Part A, Section 1 Annual Progress Report 2021-22
PART A – Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Equality Scheme
Section 1: Equality and good relations outcomes, impacts and good practice
In 2021-22, please provide examples of key policy/service delivery developments made by the public authority in this reporting period to better promote equality of opportunity and good relations; and the outcomes and improvements achieved.
Please relate these to the implementation of your statutory equality and good relations duties and Equality Scheme where appropriate.
The reporting period continued to be impacted by the pandemic. Although there were incremental relaxations of safeguards the way we were able to provide services, promote equality of opportunity and good relations remained affected.
As a Council we continued virtual meetings and retained some distanced or virtual services, while on the ground key service provision such as refuse collection remained as normal. The emphasis on supporting staff, the community and their well-being continued.
- Projects in partnership with the community, local businesses, governmental departments and funders continued to thrive.
- There were continuing efforts to ensure active involvement of S75 groups in consultation exercises within Council, for example our EQIA on flying the Union Flag. (Equality consultees, Equality Forum, Youth Voice and members of the public).
- Council continued its inclusive access approach in relation to major events delivered both on the ground and virtually.
- Development of accessible projects within sport and recreation to encourage and facilitate access and inclusion for all to Council services and facilities.
- Continued operation of the Council’s Equality Forum with representation from a range of Section 75 groups.
- Continued provision of training and awareness raising programmes for Council staff on a range of Section 75 issues.
- Phased provision of additional inclusive facilities such as accessible changing facilities.
Please provide examples of outcomes and/or the impact of equality action plans/ measures in 2021-22 (or append the plan with progress/examples identified).
Equality Action Plan – Priority 1
Design, commission and deliver services that are accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of people and communities in Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Improved access to services & Improved digital communications
Action title: Covid Hub (All)
The Covid Hub continued to support citizens.
Action title: Increased Promotion of Sign Video (Disability / Inclusion)
During the reporting period the SignVideo provision in Council was further promoted to provide a voice for individuals who due to the pandemic were unable to leave their homes to access services.
Action title: Home Safety Virtual Visits (All)
223 home safety virtual visits were completed, and equipment given out to those in the over 65 age group.
24 home safety virtual visits were completed, and equipment given to vulnerable clients under the age of 65.
An additional 72 clients had an under 5 home safety virtual visit completed within the home in the Limavady and surrounding areas.
Improved accessibility and inclusive service provision
Action Title: Limavady Accessible Play Park Opened (Disability / Inclusion / Equality)
The accessible play park was opened in December and has since been enjoyed by many.
Action Title: Inclusive swimming sessions (Disability / Inclusion / Equality)
Inclusive swimming sessions were provided when the centres were allowed to open.
Action Title: Good Relations (All / Inclusion / Equality)
Good relations promoted the fact that Peace starts with individuals in its ‘What does Good Relations mean to you Campaign”.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - LiveSmart Community Environmental Grant Programme (All)
The LiveSmart Community Environmental Grant Programme was trialled in 2021-22. The purpose of the grant programme was to provide small grants up to a maximum of £500 to local community and voluntary organisations.
The grants gave financial assistance to allow groups and organisations to:
(1) improve the general cleanliness in their local area, particularly in respect of litter
(2) promote recycling, reuse and waste reduction
(3) look at ways of reducing carbon footprint by taking simple, practical actions such as planting
Funding has been awarded to groups based in each of the four legacy areas with participation of close to 200 members of the public across a range of groups (e.g. Community Associations, Environmental Groups, Scout Groups, Sports Clubs) from children to senior citizens. Thirty-three applications for funding were received.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - LitterSmart (All)
Over 1,900 participants took part in LitterSmart initiatives, collecting over 2,400 bags of litter. LitterSmart draws participants from a wide cross section of the community.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - PlasticSmart (All)
A virtual session was held in conjunction with NI Libraries with 96 participants taking part. Staff were given practical examples on how to cut down on the reliance of plastic and encouraged to look at decreasing the amount of plastic waste, especially single use plastic, within the NI library network.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - ClothesSmart (All)
Council continues to partner with Can Can Recycling (Ballymoney), providing sites for the charity’s textile banks at its network of household recycling centres. Can Can Recycling collected 39 tonnes of textiles from bring banks located at household recycling centres in 2021-22 which are then sold to raise funds for the project. Can Can Recycling is a local social enterprise providing training for adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues to give them experience in a work environment.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - FoodSmart (All)
Support provided to three Community Fridges located in the borough. The community fridges are run by volunteers in Cloughmills, Dungiven and Magilligan and can be accessed by anyone with the aim of ensuring that food destined for landfill is not wasted but is used within local communities.
