PRISM All Ireland Conference: Innovative Integration Projects

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The session will be delivered by BRC PRISM Project Team, NI Hyatt and the Newry Interchurches Forum.

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As lead partner for the PRISM project, BRC has engaged with community groups across NI to enable access to a small grants scheme which we called the Micro Finance Initiative. The opportunity provided funding for grassroots organisations to deliver contact programmes for new and traditional communities, developing relationships and improving opportunities for integration. Upon successful application groups across NI received a sum of £2500 to deliver a project concept. There was 8 innovating initiatives funded. BRC will provide an overview on the small grants initiative and provide a platform for 2 of the funded groups, NI Hyatt and the Newry Interchurches Forum, who received project funding, to talk about their projects and what they achieved.

NI Hyatt launched a report containing findings captured with local refugee community resettled within the Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry Council areas. One of the strongest themes was the idea of providing an Arabic language and cultural school programme for the local children, open to school-age children from Arab or non-Arab backgrounds and, in parallel, further English language led classes provided to parents. This developed into their project, named “Saturday Al Talem”. NI Hyatt will provide an overview on their project, outcomes and learning based on their experience of delivering this community education programme.

Newry Interchurches Forum created a sustainability programme within Newry to support participants on the PRISM contact programme and extend the opportunity to engage past the PRISM contact programmes. This allowed the group to have the opportunity to meet and further develop their friendships beyond the life of the programme. Providing a safe place for people to come together to relax, connect and learn new skills such as gardening and cooking. Newry Interchurches Forum will provide an overview on their project, outcomes and learnings, and their experience of creating an opportunity for sustainability post PRISM through there project within the Newry area.

We would be delighted for you to attend. Please register your details, a Zoom link will be sent to you the week before the conference begins.

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Gemma Robinson, British Red Cross PRISM Project Manager

Gemma Robinson was a student at Liverpool University where she studied Creative and Performing Arts. She achieved a First Class Honours specialising in Community Arts and Projects and Events Management. Returning to NI in 2007 she developed her career as a youth worker, working in some of the most deprived communities in NI which were deeply impacted by the legacy of conflict. Gemma worked in numerous roles delivering, coordinating, and managing projects for young people including personal development, employability, health and wellbeing and good relations projects. Gemma has a Masters in Community Youth Work from the University of Ulster. In 2011 Gemma joined the British Red Cross as Youth and Schools Manager. She developed her career within BRC Education Department where she was responsible for overseeing Humanitarian Education and First Aid Education across multiple regions. In this role she developed her leadership whilst managing a large team of staff and volunteers across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Gemma has recognised qualifications from the Institute of leadership and Management. In 2019, she took up her most recent position as PRISM project Manager on behalf of the British Red Cross to oversee the project to its completion.

Mollie Drew, British Red Cross PRISM Finance and Admin Officer

Mollie’s career began at 18 when she moved to London to complete a Post A-Level Multimedia Certificate in Journalism. She secured an Editorial Assistant apprenticeship role at PR Week magazine after completing a one month internship there. After a year of working in the city she moved back home and volunteered as a classroom assistant for Physical Education and English Literature A-Level classes. To combine her passions, she took up a place to study English and Sports Science at Loughborough University. After completing her degree with a semester abroad at Curtin University in Western Australia and a year long placement at the British Army Headquarters Health and Wellbeing Policy Department, where she won an award for the most achieving 2018 Public Sector placement student, she moved to Belfast. Mollie’s first job in the Community Sector was at the British Red Cross as the Finance and Admin Officer (part-time) for the EU Peace funded project PRISM. In 2019 she began studying a part time MSc in Psychological Science at Queen’s University, Belfast. Alongside her role as Finance and Admin Officer, Mollie has taken casual positions as a Support Worker for the Independent Living Assisted Discharge service at The Royal Hospital in Belfast and the Crisis Response service throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. She volunteers for the British Red Cross EmpowHER Project. Mollie has also spent time freelancing for a Social Media Management company, as a Sports Psychologist for esports tech Start up Gscience, and most recently as Strategic Partnerships Manager for the Pocket to Pocket giving app company, ESTHER. Mollie has aspirations to continue working for Humanitarian causes and would like to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

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