Part A, Section 1 Annual Progress Report 2022-23
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 2022-23, 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.
Causeway Coast and Glens aspires to improve the quality of life for our citizens and visitors. In order to achieve this aspiration we partner with statutory, voluntary and community champions and advocates to improve service delivery, advance equality initiatives and encourage diverse solutions through collaboration and cooperation.
The reporting period has seen an increase in the diversity of our citizens, alongside variable economic challenges which will continue to be unpredictable in the year ahead, yet in this environment equality must be a cornerstone for the future and inclusion, accessibility and acceptance part of the building blocks.
That is why our 4 key priority areas were to:
- 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
- Raise awareness of equalities issues and tackle prejudices, both internally and externally
- Attract, recruit, retain and progress a diverse range of employees in a culture which celebrates diversity and inclusion.
- Provide a working environment where employees are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
This annual report therefore builds on the work in previous years, and highlights some of Councils successes within each of these priority areas. For example:
- Continuing efforts to co-design services via active involvement with S75 groups through Councils Equality Forum, specific consultation exercises, community and good relations initiatives, collaboration and stakeholder engagement. (For example Autism Action Plan, Pupil Voice event)
- Projects in partnership with the community, local businesses, governmental departments and funders continued to thrive via the Statutory Cohesion Group.
- 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.
- 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 2022-23 (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: 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 by including its extension into the Autism Action Plan.
Action title: Disability Hate Crime Animation
PCSP worked in partnership with Mencap, Autism NI, Causeway Neurodiversity, Disability Action, PSNI, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Education Authority and the Disability Hate crime advocacy service to develop an animation to help people with disabilities feel and stay safe, aimed at young people in post primary schools.
Links to the animation can be found on: Vimeo - https://vimeo.com/811246149 Youtube - https://youtu.be/MFb3cjqAqN4
Action title: Neighbourhood watch Newsletter
PCSP included awareness raising information within the neighbourhood watch newsletter which is circulated through its networks.
- British Sign Language 999 for reporting crime
- The Herbert Protocol – helping to trace missing people with dementia.
Action title: Easy Read (Disability /Race/ Inclusion)
Council’s emphasis on communication over the reporting period has increased the number of Easy Read documents developed. This has supported increased communication with a wide range of individuals for example those who have a learning disability; or whose first language is not English etc.
Action title: Digital Youth
Young Enterprise NI for the delivery of a Digital Youth Schools Programme in post-primary schools’ borough-wide
13 Post Primary Schools Recruited. 1 Digital Showcase event delivered. 1,185 pupils from local post-primary schools given an insight into the NI digital sector, shown the value of entrepreneurial skills as well as learning how non-digital businesses utilise digital skills.
Improved accessibility and inclusive service provision
Action Title: Inclusive Cycling Equipment (Age / Disability / Inclusion)
Additional accessible cycles were purchased through the Covid Recovery & Revitalise Programme.
Action Title: Mobile accessible chancing facilities (Age / Disability / Inclusion)
Council is in the process of fitting out 2 mobile accessible changing facilities, which will be cited across the borough to support inclusion at events, areas of tourism and general use.
Action Title: Inclusive swimming sessions (Disability / Inclusion / Equality)
Inclusive swimming sessions were provided in:
The Joey Dunlop Centre in conjunction with groups such as Causeway Neurodiversity who reached out to participants.
Coleraine Leisure Centre in conjunction with local schools.
Action Title: Environmental Community events/projects /activities:
LiveSmart Community Environmental Grant Programme (All)
The LiveSmart Community Environmental Grant Programme was delivered in 2022-23. 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 awarded to 12 groups based across the four legacy areas with participation from a range of groups (e.g. Community Associations, Environmental Groups, Scout Groups, Sports Clubs) and ages.
Council adopted a Litter Strategy with accompanying Action Plan. Strategy covers the period 2022 to 2026.
Partnered with NI Water. Promotion of local ‘H2O on the Go’ (water refill stations) on NI Water website. 13 premises signed up to initiative in Garvagh.
Clothing Appeal organised in conjunction with European Week for Waste Reduction. 600kg of winter clothing collected and distributed via local charity shops.
Assisted in the set-up of new community fridges in Ballycastle, Ballymoney and Bushmills. This is in addition to the three community fridges (Cloughmills, Dungiven and Magilligan) already operating in the borough.
