Looking Ahead

The Tullymore Community and Christian Brothers School Project (CBS)

The local school in any community is a valuable asset. Too often schools have opened at 8am and closed at 4pm minimizing access to a range of facilities that could be used for the benefit of the wider community.

Over the past two years the staff of the Tullymore Community Centre and the staff of CBS School have been exploring ways that both the school and community group could pool their resources to both improve the opportunities available to the local community and to improve the quality of life in the estate. The new housing development on the Glen Road will add 3000 houses to the catchment area of the Community Centre and the CBS School. This will significantly increase the demand on the local infrastructure and it is important that we effectively organise and collectively pool our resources to ensure that we make the maximum impact.

The School and the Community Centre are now working with CollaborationNI to develop a collaborative strategy that will address the following key issues;

Education, Training and Employment

The school and community group will endeavour to increase the educational opportunities available within the estate, particularly for the long term unemployed. We want to create an environment that supports lifelong learning and skills building.  A community education and training programme will be developed based on the “skills gaps” as identified by local employers. We will then give people the training targeted at these gaps and designed to improve their employability.

We will also work with young people in danger of leaving mainstream education without any qualifications. The community centre will deliver a support programme for these young people primarily aimed at integrating them back into mainstream education or where that is not possible, ensuring that they at least achieve essential skills qualifications.

The class room assistant programme will be continued and expanded. This allows unemployed people to train as class room assistants in the school enabling them to gain a qualification, experience and a reference.

Healthy Living

Health inequalities have a significant impact on the estate and the wider West Belfast area. Life expectancy is lower in comparison to more affluent parts of the city with higher rates of cardio vascular disease, stokes and cancer. Tullymore Healthy Hearts hub and CBS School will collaborate on a plan to increase physical activity across all age groups within the estate. The school has a range of facilities including a Gym, playing fields and kitchens. A healthy eating programme will also be promoted and a number of allotments will be developed to grow our own vegetables.

A resilience programme for young people will also be developed and be delivered in both the school and the local community group.

We will campaign for a 3G pitch to be placed in the school to meet the increased demand for playing facilities anticipated from the extra housing on the Glen Road.

Childcare and Youth

We anticipate an increased demand for childcare and youth services with the new housing development. We plan to explore how we can best develop both community and school facilities to expand our childcare provision to meet the new need. The school has a number of rooms that we may be able to use to expand our childcare and youth services. These issues will be explored in our work with CollaborationNI to develop our strategy.

Senior Citizens Project

Collaboration with the CBS School will open up further opportunities for intergenerational programmes, and possible mentoring, with the sharing of traditional skills, such as gardening or arts and crafts, from our older people and computer and technology knowledge and skills from the young people in the school.

Regenerating our living place and making a healthy space

We will continue to campaign for a policy of urban development that meets the needs of the local communities and not the needs of property speculators and builders.

We are also monitoring the building of a social housing programme on the old Andersonstown Library site. We have facilitated a number of consultations between the housing association, local politicians and residents with the objective of ensuring that the designs are as environmentally friendly as we can make them.

We are also working closely with the West Belfast Partnership Board to ensure that the land of the old Andersonstown military barrack site is used in the best interest of the community.