Work took place with the Northern Area Community Network in delivering a virtual food festival engaging over 60 participants on the benefits of healthy eating and prevention of food waste. This also delivered education on the financial and environmental benefits of preventing food waste which might otherwise have been destined for landfill.
Distributed 100 kits promoting food saving tips and food waste recycling in partnership with Northern Area Community Network.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - ShareSmart (All)
As part of the ShareSmart initiative council provides household recycling centres as collection points for unwanted hand tools and sewing machines. This is to support a partnership with Tools for Solidarity who supply equipment to community-based business support projects across Africa.
In 2021-22, 21 sewing machines were donated to self-help projects in Uganda to benefit people of mixed race, age, physically able and disabled. The sewing machines are a means to learn new skills and generate an income for families and the wider community.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - ShopSmart – Fiver Fest (All)
The Fiver Fest initiative took place in Limavady, involving 10 businesses. Fiver Fest promotes sustainable shopping, supporting local retailers.
Fiver Fest is a free to join campaign, devised and run by Totally Locally, a grass roots High Street organisation that has been helping businesses and High Streets to help themselves since 2010.
Fiver Fest aims to reduce environmental impact by shopping local and supports the ShopSmart campaign.
ShopSmart aims to reduce carbon footprint by encouraging us all to spend part of our weekly budget with our local independent retailers.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - Limavady Community Development Initiative (All)
The Limavady Community Development Initiative (LCDI) has been given financial and practical partnering support to work with special needs workers and those with learning difficulties. These employees receive training and work experience in Council supported recycling and reuse projects on an ongoing basis.
Environmental Resource Officers, liaising with both LCDI staff, repeated a very successful scheme for the collection and redistribution of second-hand toys to families in need at Christmas 2021. A toy collection point was located at Limavady household recycling centre.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - Disability access (Disability)
Disability access to “TextSpeak” leaflets on recycling information via the ‘Bins and Recycling’ web page are available for those who are visually impaired.
Action Title: Inclusive Cycling Sessions (Age / Disability / Inclusion)
Inclusive cycling sessions continued at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney (when permitted) where participants enjoyed full use of a range of specialist cycling equipment available through the Disability Hub originally developed in conjunction with Disability Sport NI.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities - Other Relevant Activities (Age / Disability / Inclusion / Equality)
Energy Efficiency actions:
A total of 273 referrals were made to NISEP (Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme) of which 197 were for homeowners requiring insulation.
A total of 2443 enquiries were received by our Energy Efficiency Advisors with 851 households sign posted to fuel poverty services and 763 households provided with 1-1 support.
382 referrals were made to the Affordable Warmth Scheme.
Continuation and promotion, in conjunction with Limavady Community Development Initiative (LCDI), of the Causeway Coast and Glens fuel stamp scheme run across the borough targeted at low-income households to help combat Fuel Poverty.
750 keep warm packs distributed to 367 persons aged over 65 years, 158 to families with dependants, 143 to persons with a long-term health condition, 68 to those with a disability, 10 to pregnant women and 4 to persons who were homeless.
5 sew energy efficient groups facilitated by loaning 20 sewing machines to a range of community groups across the Borough.
Distributed 244 energy efficient lights bulbs, 30 draught excluder brushes for doors, 30 draught excluding strip packs 4 hot water tank jackets.
Home Safety actions:
Alongside the virtual visits 225 in-person home safety equipment visits were completed in the financial year to those families with a child under 5 years old.
Action Title: Benchmarking (Accessibility / Inclusion / Equality)
APSE led National Performance Benchmarking Network
Council is subject to and contributed data against over 140 Performance Indicators across 12 Service areas, ranging from street cleansing and waste collection to leisure centre usage and accessibility etc.