The community fridges are run by volunteers 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.
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 2022-23, 14 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.
ShopSmart – Fiver Fest (All)
The Fiver Fest initiative took place in Limavady, involving 7 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.
Limavady Community Development Initiative (All)
The Limavady Community Development Initiative has been given financial and practical partnering support to work with special needs workers and individuals who have 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 successful scheme for the collection and redistribution of second-hand toys to families in need at Christmas 2022. A toy collection point was located at Limavady household recycling centre.
Disability access (Disability)
Disability access to “TextSpeak” leaflets on recycling information via the ‘Bins and Recycling’ web page are available for those who have visual impairments.
Reuse (Young People)
Linked up with Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT) Family Response Service. Project involved the upcycling of unwanted bicycles collected at Dungiven and Limavady household recycling centres. This new project involved young people learning about bicycle maintenance, road safety, the mechanics of bicycles, the environment and the importance of recycling.
Action Title: Inclusive Cycling Sessions (Age / Disability / Inclusion)
Inclusive cycling sessions continued at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney 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: Other Relevant Activities (Age / Disability / Inclusion / Equality)
Energy Efficiency actions:
A total of 362 referrals were made to NISEP (Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme) of which 278 were for homeowners requiring insulation and 84 for homeowners requiring Heating.
A total of 3448 enquiries were received by our Energy Efficiency Advisors with 988 households sign posted to fuel poverty services and 854 households provided with 1-1 support.
596 referrals were dealt with by the Affordable Warmth team of which 260 were referred to Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
We also continue to fund and promote, in conjunction with Limavady Community Development Initiative (LCDI), the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council fuel stamp scheme which is run across the Borough and is targeted at low-income households to help combat Fuel Poverty.
770 keep warm packs were distributed to 349 persons aged over 65 years,149 to families with dependants, 136 to persons with a long-term health condition, 79 to those with a disability, 1 to pregnant women, 50 to persons who were homeless and 6 to refugees or asylum seekers.
6 sew energy efficient groups facilitated by loaning 20 sewing machines to a range of community groups across the Borough.
Distributed 300 energy efficient lights bulbs, 25 draught excluder brushes for doors, 20 draught excluding strip packs 6 hot water tank jackets.
Action Title: Home Safety Visits (All)
Home Safety actions:
264 home safety visits were completed, and equipment given out to those in the over 65 age group.
25 home safety virtual visits were completed, and equipment given to vulnerable clients under the age of 65.
314 home safety equipment deliveries were made to families with a child under 5 years old. An additional 82 clients had an under 5 home safety visit completed within the home in the Limavady and surrounding areas.
Action Title: Benchmarking (Accessibility / Inclusion / Equality)
Council continued to participate in APSE led National Performance Benchmarking Network where it was reviewed 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. 10 grants were awarded to a value of £5,000 and of these 4 were older peoples projects, including home visits, delivery of meals, outings and tea dances and various recreational activities. A further 3 of the projects specifically benefitted people with a physical disability, including golf tuition for 20 people with a visual impairment provided by NI Blind Golf, production of a weekly audio CD of local news by Coleraine and District Talking News which benefitted 80 people with a visual impairment and delivery of equestrian opportunities for 250 people with a disability through Riding for the Disabled. (part DfC funded, part Council)
Action Title: Warm Welcome Spaces initiative (Older people)
A Warm Spaces initiative where funding and guidance was provided to community and voluntary organisations that wished to deliver a warm space over the winter months. Information about cost-of-living support services and energy efficiency was delivered through the projects. The Warm Space projects were located across the borough and provided a space to connect with others, to participate in activities, and to receive a cup of tea or a hot meal. Approximately 900 people benefitted, the majority of whom were older and vulnerable people.
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)
Delivered a direct fuel support (electric or gas top up and oil delivery), in partnership with Community Advice Causeway and LCDI, to people who were experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
136 households received support – 57.4% of recipients had a disability or long-term health condition; 34% of recipients were lone parent households. (DfC funding)
Action Title: Inclusive Events:
Ballymoney Spring Fair Event (All: Inclusion)
8th & 9th April
Designated quiet time session from 11am until 12noon to include petting farm, archery, arts/crafts and Bush craft activities.
