The communities of Fountain Street and Springhill Park lie in the heart of the East Ward area of Strabane, a town in County Tyrone, lying close to the border with County Donegal. Most of the 480 houses provide social housing for a population that suffers from high levels of multiple social and economic deprivation. In 2010 it was ranked 10th worst off out of 582 wards in Northern Ireland.
For the Communities in Action project we use different methods including theatre workshops to explore the issues local young people face. Watch a film about our theatre work here:
This film is the copyright of Fountain Street Community Development Association and the CiA collaboration.
Research and findings
The Communities in Action (CiA) project is managed by Fountain Street Community Development Association (FSCDA), working closely with the neighbouring Springhill Park Community Development Associations (SPCDA). Each area has a community centre that is the focus for a wide range of initiatives including youth programmes that don’t shy away from difficult issues such as relationships with the police, suicide and teenage pregnancy.
Marginalised young people who had not previously engaged in any formal kind of youth project have been invited to participate in our CiA focus group. Most of these young people are still at school.
It is early days for us with this project, but already some key issue are emerging from focus group discussions with these young people. These include concerns about the cost of getting to school or college which may be several miles away in Derry or Omagh and tuition fees, both of which can be prohibitive for some:
They don’t give you any travel when you’re planning on staying on in sixth year. I’ll have to pay £10.00 a day, five days a week.
My sister, she had to repeat her first year in college and she’s paying like £8,000 to repeat it.
Further information on our work will follow over the coming months. If you want to find out more about the CiA project in Fountain Street and Springhill Park contact us.