The People's Accelerator 2017

This Accelerator was supported by the Big Lottery Fund in Spring 2017

Ballynafeigh Community Development Association

A determination to preserve the mixed character of the area motivated local people to come together to set up BCDA - or the 'Community House', as is is known locally. Since that time BCDA has continued to evolve as a multi-purpose organisation, operating a shared resource facility and acting as a catalyst for the creation and delivery of social actions which tackle disadvantage and foster the diverse character of the area.

BCDA's projects include an Advice Centre, The Interdependence Project, Positive Relations Project, Health and Play Development and a creche. The organisation works to sustain, support and celebrate mixed communities and neighbourhoods within Ballynafeigh and elsewhere by developing and sharing models of good practice, championing diversity, and running programmes which respond to community need.


Be Safe Be Well

Be Safe Be Well deliver three Men’s Shed Projects within the Causeway Coast and Glens Council Area. The Men’s Sheds operate in Foreglen, Limavady and Portstewart and they plan to open a fourth shed in Coleraine next year. The Foreglen and Limavady Men’s Shed currently have 43 members and the new shed project in Portstewart has 22 members. The sheds are open for membership to men aged 25+, who may be unemployed, retired, or have a long term physical disability or mental illness. Men with a mild learning disability are also welcome to the shed. Within the men’s sheds the following services are provided for the members: a fully equipped workshop in each location, kitchen area to make tea/coffee and lunch, counselling services, a relaxation area with pool and darts and reading space, access to PC/tablet, laser cutter and vinyl cutter (in 1 shed), trips and a large variety of physical activities and other activities. The Men’s shed environment is very relaxed, welcoming, creative and user-led.


Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth aims to create a team of food champions who are living in areas that can be considered food deserts. These food champions would speak to local communities using surveys and forums in order to identify the food-related problems they face, and together find solutions to tackle these issues. The team wants to train up the food champions to have an active role in their communities to bring people together, co-ordinate the food hubs, facilitate cooking demo and put on mass participation food preparation events. Part of the project will require drawing a community asset map. It will also involve local producers, farmers, allotments and community gardeners, to identify their needs and issues while encouraging them to become earlier adopters of the free online software and to see how it benefits producers all over the world.



Kippie CIC is a newly formed community focused company committed to improving the life chances and opportunities of socially excluded and isolated young people in Northern Ireland, by harnessing the storytelling power and the wide availability of mobile games. Kippie provides a tailor made programme of workshops, designed to teach a range of transferrable skills through the process of making a mobile game, from concept through to market. Through this framework they work with groups of young people, facilitating and encouraging discussion of the issues and societal pressures that affect them, and encourage them to propose and consider practical responses and examine possible outcomes through the step by step logic/process of designing a computer game. Kippie work with them to make the game, using freely available online tools, giving a taste of some of the skills involved in game making including digital image manipulation, storytelling, art work, sound recording and coding, designed to increase the participants confidence when working with digital technologies.

The programme culminates in bringing the game to market and providing opportunities for the young people to pitch/market the game to companies and groups of interested people, with Kippie providing a grounding in basic entrepreneurial/business start-up skills. The finished game, freely available on all the usual platforms will act not only as an opportunity for the young people involved to have their voice heard, but also hopefully be of real use to others, and serve as a signposting tool to support organisations.


Glór na Móna

Glór na Móna are based in the Upper Springfield area, one of the most deprived socio-economic wards in the north of Ireland. Their project is a community empowerment project designed to instil a pride of place in the local area. They aim to survey the area comprehensively to find out the core issues and audit the skills base/or lack of in parallel to having conducted a ground-breaking, participatory oral history project which charts the history and narrative of the area and its people. This will involve a unique methodology with young people from our youth project interviewing those over 50, and to utilise the Irish language and their native area to re-establish hope, self-worth and well- being amongst local people.



GLOW was formed by a group of local women who felt a need to address and overcome prominent issues among their peers: low self-esteem, isolation, negative mental health, and a lack of goals. In order to address these issues they plan to deliver their personal development programmes, The Real Me and LILY, for women and girls in disadvantaged areas. These 10 week programmes equip participants with increased confidence and self esteem; it helps them set goals and build positive, encouraging relationships.

GLOW's plan is to train select women in mentoring and partner them with a new participants coming through The Real Me programme, in this way establishing a sustainable support network among their peers. Big Sister Mentoring incorporates accredited mentoring training for the women after which time they will be buddied with a girl who’s completed the LILY programme and requires additional support. Longer term, women and girls will be trained in facilitation to deliver The Real Me and LILY programmes to their peers.


Sense NI

Frontier Land is about creating an innovative shared space where young people and young adults can meet to do life. The creation of a shared space for young people and young adults who are deaf/blind and/or have complex needs will help to realise their full potential, with the assistance of mentor buddies and trained volunteers. There has been a vacuum created in identifying the needs for 13 -21 year olds in the Belfast, Newtownabbey and Carrick areas. Young deaf/blind people and/or those with complex needs leave the after school club at Sense provision and there is no place they can go. This ensures that within the Newtownabbey/Belfast area a place exists where deaf/blind children and young adults can meet. This is a hub where they can have fun, be themselves and develop entrepreneurial, confidence and team building skills.​


Strike Martial Arts Academy

Strike Martial Arts Academy is committed to improving physical and mental health through the medium of martial arts. Strike Martial Arts Academy contracts and partners with organisations working with young people from deprived areas in order to build resilience, self-esteem and personal development. Daniel Quigley is a four time professional world kickboxer and focuses on using his experience and skills to create space and programming for people to engage in confidence building through fighting in the ring.


Verbal Arts

The underpinning purpose of the Verbal Arts Centre is the promotion of the language arts, celebration of commonality and diversity, development of knowledge, understanding and excellence in creative performance and critical practice across the verbal arts forms, together with research, publications and provision of information. The Verbal Arts Centre was established in 1992 to be a space, both physical and conceptual that provides all members of the community regardless of age, background or ability with the opportunities, skills and resources to tell their story using creative means and to experience and engage with the stories of others.

Verbal Arts’ core programmes use a shared reading and reading aloud community engagement programme called Reading Rooms. Reading Rooms is an accredited training programme designed and delivered by Verbal to volunteers who become champions and deliver the programme to their peers. This programme works with a wide variety of targeted groups including older people in care homes, older people living with dementia, young people at risk and supported by Social Services, young people who are engaged with the criminal justice system, older offenders within the criminal justice system and those who are living with mental health conditions.


UV Arts

UV Arts CIC is committed to changing perceptions of public space and community through engaging people in mural arts projects. It is a fun, dynamic non-profit social enterprise and urban arts company based in Derry/Londonderry that aims to educate, promote and change perceptions of public space via engaging and alternative street art, graffiti and contemporary mural arts projects. UV Arts contract with youth groups, community organisations and statutory bodies to deliver street art based projects that engage young people in making public art and transforming their communities. UV Arts CIC hosts a street art festival that brings globally renowned artists to Derry/Londonderry, engages local people in creating art and transforms the city through the proliferation of public art.


We use cookies so that we can remember you and understand how you use our site. By browsing our website, you agree to that use, according to our Privacy Policy