Accessaloo is positioned at Seymour Street Car Park from 11am – 4pm.
Disabled Toilet facilities in Ballymoney Town Hall
Limited disabled parking in all town centre car parks.
Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival (All: Inclusion)
27th May – 5th June
Disabled Toilets: Accessoloo in attendance over the bank holiday weekend – Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th from 10am to 5pm each day.
Limited disabled parking provision in the Marina car park and at the seafront Ballycastle.
Designated Quiet Time for children with additional needs Saturday and Sunday 11.am – 12pm. This included arts/crafts, Viking displays, tall ship, marine display, treasure hunt and large inflatable kites.
Ould Lammas Fair (All: Inclusion)
27th – 30th August
Quiet Time is Monday 11am – 12 noon. This includes Animal Petting Farm, North Coast Alpacas and Circus skills workshops to accommodate children with disabilities before the main crowds arrive.
Silent fun fair ride providers will be available from 6pm until 7pm on Friday 26th August to accommodate children with disabilities.
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Pony Rides suitable for many special needs children, but not for wheelchair bound children as they don’t have a winch to hoist a child on to the horse. (These will be departing from the Agricultural Zone in Fairhill St. which is a 15-20 mins walk from the seafront. A slight walk but essential to be contained within the Agricultural Zone for Health and Safety purposes).
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) offer specially designed and adapted Pony and Trap Rides for wheelchair users.
Disabled Toilets: Accessoloo at Marina Carpark Sunday 26th August 5pm to 10pm: Monday 27th August 8am to 10pm and Tuesday 28th August 8am to 9pm.
Disabled Parking: Limited disabled parking at Marina Car Park and Market Street and also redirect to Park and Ride as all buses wheelchair accessible.
Mobility Scooters and Wheelchairs: Available to hire from Shop Mobility at Seafront. Bookable in advance on 07934190242 (Monday only).
Salmon & Whiskey Festival (All: Inclusion)
Designated Quiet Time: In Millenium Park on Sunday 16th October only from 11am to 12pm featuring Binevenagh Adventures Bush Craft.
Disabled Toilets: 1 Disabled portable toilet Main Street Car Park, Bushmills
Accessoloo: Available from 11am-6pm on Sunday, located in the carpark off Main Street Bushmills.
Disabled Parking: Limited disabled parking (4 spaces) available in Dundarave Carpark. Disabled parking available at the Distillery (7 spaces) and disabled parking (4 spaces) created by Council adjacent to the Post Office at the Diamond.
Halloween (All: Inclusion)
Ballymoney 27th October, Limavady 28th October, Coleraine 29th October, Ballycastle 31st October.
Quiet Time for people with additional needs was provided in Ballymoney, Limavady, Coleraine and Ballycastle 5.30pm – 6.30pm. This varied in each town but included magician, balloon modeller, arts and crafts, wall of terror and creepy animals.
Provision of Accessoloo - disabled toilets (with hoist and attendant) at Ballymoney and Limavady.
Disabled parking is provided at each event site, pre-bookable through VIC. Coleraine also had a Park and Ride with all fully accessible buses.
Christmas Virtual Events (All: Inclusion)
Ballymoney 17th November, Limavady 19th November, Ballycastle 24th November, Garvagh 25th November, Dungiven 26th November, Portstewart 26th November,
Garvagh 28th November, Portrush 2nd December, Kilrea 3rd December
Quiet Christmas provision for children with additional needs in Ballymoney Town Hall, 17th Nov 3pm-5pm; Limavady Roe Valley Arts Centre 19th Nov 10am-12pm; Ballycastle Sheskburn House 24th Nov 3pm – 5pm and in Coleraine Town Hall 25th Nov 3-5pm.
Provision of Accessoloo - disabled toilets at Coleraine, Ballymoney and Ballycastle. Limavady has a large disabled toilet within the RVACC.
Disabled parking is provided in all town centre carparks.
Action Title: Sports Activity Courses (All: Inclusion / Equality)
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 from 12 participating post primary schools
Number of Participants: 378
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, NHLP and CC&GBC) 24 schools took part
Number of Participants: 720
Inclusive Summer Scheme 1st ever council operated 3-day inclusive summer scheme at JDLC with partnership from Mae Murray Foundation. Various activities, music, arts and crafts delivered across 3-day scheme
Number of Participants: 16
Inclusive Family Events 4 inclusive family events including sensory play, sports, games and inclusive cycling ran across borough in 2022-23. Easter and Halloween at JDLC, Summer events at Roe Mill Limavady and Flowerfield.