Design commission and deliver accessibility, inclusive and responsive services
Action Title: Social Inclusion Grant Programme (All / Inclusion)
The Annual Social Inclusion Grant Programme supported voluntary groups to keep connected with and provide activities for people who are socially isolated. 15 grants were awarded to a value of £7,390 and of these five were older peoples projects, including arts and crafts activities and Zoom quizzes and two were projects specifically for people with a physical disability, including golf inclusion event for blind and visually impaired children and young people. (part DfC funded; part Council)
Action Title: Access to Food Grant Programme (All / Inclusion)
Access to Food Grant Programme that provided grants to voluntary organisations for emergency food and essential supplies for people who were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. 15 organisations received grants to a value of £28,195; two of these projects specifically benefitted older people and one project supported people with a disability. The other projects supported a range of beneficiaries including children and young people, carers and lone parent households. (DfC funded)
Action Title: Reconnect Programme (All / Inclusion)
Reconnect Programme funded by Council and delivered by Northern Area Community Network to help communities reconnect and support emotional wellbeing. Nine of the projects were targeted at children and young people and benefitted 389 people. Eight of the projects were for older people and 274 older people benefitted from a range of activities and classes including craft, music, storytelling, walking and chair yoga, One project, a canine therapy initiative, supported 32 people with a disability. (DfC funded)
Action Title: Sustainable Food Grant Programme (All / Inclusion)
Sustainable Food Grant Programme where 36 projects were funded to a value of £78,667. Three of the projects were specifically for older people; eight of the projects were related to ‘grow your own’ and food and nutrition education for children and young people; and three projects were specifically for people with a disability and these involved community gardening and cooking on a budget projects. (DfC funded)
Action Title: Fuel Support Scheme (All / Inclusion)
Fuel Support Scheme – direct fuel support (electric or gas top up and oil delivery), in partnership with Community Advice Causeway and LCDI, provided to people who were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. 230 households received support including older people, young people, people with a disability and carers. (DfC funded)
Action Title: Wrap-around Support Service (older / young people, BAME communities and carers
Provision of a Wraparound Support Service providing benefits checks, debt advice, budgeting and money management advice, in collaboration with advice centres, foodbanks, and social supermarkets for people who were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic including older people, young people, people from BAME communities and people with a caring responsibility, in order to support them to a position of financial stability. (DfC funded)
Action Title: Generalist Advice Service (All / Inclusion)
Generalist Advice Service, delivered by Community Advice Causeway and LCDI Advice Centre. 38,386 enquiries dealt with in relation to benefits, employment issues, housing etc (part DfC funded; part Council). Specifically supported people with a disability, carers, lone parents, older people and people from ethnic minority communities.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Ballymoney Spring Fair Event (All: Inclusion)
1st, 2nd & 3rd April
Virtual Event: A series of 3 videos with a promotional video posted on 30.03.21. The three videos were focused on History, Food and Fashion. The first video to go out was focused on the history and was subtitled. This video had a reach of over 6,000 people.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Rhythm of the Bann Event (All: Inclusion)
7th – 8th May
Virtual Event: Two videos were prepared and posted on Facebook over the weekend which Rhythm of the Bann would normally be on with a subtitled promotional video being posted on 4th May. This video had a reach of nearly 2,500 people.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival (All: Inclusion)
31st May – 6th June
Virtual Event: A series of 4 videos (local businesses, Vikings, heritage and history) posted on Facebook between 31st May and 6th June with a subtitled promotional video published on 29th May. This video had a reach of nearly 1,500 people.
Ould Lammas Fair (All: Inclusion)
28th – 1st August
Virtual Event: A series of 4 videos (heritage, traders, agricultural and people of the fair) with a subtitled promotional video being posted on 21st August. This video had a reach of 3,300 people.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Salmon & Whiskey Festival (All: Inclusion)
Virtual Event: A short promotional video was produced to mark the weekend that the Salmon & Whiskey Festival would’ve been on. There video could be enjoyed by all as there was no speaking so no need to subtitle.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Halloween (All: Inclusion)
Virtual Dates: 17th – 31st October
On Site Dates: Ballymoney 27th October, Limavady 28th October, Coleraine 29th October, Ballycastle 30th October.
The virtual programme consisted of a re-run of the 10 local Myths & Legends videos prepared to mark last year’s Halloween. One of the Halloween Storytelling Sessions recounting the Haunting at Ossian’s Grave was subtitled. This particular story was broadcast on 31st October and had a reach of 1,500 viewers.
1. Accessoloo (previously known as Mobiloo) was on the ground at all 4 of our Halloween events.
2. Disabled parking was allocated in each location and was bookable in advance through Councils’ Visitor Information Centres.
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Christmas Virtual Events (All: Inclusion)
Ballymoney 18th November, Limavady 20th November, Ballycastle 25th November, Garvagh 29th November, Dungiven 30th November, Portstewart 1st December, Coleraine 2nd December, Portrush 3rd December, Kilrea 4th December
Alongside the normal public toilets Accessoloo was on site at Ballymoney, Coleraine and Ballycastle with Limavady having the same resources in the Roe Valley Arts Centre.
