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The Newry, Mourne and Down Citizens Panel is one of seven groups awarded funding through the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Civic Innovation programme, to support initiatives that put people at the centre of decision-making in Northern Ireland. 

Photo by gaspar zaldo on Unsplash

The Newry, Mourne and Down Citizens Panel ‘Living well Together’ project is an initiative led by Development Trusts Northern Ireland on behalf of its member organisations in the Newry Mourne and Down Strategic Stakeholder Forum.  

The project will be delivered in collaboration with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College , the Department for Communities and Belfast City Council. 

The Living Well Together project was awarded over £62,000 towards designing and developing a new online platform  for engaging the residents of Newry, Mourne & Down District in decision-making, linked to priorities in the local Community Plan. 

Paul Braithwaite, Head of Innovation and Voice at the Community Foundation explains “The Civic Innovation programme is the only independently-funded programme of its kind in the UK or Ireland.  The programme uses a combination of intensive project design support, expertise on public participation and grant-funding to support the delivery of new initiatives that aim to deepen local democracy.

“Following a presentation day, each of our groups has been awarded between £60k and £90k to invest in their project delivery over 18 months.  They will be supported throughout the process with regular checkins and progress reports with the final results of their projects to be presented by Autumn 2022.”

As well as the Community Foundation’s own resources, funding for the programme is provided by independent charitable foundations including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

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