Number of Participants: 300
Social Badminton Social Badminton project for adults to stimulate mental health along with improved flexibility, physical agility, maintenance of bone density, improvements in balance, improvement of lung capacity for smokers and weight loss which supports reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Number of Participants: 75
Rampage Project Exercise Programme to prepare participants for the ultra-challenging Rampage Assault Course); the project was delivered for young adults within socially deprived Neighbourhood renewal areas (partnership with the Northern Trust, PHA, NHLP and CC&GBC)
Number of Participants: 30
Mindfulness and Wellbeing Group Individuals from Greysteel, Ballykelly, Dungiven and Limavady, walked for health. The Mindfulness Walk was delivered in discussion format with mindful reflections whilst walking through Roe Valley Country Park
Number of Participants: 30
Inclusive borough-wide wellbeing and fitness group
To promote fitness, healthy lifestyle and interaction to a pan community participant range, successful programmes run in rural areas such as Glack in conjunction with St Finloughs PS and Drumsurn in partnership with local GAA Group who provided free access to facilities. Provided Fitness Health checks for Roe Valley Residents association surrounding Lifestyle choice, Wellbeing education and support signposting.
Number of Participants: 70
Positive Ageing Month Month-long October campaign of events, activities and programmes promoting positive ageing in Causeway Coast & Glens area. Programme of over 100+ events borough-wide, developed with partners in Positive Ageing Month working group.
Number of Participants: 1000+
CC&G Macmillan Move More Project enabled people in the Borough to be physically active throughout their cancer journey, improving both clinical and quality of life outcomes, including preventing and managing treatment side effects, reducing the risk of recurrence and disease progression in some cancers. Included on-ward referrals, when identified.
Number of Participants: 137
CC&G Macmillan Move More Regional Events
In conjunction with Derry City & Strabane Move More team. Two organised group walks occurred at Portballintrae and Derry/ Londonderry, followed by refreshments at Portballintrae Village Hall and the Guild Hall Derry/Londonderry.
Number of Participants: 112
CC&G Macmillan Move More Feel-Good Gardening Initiative
The gardening workshops provided physical and psychological support for people living with or affected by cancer and their families.
Number of Participants: 154
Summer Recreation Programme 2022 6 weeks of Sports Camps throughout Causeway; 27 Camps delivered.
Number of Participants: 1,195
Get Active Stay Active programme 20-week Autumn & Spring Programme in football, table tennis and ball skills, supporting young children to try a sport.
Number of Participants: 80
After Schools programme 15 weeks coaching of various sports in 24 schools throughout the school calendar year.
Number of Participants: 2500
Shared Education Schools programme Held five shared education sessions involving seven schools using sport as a medium to bring communities together and create new friendships between schools and pupils.
Number of Participants: 190
Easter Recreation Programme 2022 3 days of sports camps in various sports throughout the borough in partnership with national governing bodies and local clubs. Number of Participants: 355
Friendship Football League Community football league with 12 teams from throughout Causeway participating over 20 Friday nights.
Number of Participants: 144
NGB Partnership Summer Recreation Programme 2022 5 Summer Sports Camps delivered in partnership with NGB’s: British Gymnastics, Netball NI, Irish Football Association and Swim Ulster
Number of Participants: 320
Rise Gymnastics British Gymnastics new ‘Rise’ programme for 5 to 11 years was delivered in partnership with Council at: Coleraine Leisure Centre, Dungiven Sports Centre and Roe Valley Leisure Centre.
Number of Participants: 100
Causeway Elite Athlete Scheme Council’s Elite Athlete Scheme to support talented performers went ‘live’ with a new online application system from January 2023.
Number of Participants: 14
Causeway Primary School Hockey Blitzes In partnership with Ulster Hockey 4 monthly primary school hockey blitzes were held for boys and girls in the Borough. The event attracted 20 primary schools.
Number of Participants: 200
Coach Education Coach Education courses hosted in Causeway Coast and Glens from: Irish Football Association, Ulster Badminton and Sport NI (Safeguarding Children and Young People)
Number of Participants: 48
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 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: Community development training sessions (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Community Development ran a support programme for community groups which included training sessions on accessibility and equality.
