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Events Calendar

Apr 29 all-day
Homeplus Night at The Races Fundraiser @ Clayton Hotel
Apr 29 @ 7:30 pm


Homeplus would like to invite you to a night at the races hosted by Mulsanne Casinos with finger food and a disco in the Clayton Hotel in Belfast. This is a fundraising event to raise vital funds for the running costs of our Drop-in Centre for refugees, asylum seekers and destitute migrants.

The work of our staff and volunteers is vital in the support of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Belfast. We serve food for up to 150 people a day and help over 500 individuals a year. Some of the other services we offer in the centre include  clothing, shower and washing facilities, advice, three levels of English classes a week – one of which is for women only. Also volunteer opportunities, community allotment plots, emergency financial support, art projects (some women’s only), accommodation and employment support, and See Belfast – the optician’s charity offering free eye tests and glasses on a weekly basis.

Click on the link below to book your tickets:

Night at the races with disco fundraiser · Get Invited


Celebrate Refugees’ Welcome in Derry-Londonderry @ Foyle Arena
Apr 30 all-day

Dancers, drummers, musicians, Cooks and dress makers from all different ethnic backgrounds are being called on to come forward and get involved in the biggest cultural interchange ever staged in the city.

Get your tickets by emailing North West Migrant Forum

The North West Migrants Forum will play host to a celebration of culture and diversity, bringing together people from all different walks of life, to honour our differences and embrace them.

It is also a time to mark the first anniversary of Derry establishing itself as a leading light in humanitarianism in taking in refugees.

It was in May of last year that 11 Syrian refugee families arrived in Derry hoping to make it their home, joining other refugees and migrants in the city from places as diverse as Pakistan, Egypt, the Congo, China, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Throughout 2016, around 400 Syrians arrived in Northern Ireland, with the province being heralded as leading the way on refugee resettlement in the UK.

To mark this, the North West Migrants Forum (NWMF) is playing host to a series of workshops that will culminate in the biggest Intercultural interchange in the city.

Participants will be asked to work together and prepare over the course of six weeks for a final event that will be held in the Foyle Arena on April 30, 2017.

It will be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to take part in any of the following events:

–       Syrian traditional music and dance,

–       A mash up of Irish, Syrian and African dance,

–       Traditional music focused on African drums,

–       Learn more about Irish and Ulster Scots music,

–       Get involved in dress making from a wide range of different cultures,

–       Participate in a mash up of Indian and Syrian dancing.
In the six weeks leading up to the event, two workshops will be run: one to teach a group of people about dance and music traditions from different parts of the world, and another to teach a group of people about different intercultural dress-making traditions.

Participation in these workshops is completely free and is being sought from different communities. If you are interested in taking part or facilitating at any of the workshops contact :

Orlando De Gregorio at orlando.degregorio@nwmf.org.uk or call 02871 362184 for more information.

The Deadline for those who want to facilitate workshops have to contact NWMF by Friday 10 March 2017.

To access an Expression of Interest Form / Forms please go to the NWMF website – News section, Download the expression of Interest forms – Fill the in and return to our Office in person or email to :
Orlando De Gregorio at orlando.degregorio@nwmf.org.uk

Facilitators must be available to start facilitating workshops from week beginning 20 March 2017.



Celebrate Refugee Welcome in Derry-Londonderry @ Foyle Arena
Apr 30 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
nwmfIn May 2016 Derry-Londonderry welcomed 11 Syrian Refugee families from Syria who have since made Derry-Londonderry their home! However, there are refugees who made Derry-Londonderry their home in the recent years.  To celebrate and show our appreciation to everyone who played a key role to welcome and support refugees and to celebrate Derry-Londonderry as a multicultural place,  North West Migrants Forum are organising an intercultural and communication celebration event showcasing some of the diversity that exists in Derry-Londonderry.

The event will feature the following; • Syrian traditional Music and Dance •  A mash up of Irish, Syrian and African Dance •  Traditional Musical Instrument and drums focusing on Japanese and African drums •  A taste of the World; Intercultural foods programme; learning how to cook meals enjoyed by different cultures with a focus to Syrian, Chinese and Congolese foods   • Ulster Scots Music • Intercultural fashion and design •  A mash up of Indian and Syrian dance

Entry: £3 per person, £5 per family  

Tickets can be purchased through the North West Migrants Forum website or call in to NWMF.  If you would like to take part in any of the above activities, please contact us @ info@nwmf.org.uk. There are opportunities to learn African, Syrian, Japanese and Indian dances, music and great traditional recipes.  For lovers of fashion, there is an opportunity to design and make a traditional African, Syrian and Indian outfit.

All activities are open to people between 13 years and above. 

