Project will see schools march to a different beat

At the launch of Diversity Drums in Maralin Primary School. INLM0813-01
At the launch of Diversity Drums in Maralin Primary School. INLM0813-01

LURGAN and Brownlow Neighbourhood Policing Teams are matching to a different beat with a new peace building project called Diversity and Drums.

They are working with Speedwell Trust and local schools to develop links between schools from different sectors and build bridges between different communities, contributing to increased understanding and mutual respect.

Six schools in Craigavon - four in Lurgan and two in Brownlow - will take part in five Diversity and Drums workshops. The project was launched recently at Maralin Primary School.

The drumming workshops are led by Joe Loughlin while the diversity activities, focusing on the themes of team building, cultural traditions, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination are facilitated by Speedwell staff.

One of the workshops will specifically focus on the role of the PSNI in our local communities.

Neighbourhood officers will facilitate the workshop and talk to the pupils about a range of different subjects including crime and consequences, Internet safety and police vehicles and equipment.

Inspector Ken Annett, Lurgan and Brownlow NPT, said: “The Diversity and Drums project provides us with another opportunity to engage with our young people and promote cross community relationships. The project includes a good mixture of fun activities with the more serious topics of safety, stereotyping and prejudice.”

Diversity and Drums will culminate in a local celebration event for parents where children will showcase their learning and jointly perform newly acquired drum routines.

Eamon McClean, Speedwell Trust Manager, said: “Everyone involved with Speedwell is delighted with the funding from the PEACE III Southern Cluster. We hope that this project will have a positive impact on behavioural patterns and will lead to reduced levels of sectarianism and racism within local communities.”

Diversity and Drums is managed by the PEACE III Southern Partnership and supported by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.