Action Title: Exploring Cultural Diversity Programme (All: Inclusion / Equality)
A refugee event was held to facilitate the meeting of refugees with statutory and community agencies.
Action Title: Good Relations Initiatives (All: Inclusion / Equality)
During the reporting period the following initiatives ran to raise awareness and encourage inclusion:
Pupil Voice event
Pupils from 12 post primary schools spoke directly with elected members about issues which matter to them. This event focused on the promotion of the voice of young people, exploring sensitive and controversial issues.
Cultural Diversity project in primary schools across the borough: presentations by individuals from various cultures now resident in CC&GBC.
Shared Education joint Sports Day with Armoy/ Straidbilly schools
“Shared Music of Dalriada”. This project brought elder musicians and dance tutors together with young musicians, singers and dancers from mixed backgrounds to explore the east/west connections through music, song and dance.
Intergenerational ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes took place in Roe Valley Arts Centre. Both parents and children from Ukraine development their English speaking, writing and listening skills.
“Getting to know NI” training sessions for Asylum Seekers.
Cultural Competency training for statutory & community organisations providing services and support to Asylum seekers and Refugees recently arrived in CC&GBC
Participatory Budgeting project in Bushmills to build cohesion in the town: specifically targeted residents of all ages. Successful bids saw intergenerational working on projects to enhance the local area.
Arts-based workshops for children & young people recently arrived in Ballymoney area (while parents attended ESOL classes).
Kite-making workshop (therapeutic) for recently arrived Ukrainian refugees: adults & their families. Working intergenerationally, both adults and children explored kite making and the culture adjoining them.
“Surviving the Holocaust”. Event with Dr Martin Stern MBE. As well as learning about the past, the event provided the opportunity to reflect on how such atrocities continue to shape our lives.
Halloween/ Samhain open days: included film screenings, family events, and workshops.
Events for Leid Week. (Ulster Scots) & Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week/ St Patrick’s Day). Events celebrating the language, music & dance of the two main traditions in NI.
Hear Here. Collaborative working group with representatives from both sides of the community working together to stage projects that will build capacity around all sections of the community.
Royal Connections project: community members exploring local connections to both British & Irish royalty. New heritage trail explores Causeway Coast and Glens’ royal connections.
Coleraine Bomb Memorial – worked with families of victims, installed plaque, secured oral histories, worked towards a permanent memorial and a Council policy on Memorials.
Statutory Cohesion Group: monthly collaboration with other Statutory organisations to prepare for and respond to issues that may contribute to the rise in tensions within local communities (political/ cultural/ racial) including bonfires. Series of workshops also delivered for participating organisations.
Cultural cookery project: online cookery course exploring food from different cultures.
Cultural Diversity project: in primary schools across the borough: presentations by individuals from various cultures now resident in CC&GBC.
Refugee/ Asylum Seekers Information events x 3.
Refugee/ Asylum Seekers Welcome Pack & website content (with CD)
Research for “A World of Stories” exhibition, exploring the experiences of those from around the world who have settled in the CC&GBC, told in their own words. Working with over 20 people who come from different countries and helping them tell their journey. These stories were then translated and exhibited to build capacity around multi-cultural living here in Causeway Coast and Glens.
Chinese Cultural Awareness cultural workshops on Chinese cultural and food – 4-week program exploring the culture of China including its history and food.
Action Title: Civic Hosting Events (All: Inclusion / Equality)
In the reporting period the Mayor during his term in office, hosted various events for Irish Language Week; Ulster Scots, Christians against poverty; Ballymoney Special Olympic Swimming Team; NI Special Pool Competition Winners and Coleraine Judo Club Visually Impaired Section. The Mayor also met with Ukrainian evacuees; school and youth groups such as the Girls Brigade; older people groups such as Boveedy Spring Well club; women’s groups such as Garvagh Women’s Institute; and celebrated 3 70th wedding anniversaries.
Increased equality in communication methods both internally and externally
Action title: Workshop on Accessibility in Community Buildings for community centre providers
The workshop aimed to increase awareness and consider ways to make community facilities and programmes more inviting and inclusive. Presentations from Autism NI, Hands That Talk, Alzheimer’s Society and DeafBlind UK with 10 people attending from 8 organisations that operated community facilities.
