Positive Learning

Peace Northern Ireland - Extern

What is it?

Positive Learning is a project supported by the European Union's Peace IV programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB, www.seupb.eu).

This is a first of its kind project for the North-West region which will roll out in 2018. The project has secured €1.88m of EU funding under the PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU programmes Body (SEUPB). Positive Learning works with people who often find themselves on the margins of society, including people who are disadvantaged, who are homeless, who have an offending history, are long-term unemployed, or who are refugees. It aims to improve good relations and enable participants to reintegrate into society.

Who can get involved?

Positive Learning welcomes referrals from agencies and organisations working with adults from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds who often find themselves on the margins of society, including people who are disadvantaged, who are homeless, who have an offending history, are long-term unemployed, or who are refugees.

Extern Positive Learning cross-border project

What will the project do?

Extern Positive Learning cross-border project

Positive Learning aims to improve good relations and enable participants to reintegrate into society. It helps people explore and change their current perceptions at various stages on their personal journeys. Within this, the project works to help participants improve their good relations, exploring areas including community, prejudices, identity, and diversity.

In addition, participants are being brought together in the programme to help gain new skills in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Information Technology
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Catering
  • Horticulture
  • Other skills will be offered.

The combination of skills development and good relations aims to help support participants as they work to reintegrate into their community.

Extern Positive Learning cross-border project

Where is the project being delivered?

The Project, which will be based in Londonderry/Derry is being delivered within the Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Buncrana, Limavady and Londonderry/Derry catchment areas. Transport to and from the project will be made available for participants.

What partners are involved?

Working alongside Extern to deliver Positive Learning are a number of partners, they include;
The Probation Service Northern Ireland - https://www.pbni.org.uk/
Northern Ireland Prison Service - https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/topics/prisons
TIDES Training and Consultancy - http://www.tidestraining.org/
The Probation Service Ireland - http://www.probation.ie/
Irish Prison Service - https://www.irishprisons.ie/

How long will the project last?

Participants in the Positive Learning project will commit to partaking in a 26-week supervised programme. Programme will run consecutively throughout the project which is funded for 3 years.

Who has funded the project?

Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Meet the Team

Emma Purdon - Programme Manager
Emma Purdon is Programme Manager for the Positive Learning Project. Emma currently manages a number of projects within Extern, including Extern Works, a multi purpose training facility for adults with an offending history, outside Belfast, as well as a number of Extern sites which support adults who have a wide range of issues including offending and homelessness.

Maureen Coogan - Project Manager
Maureen will manage the Positive Learning project in Londonderry/Derry on behalf of Extern. Working with our referral partners, The Probation Service Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Prison Service, TIDES Training and Consultancy, The Probation Service Ireland, and the Irish Prison Service.

Maureen will be responsible for the overall delivery of the 26 week programmes. Maureen has over 20 years’ experience working with homelessness, addictions and complex needs with the community and voluntary sector

What we have said.

Commenting on the ‘Extern Positive Learning’ announcement, Charlie Mack, CEO, said: “Our belief in Extern is that everyone should be enabled to make a positive contribution to their society, so we are thrilled to have received this EU Funding under the PEACE IV Programme, to deliver the ‘Extern Positive Learning’ project in the North-West region.

“In 2018 Extern will have been developing and delivering support services for 40 years, creating safer communities, and allowing vulnerable people and those on the margins of our society to build positive and good relations within their communities. This project will allow us to engage with many people who need support to re-establish their role in the community, including people with an offending history, people who are homeless, people who are disadvantaged, and refugees, and to enable them to make a positive difference to good relations in the Derry/Londonderry and Donegal border areas.

“Placing cross-border partnership working at its core, we are delighted to have the support of our partners in the delivery of this new project. It provides a wonderful learning opportunity for us all, with greater sharing of expertise and models of delivery in each of our organisations, and to ensure excellent service provision to people who need our support in rural and regional areas of the North West.”

What our funders say.

Welcoming the project Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said: “The activities funded will encourage greater levels of cross-community and cross-border engagement, and understanding between people from diverse groups, including those who may feel most marginalised within our society. This goes to the heart of the PEACE IV Programme by promoting greater levels of trust and understanding, between communities and on either side of the border, with the objective of making a real difference to peoples’ lives.”

Get involved

If you would like to get involved, or make a referral to the Positive Learning project, please contact;
Maureen Coogan, Tel 028 7147 7980, Maureen.coogan@extern.org

To read more about the programme announcement, click here

The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department in Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland.

It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.

The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.

The PEACE IV Programme has a value of €270 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu

Extern in Northern Ireland
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105869
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: 20055318
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333