Listen, Share, Change Project

Ladies from both Mid- Shankill and Clonard (Belfast) gather weekly for Reading Rooms
Programme PEACE IV
Building Positive Relations
Match Funders
  • The Executive Office NI
  • Department for Rural and Community Development
Lead Partner
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Project partner
  • The Verbal Arts

Around 1,560 beneficiaries took part in the Listen, Share, Change project from across 52 Housing Executive areas in Northern Ireland.

Duration – August 2017 – December 2021

My life involved going to work and home, no interaction with anyone outside of that. Getting involved in the reading rooms has helped me fit in. I love the conversations around the stories.

Eileen, project participant 

I love how the stories change my opinion on things. I always have an opinion at the start but this is different at the end. 

Dolores, project participant 

Around 1,560 beneficiaries took part in the Listen, Share, Change project from across 52 Housing Executive areas in Northern Ireland. The project was delivered through the Verbal Arts' innovative 'Reading Rooms' model. This model utilised literature-based discussions as a means of addressing challenging subjects in reading groups. The approach encouraged participants to explore and reflect on issues relevant to their own lives (e.g. diversity, heritage and conflict). The overall aim was to help build positive relations through stories, conversation, and shared experience between people from all different backgrounds. In addition, the project saw the training and development of 120 Future Neighbourhood Champions who will further implement the model beyond the Peace IV project, as well as the creation of 104 Future Youth Leaders to promote active citizenship and engagement at a local level. 

The project equipped participants with the skills to enable them to become active decision makers, allowing them to shape the development of a society in which housing has a role in creating a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous and fair community. Participants were offered the opportunity to meet new people and participate in shared reading experiences. Working with people from different communities, cultural, and religious backgrounds produced a positive impact on the ways in which different communities perceived and interacted with each other.

Key output:

  • Number of beneficiaries of the project: 1,560 
  • Number of Future Neighbourhood Champions trained: 120 
  • Regional level projects that resulted in meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact between persons from different communities: 1

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