Action Title: Town Centre Forums were set up (All: Inclusion / Equality)
The Town Centre Team Forum continued to connect and consult with members of the community, business and representatives in Portrush, Portstewart and Ballymoney.
Improved equality on-line
Action title: Pre-visit video (All: Inclusion / Equality)
A Pre-visit video of the Joey Dunlop Leisure centre is at planning stage. Its aim is to improve on-line equality and prepare customers regarding what to expect pre-visit, in line with the Autism Action Plan.
Action Title: Inclusive meetings (All: Inclusion / Equality)
Hybrid meeting formats continued throughout the reporting period supporting individuals to attend meetings without coming in person.
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: Awareness information (All: Inclusion / Equality)
The staff news sheet included regular articles 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.
99 individuals attended Resilience training.
32 individuals attended Domestic Violence Awareness training.
102 individuals attended Managing Anxiety training.
219 individuals attended Returning to Work (during/after COVID-19) training
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
During the reporting period 235 members of staff attended
Disability Awareness & Inclusion training.
60 individuals attended customer services training.
234 individuals attended Dignity & Respect at Work training.
92 individuals attended Mental Health Awareness training.
Labour Market Partnership
The Labour Market Partnership is a new, DfC funded programme established to help address challenges in the local labour market. We provide support for those who are unemployed, economically inactive, under-employed and anyone who needs to upskill. The Labour Market Partnership also provides support for local employers helping them to secure and retain staff. We work collaboratively with a number of departments within Council, notably Economic Development, Community Development and the funding unit. We also work closely with a range of external statutory and non-statutory bodies.
The Labour Market Partnership aims to promote inclusion and equality in all programmes that we deliver. In 2022/23 our action plan included programmes that impacted several Section 75 groups. These programmes have been summarised below.
2022/23 Labour Market Partnership Actions
Action Title: Work Ready – Inclusion (All)
The work ready programme provided tailored support and training in areas including CV writing, interview skills, and personal development. The programme, which was delivered by Northern Regional College and North West Regional College was open to all residents in the Causeway Coast and Glens Area who were over the age of 18, currently unemployed and with a legal right to work in the UK. Participants were both male and females of different ages and backgrounds and a number of those had caring responsibilities for young children or other family members.
Action Title: Business Start Up and Seed Fund – Inclusion (All)
The Business Start Up and Seed Fund provided support and mentoring to assist individuals setting up a new business. Participants also had the opportunity to apply for a bursary of up to £1,000 for essential items required to get their business started. This programme was open to all residents in the Causeway Coast and Glens Area, over the age of 18, who were unemployed or under employed and had a legal right to work in the UK. Participants on the programme included male and females of various ages and from different backgrounds. Several of participants on this programme had dependents and this was the primary motivation for starting their business – to facilitate flexible employment that worked around their caring responsibilities. Several participants on this programme were also from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Action Title: Pathways – Inclusion (All)
The Pathways programme involved us engaging with those furthest from the labour market to help them begin their journey towards training and/or employment. A six-week ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ course was delivered in six areas of high deprivation throughout the Borough – all areas ranked within the top 20% most deprived in the most recent Multiple Deprivation Survey. Participants on the programme had the opportunity to learn about nutrition, healthy cooking, and budgeting. They also all undertook their Level One food hygiene training and received employment support. The Pathways programme was open to anyone over the age of 18, living in the Causeway Coast and Glens area with a legal right to work in the UK, but who was not currently in employment. Participants included both male and females of different ages and religious/political backgrounds. Quite a lot of participants were not working specifically because they had dependents. Many stated that although they couldn’t afford to currently work because of the cost of childcare, that they were keen to upskill and get work ready. Several participants were also long-term unemployed because of health reasons. Furthermore, there were a number of elderly participants on this programme who stated that they would like to get back into work to help supplement their current income.
Action Title: Retrain Plus – Inclusion (All)
The Retrain Plus programme involved delivery of two employment academies: one transport and one Chef. In total 44 individuals took part in the programme. Participants ranged in age and community background and included both male and females. A number of participants had dependents and one came from an ethnic minority background. Both academies were open to residents within the Causeway Coast and Glens area who were over the age of 18, currently unemployed, under-employed or at risk of redundancy. All participants also required a legal right to work in the UK.
