the Dementia Friendly East Belfast Campaign.

  • Over the years EBCDA has applied for a lot of funding.  In December 2019, just before the Christmas holidays, we did something we had never done before.  We submitted a tender for the Communities in Transition East Belfast Health and Wellbeing bid.  A tough process given we had no experience of writing tenders.  We were very pleased to learn in January 2020 we had won the bid and excited at the opportunities this would bring to local communities in the East Belfast CiT area, in helping to build emotional resilience in community groups. 

  • When the Coronavirus Pandemic kicked in at the end of March we worked closely with a number of community organisations, churches and politicians to establish East Belfast Coronavirus Community Support group, in an attempt to collectively co-ordinate practical responses in local communities throughout East Belfast during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • Board and staff worked closely to develop a new 5 year strategy for the period 2020-2025, this was agreed by members at the AGM in December 2019 and will be operational from 1st April 2020.

MISSION

East Belfast Community Development Agency exists to provide resources, support and capacity building programmes for community groups that are based on partnership, equal opportunities and sustainable outcomes.

THEORY OF CHANGE

EBCDA’s job is to add value to the activity undertaken by groups in local areas and to work with key organisations to ensure the continued development of a community sector in East Belfast that is recognised, valued and effective.

We seek to support successful community development, encourage reflective practice and promote cooperation and locally based solutions.