Nerve Centre Helps Council To APSE Award

Nerve Centre Helps Council To APSE Award

An innovative project, which the Nerve Centre created a range of dynamic content for, has won a prestigious award for Derry City Council at the APSE awards.

The Y-HIDE project secured the Best Local Democracy Initiative category, beating finalists Staffordshire County Council and Stockton on Tees Borough Council.

Praising the project on its success, Mayor  Martin Reilly said it was a significant achievement. “The APSE awards are high profile and open to councils across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales with over 375 applicants across 21 categories taking part. Derry City Council was the only Council in Northern Ireland to win an award category overall. I am absolutely delighted that the efforts of the Community Relations Team within Derry City Council were acknowledged in this way and that the excellent and proactive work they are doing to promote inclusiveness and diversity in our society has been awarded. Well done to everyone involved, it is a fantastic accolade,” he said.

Sue Divin, Community Relations Officer with Derry City Council explained that the award was specific to the Y HIDE project they have established.

“We are absolutely delighted to have secured this award and are delighted that the Y HIDE project was acknowledged in this way. Y HIDE?’ (Youth - History – Identity – Democracy – Equality) is a youth/community democracy initiative that was developed by Derry City Council, in partnership with Limavady Borough Council, under its ‘Good Relations Strategy 2011/12 – 13/14.’  It includes schools, education authorities and politicians and involved the publication of a magazine on voting and politics with an accompanying website and teachers/facilitators resource pack.  Despite this being a contentious area of work given past ‘Troubles,’ this project gained broad party political support and is used by State, Maintained and Integrated schools and local reconciliation facilitators. Given the past conflict in Northern Ireland, some people used to say ‘Don’t talk about religion or politics!’  This initiative advocates that a lot has changed in the current generation and that ‘hiding’ political views may slow progress towards a society where different political views can be heard, respected or challenged in peaceful democratic ways.  The initiative has been used widely for reconciliation work as well as diverse learning styles and abilities and we are very proud that it has been awarded by APSE,” she said. 

The Nerve Centre provided a range of video content for the project, designed to engage young people in serious issues and provide bite sized introductions to politics and civic life, as John Peto explained 'This was an important project in that it really develops an interest for young people in how politics can really change things in their communities and given them a positive voice to improve and change the things that matter most to them. Its key to what the Nerve Centre does in using digital media as a tool to empower young people in positive action. I am delighted that Sue and her team have been recognised for their really progressive work'.  The magazine, teachers/facilitators hand book and web material can be accessed freely on http://www.y-hide.net/  The initiative was funded under the District Council’s Good Relations Programme. 

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