Action Title: Personal Learning Account Fund – Inclusion (All)
The Personal Learning Account Fund provided funding for training that promoted individual’s employment prospects. The fund was open to both those working and not working. Again, participants needed to be over the age of 18, resident within the Causeway Coast and Glen’s area with a legal right to work in the UK. The aim of this fund was to remove the financial barrier preventing many individuals from upskilling. As well as helping participants to find work, the fund also promoted career progression. We welcomed flexible, innovative approaches to learning under this fund. Thus, as well as removing financial barriers the programme also helped to reduce barriers such as a lack of childcare and travel etc. Applicants to the fund included male and females of various ages. Monitoring for this programme is ongoing to determine further information but those from ethnic minority backgrounds were among the applicants.
Action Title: LMP Events – Inclusion (All)
Over the last year we have organised our own events and worked collaboratively with our partners to fund, plan and support other events. These are summarised below.
Action Title: Age Friendly Events – Inclusion (Elderly)
Throughout October 2022 we organised and delivered a series of events celebrating Age Friendly month, in conjunction with Council’s Age Friendly co-ordinator. These events were held throughout the Borough and aimed to promote employment and training opportunities among those aged 50+.
Action Title: Career Events for Young People – Inclusion (Young People)
This year we have also supported several events aimed specifically at young people. One example was the Careers Convention held in Ulster University, Coleraine in March 2023. This was attended by over 1,000 young people and included a mix of male and females from different community backgrounds.
Action Title: Women’s Event – Inclusion (Women)
In celebration of International Women’s Day, on the 8th March we co-hosted the ‘Making a Difference Conference’ together with Enterprise Causeway, Ulster University and Causeway Chamber. As well as celebrating the achievements of women from all backgrounds the event also highlighted the ongoing work required to promote true inclusion and equality for all women and girls. The event was attended by over 200 women of all ages and from a range of backgrounds.
Action Title: Job Fairs – Inclusion (All)
Together with the local Jobs and Benefits Offices over the last year we have supported and funded ten job fairs throughout the Borough. These job fairs are open to all individuals aged 16+ and include attendees of all ages, from varying backgrounds including ethnic minorities. Several support organisations attend to ensure that the needs of disabled residents are supported. Furthermore, we have funded Sign language interpreters to ensure that communication barriers are removed for the Deaf community.
Action Title: Recruitment
Over the last year we have adopted a range of methods to recruit for our programmes. Digital marketing on the Council website and social media accounts have allowed us to engage with a variety of target audiences however we are mindful that not everyone has access to this information. Accordingly, we have also adopted more traditional methods such as posters and flyers. Moreover, we have linked with relevant partners to assist with recruitment particularly among those hardest to reach. This has included working with the local Jobs and Benefits Offices, the community and voluntary sector and other departments within Council.
Action Title: Communication
One thing we have been keen to promote in all our programmes is a degree of flexibility where possible. Conscious of the different barriers facing participants we have ourselves adopted a flexible approach and encouraged our contractors to do so as much as possible. A few examples are highlighted below:
Both AM and PM workshops, events and training – this approach has enabled those with dependents to participate in our programmes.
Online Sessions – This approach has been welcomed by participants with dependents but also by those with health issues who sometimes find it difficult to attend in person. It has also addressed a lack of sufficient transport, particularly in rural areas.
Face to face sessions – Mindful that not everyone likes to attend online or has the skills or internet access to do so, it has also been important for us to offer events and sessions face to face.
Inclusion and Equality is fundamental to the entire LMP programme. Over the course of the last year, we have welcomed the opportunity to work with and support those of all ages and backgrounds. Our 2023/24 Action Plan includes a number of targeted interventions for different Section 75 groups including young people and those with a disability.
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 supported by guidance on carrying out screening exercises. Increased information has been presented in alternative formats such as Easy Read or through the ability of staff to use simple Makaton signage. Documentation is presented in an accessible format to support screen readers.
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: 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.
Links with community groups and Council forums supports both co-production and consultation measures and in turn service provision which meets the needs of citizens.
Improved data and data signposting has supported more detailed and relevant screening exercises.
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. This has been reflected in feedback from residents.
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 an increase of Easy Read documents to improve Councils accessible provision which will continue in the next reporting period.