Quiet Christmas for children with additional needs was organised for Ballymoney, Limavady, Ballycastle and Coleraine. These were 2-hour events prior to the Christmas Cavalcades in the evening, where each child has a 10-minute slot on a one-to-one basis with Santa with a gift to each child at end of session. Siblings are welcomed so that it is inclusive of all the family.
Disabled parking was available in all town centre car parks an on-street designated spaces.
Samples of Videos Listed Above:
Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival - https://www.facebook.com/CausewayGlensEvents/videos/467286140998127/?t=1
Ould Lammas Fair - https://www.facebook.com/CausewayGlensEvents/videos/877667669793968/?t=2
Halloween - Ossins Grave - https://www.facebook.com/CausewayGlensEvents/videos/352725813293052/?t=2
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Sports Activity Courses (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Summer Recreation Programme 2021 6 weeks of Sports Camps throughout Causeway; 38 Camps delivered (linking with 7 local clubs and 5 National Governing Bodies of Sport)
Number of Participants: 2,100
Different Ball, Same Goal Good Relations project for post primary schools throughout Causeway to demonstrate different sporting cultures; sports included Football, Gaelic Football and Rugby
Number of Participants: 623
Causeway Healthy Kids project Primary School programme encouraging children to make healthy life choices (mental health & wellbeing, physical activity, and nutrition elements); the project was delivered within schools in socially deprived areas of the Borough (partnership with the Northern Trust, PHA, Sport NI, NHLP and GG&GBC) 12 schools took part
Number of Participants: 320
Friendship Football League Community football league with 12 teams from throughout Causeway participating over 20 Friday nights
Number of Participants: 144
Disability ‘Come and Try It Racquet Sports’ 6-week programme for children with a disability to try badminton and table tennis. This programme was delivered in partnership with Ulster Badminton and Ulster Table Tennis
Number of Participants: 8
Action Title: Inclusive Events - Mobile Accessible Changing Facility (Age / Disability / Dependants Inclusion / Equality)
Council has sought funding to purchase 2 mobile accessible changing facilities, which will be moved across the borough to support inclusion at events, areas of tourism and general use.
Equality Action Plan – Priority 2
Raise awareness of equalities issues and tackle prejudices, both internally and externally
Raise awareness internally
Action Title: Equality Awareness Programme (Inclusion / Equality)
Throughout the reporting period a planned Equality engagement process supported staff and elected members to further understand Equality and tackle prejudices via articles in the staff news. In addition ad hoc specific emails to managers were distributed when key diversity changes occurred.
Action Title: Increased staff awareness regarding health and wellbeing.
During the reporting period weekly articles were included in the staff news to support staff and elected members and increase awareness regarding a variety of health and wellbeing initiatives. This promoted inclusion and equality across all Section 75 groups.
Raise awareness externally
Action Title: Good Relations Initiatives (All: Inclusion / Equality)
During the reporting period the following initiatives ran to raise awareness and encourage inclusion:
Area: Overall Good Relations / Peace Building
- An initiative named ‘What does Good Relations Mean to You?”.
- Campaign artwork.
Action Title: Civic Building Light up (All: Inclusion / Equality)
The Civic building was lit up in different colours to show support for example: Bright future for all, Dyslexia and African and Caribbean Heritage.
Action Title: Civic Leadership – The Mayor’s Office (All: Inclusion / Equality)
In the reporting period the Mayor during his term in office, engaged with a diverse range of individuals and groups covering a number of the protected characteristics such as local volunteers, community groups, charity representatives and school pupils.
Increased equality in communication methods both internally and externally
Action title: Accessible communication guide (All: Inclusion / Equality)
An accessible communication guide was updated for all staff via the staff portal to improve communication to all sections of the community and internally.
Action Title: Makaton Training for Staff, Elected Members and community members.(All: Inclusion / Equality)
To support communication a Makaton training programme and Learning Disability Awareness training for staff, elected members, partner agencies and the community was funded and implemented by Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
Taster Makaton sessions were attended by:
2 Policing and Community Safety Partnership members (independent members)
8 personnel from statutory organisations within Policing and Community Safety Partnership (4 Police Service Northern Ireland, 2 Northern Ireland Housing Executive, 1 Northern Ireland Fire Service, 1 Education Authority Youth worker)