Scoping Study On Children In The Justice System: Stakeholder Update @ Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre,
May 3 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Dear colleague

As you are probably aware the Department of Justice, along with the main criminal justice organisations and key government departments, has undertaken a Scoping Study into children in, or on the fringes of, the youth justice system. Its purpose was to carry out an end-to-end examination of the criminal justice system from the perspective of the best interests of the child, looking at the overarching legislative, strategic and structural architecture. Ultimately, the intention was to:

  • streamline and simplify the system;
  • develop effective, tailored interventions based on evidence and best practice; and
  • improve outcomes for children and young people across the whole of the justice system

Whilst the majority of this work was undertaken by officials drawn from the various organisations, it was very much informed by the views of key stakeholders – particularly those in the voluntary and community sectors – expressed over a number of years through discussions, formal correspondence and consultation exercises. Two “Ideas Exchange” workshops were also held in September 2015, in which you or your colleagues may have participated

The first phase of the Scoping Study included an assessment of the current legislative and procedural positions; the identification of issues and barriers to achieving progress; and the generation of proposals for positive change based on research and good practice found here and in other jurisdictions worldwide. The high-level proposals were set out in an Assembly Statement in March 2016. Many of these were aimed at keeping children out of the system altogether by providing early intervention and support, developing community alternatives, maximising exit points and diversionary disposals, and the increased use of restorative disposals. Since then, much has happened in the political arena in Northern Ireland. Although it may have appeared to be less visible during this time, the Scoping Study has nevertheless remained firmly on the agenda. Progress has been made and whilst some people may be aware of the ongoing work, we felt that it was an opportune time to inform interested parties on where we are and how we hope to move forward. You are therefore invited to attend a stakeholder update event on

To register for the event, please provide your name and organisation details via email to yjpu@justice-ni.x.gsi.gov.uk

I look forward to meeting you then.

Chief Executive

Declan McGeown

Youth Justice Agency

Using Equality Legislation to Effect Change @ NICVA
May 4 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The course will highlight the scope of equality laws in Northern Ireland and how it can be used as a tool to challenge changes in policy and practice.

The public sector equality duty or ‘section75’ has a duty on public authorities to produce equality schemes, these contain commitments and duties on public authorities to promote equality of opportunity, as well as duties to consult, monitor inequalities and to ‘screen’ and impact assess new or changed policies for the impact they have on the equality categories. Notwithstanding some good practice there are examples of public authorities acting in a way which worsen inequalities or generally avoiding their duties to properly screen and equality impact assess policies, even on major policies such as current cuts to health services, welfare reform and housing policy.

Whilst it is free and usually relatively straightforward to issue a complaint that a public authority has breached its equality scheme, in practice the complaints mechanism, which leads to an investigation by the public body and ultimately the Equality Commission, is not used very often, meaning most breaches of the Equality Schemes are never redressed.

The aim of the training is twofold: first to highlight successful strategies/ cases groups/individuals have had in challenging inequalities in general, and secondly to provide information specifically on how to enforce the commitments in ‘equality schemes.

What you can gain from the course:

The course will highlight the scope of equality laws in Northern Ireland and how it can be used as a tool that can be used to challenge changes in policy and practice which disadvantage workers and service users across any of the equality categories listed in the ‘Section 75’ statutory equality duty: religion, political opinion (including community background), ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, dependents, marital status, age).  Commitments in equality schemes are often not abided by, complaints can be used as a mechanism to challenge these decisions which ‘adversely impact’ on the above equality categories.

The course will outline the background and scope of the ‘section 75’ equality duty and its nine categories; the duties a public authority has under its ‘equality scheme’; what can be considered a breach of an equality scheme and  how to make a complaint; highlighted by a series of case studies and examples.

For further information please see the link below:


Polish Heritage Day – Dungannon @ Ranfurly House
May 6 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Polish Heritage Day – Belfast @ Artcetera Studio
May 7 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thinking Outside the Box: Equipping Staff and Empowering Tenants to Meet the Challenges of Welfare Reform @ Skainos Centre
May 9 @ 9:30 am – 4:00 pm


Supporting Communities and Housing Rights are delighted to join together for this essential one-day conference examining the practical responses to the challenges of welfare reform.

There will be a focus on equipping staff and empowering tenants through digital and financial inclusion with a wide range of speakers from the UK and Ireland and practical workshops.

The conference will be split into 3 main areas:

  • Addressing financial exclusion
  • Promoting digital inclusion
  • Supporting tenant empowerment

Confirmed to speak so far:

  • Douglas White – Carnegie UK trust
  • Paul Kelly – Community Gateway England
  • Melanie Lavin – 1625 Independent People

This event will be particularly important for all those involved in social housing as well as advice agencies and local government. Social housing tenants and residents groups are particularly welcome to attend.

Who Should Attend:

  • Social Housing providers • Tenants • Residents groups • Consumer groups • Advice agencies • Community workers • Local Government


Book online or email frances@housingrights.org.uk.

Early Bird Discount

10% off all bookings made before 7 April

  • Delegate £90 (£100 after 7 April)
  • Tenant £45 (£50 after 7 April)

Group rates are available. Email frances@housingrights.org.uk for information.

Carers Conference – Ballymena @ Adair Arms Hotel
May 10 @ 11:00 am

You are warmly invited to our

Carers Conference

This is open to all agencies, front line staff,  support workers, carers, & family members involved in providing support to those with drug, alcohol & related issues.

Information Session on Drugs & Alcohol

Speakers: NDACT Connections Service Team

Education Session on Safe Use of Medication

Speaker: Caroline Bustard Boots Pharmacy

Lunch provided

RSVP by 1st May 2017

For further information and to book your stand contact Ben on 028 25632726 ben@hopeballymena.com

For updates: