Looking forward to the Past


Looking forward to the Past

The Southern Cluster PEACE III Partnership and the PSNI join forces to address inter-generational issues in Newry.

An innovative programme being delivered by the Institute for Conflict Research on behalf of the Southern Cluster PEACE III Partnership is bringing together 12 young people and 12 older citizens from Newry.  Using the young people’s skills at IT and the older people’s interest in history, the participants are working together to research the contribution of all communities in Newry to the First World War.

 Newry Neighbourhood Policing Team believe the intergenerational project is vital in developing better relationships within neighbourhoods in Newry and Mourne    The project will see twelve teenagers and young adults spend time with a group of older adults who all reside in the Greater Belfast Road area.

The Institute for Conflict Research will deliver a number of sessions to the whole group, focused on developing contact, engagement and understanding between the two age groups.  The group will look at perceptions and facts around the First World War and the emblem of the poppy and use this theme during IT workshops with the project culminating in a visit to The Somme.

“Researching the contribution made by people from all communities in Newry to the First world war is an eye opener” said Dr Katy Radford, Institute for Conflict Reserach.  “It enables all the participants, young and old to recognise the shared and diverse history of Newry and to learn new skills that can be applied in all aspects of their lives.

Sergeant Kenny Gracey of Newry Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The value of intergenerational projects cannot be underestimated and we believe this project will provide an insight into the lives of both age groups and encourage better understanding and empathy.

Through our work in the community we know that the younger generation feel that the older people in the community don’t relate to them or understand the issues they face while the older generation can often feel intimidated or disregarded by the younger people. We believe that the project will give both groups the opportunity to get to know each other and look at things from each other’s perspective. We hope that all participants will build lasting relationships which will encourage a stronger community approach and ethos in their own neighbourhood.”

15 year old Christopher Tomelty, a participant on the programme commented:  “We know that communication and respect between older people and younger people is important to improving relationships and that goes for everyone no matter what your age.  Learning about one another’s interests can help that process.”