DfC Frest Start Team support learning to enhance community development

Members of both the DfC Fresh Start and Tackling Paramilitarism Programme Teams recently attended an information session organised by Rural Communities Network (RCN) for participants on the Education in Community Practice Diploma, delivered through the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway and supported by our Programme. RCN is one of the Fresh Start in the Community delivery organisations and delivers projects that promote lawfulness, active citizenship and help build capacity and relations within communities.


The Diploma is designed to develop participants skills and knowledge in community development and it is anticipated that they will be able to use their new qualification to support and develop their own communities and groups.

Some of the participants on the Education in Community Practice

Marie Gallaher, from Fresh Start Team spoke at the event, saying: “I recognise the significant time commitment that each of you has made in completing this course and I congratulate you on reaching the final month of learning. You will now have an opportunity to bring all your learning back to your respective organisations and communities and I have no doubt that 20 people trained up and full of enthusiasm for community development will make a significantly positive contribution to your communities.”


The group were also joined on the night by Police Chief Inspector Louise Cummings, who is responsible for community engagement in the Causeway Cost and Glens region. Louise discussed the PSNI’s Neighbourhood Policing and Engagement Strategy, providing information and advice on how to interact with their local community engagement officers and the changes that are currently affecting policing.


Following the event, Christopher Farrington from the Programme Team said: “Our Programme is rooted in research, data and insight to help us invest in the right projects and interventions that will have the greatest impact towards identified needs. This approach also extends to delivery in our communities and we’re delighted that the DfC Team are supporting this Diploma to give people the knowledge and skills that they need to ensure their communities can thrive.”