2 Officers (Equality and Policing and Community Safety Partnership)
7 Community members.
Level one Makaton:
7 Policing and Community Safety Partnership Members completed level one (3 Elected members, 4 independent members)
1 independent Policing and Community Safety Partnership member completed one session
4 council officers (2 Policing and Community Safety Partnership, equality and community development)
6 personnel from statutory organisation involved in Policing and Community Safety Partnership (1 Education Authority youth worker, 5 Police Service Northern Ireland Officers/Crime Prevention Officer)
3 community members
Learning disability awareness training delivered by Mencap
9 attendees (2 Police Service Northern Ireland officers, 1 elected member 2 independent member and 4 Policing and Community Safety Partnership staff/admin)
Action Title: Easy Read (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Easy read Technical Training
• 4 Policing and Community Safety Partnership staff
• Equality Officer
• 2 community development staff
Action Title: Town Centre Forums were set up (All: Inclusion / Equality)
The Town Centre Team set up a Forum to connect and consult with members of the community, business and representatives in Portrush, Portstewart and Ballymoney.
Improved equality on-line
Action title: Changes to service videos (All: Inclusion / Equality)
When Leisure centres were re-opened videos were developed to show the new layout and process with regards to keeping safe and maintaining social distancing. This way individuals could clearly see and understand what to expect when using the service. This supported individuals to understand and prepare for the changed circumstances.
Action Title: Inclusive meetings (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Virtual meeting aids were used to support meeting attendees to have the same stress-free experience as others.
Equality Action Plan – Priority 3
Attract, recruit, retain and progress a diverse range of employees in a culture which celebrates diversity and inclusion
Attract, recruit, retain and progress a diverse range of employees in a culture which celebrates diversity and inclusion
Action Title: Staff Training/ Education (Inclusion / Equality)
The Policy & Equality Officer attended the seminars below and disseminated the information to all staff via awareness updates:
APSE Equality, Inclusion & Diversity online seminar
Equality Commission Webinars:
- Every Customer counts - Assistance dogs
- Providing accessible services – What does the Law say?
- Every Customer Counts – the Business Case and the Benefits
- Promoting Equality in Employment for people with disabilities
- Promoting Age Equality - What can employers do
- Ensuring accessible businesses for customers with a learning disability
- Building a Gender Agenda
Action Title: Awareness information (All: Inclusion / Equality)
The staff news sheet included at least one article per month in its Equality Update section. All Section 75 groups were included which supported staff understanding of various topics, conditions and individuals needs both in work and everyday settings.
Action Title: Supportive emails and tips (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Staff mental well-being and inclusiveness is encouraged via tips, emails and lunch-time virtual exercises classes for all abilities. Information is provided for those with caring responsibilities, regarding mental health and supportive initiatives linked to encouraging and supporting dignity and respect at work.
Equality Action Plan – Priority 4
Provide a working environment where employees are treated with fairness, dignity and respect
Staff Education regarding diversity and inclusion
Action Title: Corporate Training
Relevant Staff were trained on supporting breastfeeding mothers and their families.
In May 2021, 23 Estates staff received Equality and diversity training.
In June 2021 and February 2022 relevant staff received Customer Services Charter training to support inclusion.
46 staff received Equality Screening Training.
31 staff received Rural Needs Assessment Training.
44 staff received consultation training in November 2021.
7 staff received Deaf Awareness Training in January 2022.
In February 2022 relevant staff received Policy training which included working in collaboration, equality screening, consultation, benchmarking and identification of future impacts.
Staff received monthly education emails regarding various diversity and inclusion topics.
Has the application of the Equality Scheme commitments resulted in any changes to policy, practice, procedures and/or service delivery areas during the 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
Please provide any details and examples:
On-going review of screening practices with roll out of a programme of training on carrying out screening exercises.
With regard to the change(s) made to policies, practices or procedures and/or service delivery areas, what difference was made, or will be made, for individuals, i.e. the impact on those according to Section 75 category?
Please provide any details and examples:
Improved awareness of screening requirements and abilities to conduct screening exercises.
Improved awareness of individual’s needs and actions defined to improve virtual service provision and accessibility for citizens.
Understanding of consultation processes and accessible communication will support more individuals to be part of decision making processes and will empower them to voice their opinions.
What aspect of the Equality Scheme prompted or led to the change(s)? (tick all that apply)
As a result of the organisation’s screening of a policy (please give details):
Equality screenings supported the improvement of services to meet the needs of individuals linked to various Section 75 groupings.
As a result of changes to access to information and services (please specify and give details):
The identification of barriers to information for some sections has resulted in the purchase of an Easy Read package and target setting to improve Councils accessible provision in the next reporting period.