‘Culture Trail’ celebrates diverse pupil backgrounds
St Patrick’s College in Dungannon recently launched a new ‘Culture Trail’, created to celebrate the 14 cultural backgrounds of pupils. The educational exercise trail was made possible through funding from Apex Housing Association as part of its ‘Housing for All’ good relations plan for Dungannon; and developed in partnership with Brilliant Trails.
Sharon Hunt, Good Relations Officer at Apex Housing Association, commented:
Our work in Dungannon aims to build strong community relations in our shared housing development of Sycamore Drive and the surrounding areas. The creation of this trail in St Patrick’s College is a fantastic celebration of cultural diversity and the young people involved should be very proud. Their enthusiasm for the project has been inspiring and very heartening for the future of good relations in the local area.
Catherine McHugh, Principal of St Patrick’s College, said:
The pupils and staff had such a wonderful experience working together on the creation and launch of our Culture Trail, representing the diverse backgrounds and ethnicities in our school community. It’s so important in our modern world to celebrate our unique identities and to foster an environment of respect and inclusion and a community which embraces and celebrates all. Our culture trail enables us to learn about each other, it helps us to open conversations and it allows us to appreciate our heritage.
Dominik Skowronski, one of the pupils involved, said:
As a member of our school’s Culture Council, I feel lucky to have been able to help create the Culture Trail. I loved socialising with other pupils in the school, learning about other cultures and sharing our experiences. It was exciting when the trail opened; I enjoyed completing the quiz questions and discovering new facts about different countries.
Another St Patrick’s College pupil, Leonar Da Costa, added:
Developing a Culture Trail has been both fun and a lot of hard work. My favourite part was working with the team from Brilliant Trails to design a logo which I loved seeing finalised on the computer. The trail shows the importance of being united with other people from all over the world.
The installation of the Culture Trail at St Patrick’s College was supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. The Programme has its origins in the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community Strategy which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society. £4m has been invested in the Sycamore Drive shared housing development and associated five-year good relations plan.
Apex Housing Association currently has eight shared housing developments across Northern Ireland, with a further three currently being constructed. The Sycamore Drive Good Relations Plan includes ‘bridging’ events which are delivered to the wider community to encourage a range of good relations outcomes which include health and wellbeing, education and training. Apex continues to work in partnership with local Advisory Group stakeholders, and with residents, to develop Sycamore Drive’s Good Relations Plan.
For more information about Sycamore Drive and its associated good relations plan, please contact Sharon Hunt, Good Relations Officer on 028 7130 4800.