Good Relations

What's New?

Information about new and current programmes will feature on this page.Check out the drop down menu at the bottom of the page for information on recent/past programmes.

For more information or to register your place on any of the programmes please email

About Good Relations

Good Relations promotes respect, equality and tolerance between different people who live in the same place. In society, people might have different religious beliefs, political opinions, ethnicity, age, marital status or sexual orientation. 

Together: Building a United Community Strategy

Our Good Relations department published "Together: Building a United Community" Strategy which reflects the government's commitment to improving community relations and creating a more united and shared society.

The strategy explains how government, community and individuals will work together to build a united community and achieve change with the following priorities:

  • children and young people
  • our shared community
  • our safe community
  • our cultural expression


Shared Voices Programme - **Volunteer Opportunity**

We are currently recruiting Volunteers for our Shared Voices programme. If you are a 1st or 2nd generation immigrant to Northern Ireland and would like to share your story please visit Be Collective (hosted by Volunteer Now) for more information on this great volunteering opportunity. You can learn more about the Shared Voices Programme below.

What is the Shared Voices programme?

The Shared Voices programme was developed with the assistance of First and Second generation ethnic volunteers and is aimed primarily at raising awareness of the diversity within our society.

What is the aim of the Shared Voices programme?
The Shared Voices programme aims to assist Good Relations and work towards making Ards and North Down Borough a shared and safe place for all.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is aimed primarily at for young people from P5 upwards primarily in a school environment and during 30 minute periods but can be adapted to be delivered within a community setting, to smaller groups and to different age groups. Times can be adjusted to what is available.

How can the Shared Voices programme help me?

This programme has been developed to raise awareness of the diversity in our society. The purpose of this programme is to challenge preconceived perceptions and myths that wider society may have towards ethnic minority groups. The programme will address these preconceptions through facts, figures, real life stories and interactive activities.

If you would like to deliver the Shared Voices programme in your school or community group we have developed a toolkit to enable you. The toolkit is available to download here. If you require assistance please email us or call the team and we would be happy to help.


Audio Art Project Helps Syrian Community Share Sound Memories of Home

The Syria-Sound of Memory project, recently launched by Terra Nova Productions, was funded by Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations and the NI Executive Office.  The project's aim was to work together with families arriving in the borough through the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

Syria-Sound of Memory uses music and sounds to recreate a lost audio world and bring alive memories of one perfect happy day in the city of Homs, Syria. The project was created with a script developed by our artistic director Andrea Montgomery, and a soundscape from composer Nicky Boyle and international audio artist Jeph Venger as well as input from participants (members of the Syrian community or those with connections to Syria) who recorded snatches of conversation and sounds on smartphones.

Working entirely via zoom, the project included support from Arabic/ English translator Ramy Aguib who helped artists and participants build new ways to try to understand each other as well as shape a work of art in each other’s unknown languages.

Syria-Sound of Memory will immerse listeners in a 14 minute audio experience including Arabic, framed in English, recorded by local participants, to help them understand what they are listening to. Through 5 pieces of original music and sounds, listeners will be transported  to the city of Homs, Syria where they will visit the Khalid al ibn-Wallid Mosque gardens over the course of a single day (a popular beauty spot enjoyed by citizens of all religions before the war), stories of family, celebration and past joy taking place on the first day of Eid, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. 

You can listen to Syria Sound of Memory here:

Information about Current and Past programmes



As part of Ards and North Down Council’s NI 100 programme, the Good Relations team invites you to attend ‘The Establishment of Northern Ireland’ programme of events from Monday 21 June –Thursday 24 June 2021 7-9pm.

The programme comprises four sessions:

  • Monday 21 June: ’The Establishment of Northern Ireland in June 1921: Historical Background to the Partition of Ireland 1900-21’ (using a newsreel archive with Ann Donnelly of NI Screen) - Dr Éamon Phoenix
  • Tuesday 22 June: ‘Stretch out the Hand’:  A drama written by historian Philip Orr depicting the King’s visit to Belfast in 1921. Followed by a Q and A session.
  • Wednesday 23 June: ‘Triumph and Failure: Carson and Craig and the Political Settlement of 1920-25’ - Dr Éamon Phoenix
  • Thursday 24 June: ‘The Worst Form of Partition’: ‘Joe Devlin, the Northern Nationalists and the Partition of Ireland, 1914-25’ - Dr Éamon Phoenix

All sessions will be conducted via Zoom. To register, please email:

Stretch out the Hand (23-25 March)

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations team invites you to join us for a film screening about the inauguration of the Northern Ireland parliament in 1921.  King George V was part of this momentous event in Belfast and delivered a speech with a call for reconciliation. 

Entitled ‘Stretch out the Hand’, the film features a young couple who played a role in the ceremony and depicts both their excitement and worries about the future. 

Written by author Philip Orr and performed by Christine Clark and Glenn McGivern, the film includes black and white footage from the period and is an ideal prelude to discussion. 

Join us via Zoom. To register please email

Entwined Misconceptions (18-19 March 2021)

Following on from our series of Remembrance talks in November 2020, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations Team invites you to join Carol Walker MBE of the Somme Association who will return to deliver talks on the following subjects:

  • The British Indian Army in the First World War - Khudadad Khan VC
  • The Red Hand and The Shamrock

Talks will be delivered from 11.00am to 12.15pm via Zoom on:

  • Thursday 18th March
  • Friday 19th March 

Each talk will be followed by questions and open discussion.

To register, please e-mail:

For Your Freedom and Ours - Commemorating Polish Airmen (23-25 March 2021)

To commemorate the Polish airmen and others who gave their lives for our freedom during World War II, a lectern will be erected at Ballyhalbert Memorial on 25 March 2021.  To mark the installation of this memorial, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations team will host a series of three online talks by Maciek Bator (founder of ‘For Your Freedom and Ours’ company).

During these sessions, Maciek will provide an overview of war and civilian graves, crash sites, memorials and exhibitions related to the Polish Airmen across County Down and beyond.

  • Tuesday 23 March -The History of the Polish Air Force
  • Wednesday 24 March - RAF Ballyhalbert and the Polish perspective
  • Thursday 25 March - Polish Traces in County Down

All talks will be delivered via Zoom from 10:00 – 11:30am.

If you wish to register for the programme, please email

Exploring Ards and North Down, and what makes us unique (22-26 March 2021)

Good Relations invite you to explore online some of the shared history of the Borough of Ards and North Down with Blue badge guide Lolly Spence and NI Screen film archives.

Each day from 8.00pm-9.30pm we will visit a different town or village and uncover layers of history from before Christianity to the arrival of Ulster-Scots, the Troubles and modern events.

  • Donaghadee – Monday 22 March
  • Comber – Tuesday 23 March
  • Portaferry – Wednesday 24 March
  • Newtownards – Thursday 25 March
  • Bangor – Friday 26 March

Programmes will be delivered on ZOOM.

To register please email

Bosnia and its relevance to Northern Ireland (29-30 March 2021)

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations Team invite you to join us to explore the connections between Northern Ireland and Bosnia.

Over the course of two evenings, we will discuss the background to the Bosnian War and its relevance to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  Guests will include Nedzad Avdic, a survivor of the Srebrenica genocide, chaired by Peter Osborne.

Talks will be delivered by Remembering Srebrenica via Zoom from 7:00 – 9:00pm on:

  • Monday 29th March 
  • Tuesday 30th March 

Each talk will be followed by questions and open discussion. 

To register, please e-mail:

Stronger Together EU Settlement Scheme Support Project

30th June 2021 is the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).  EU/EEA citizens living in UK must apply to the Scheme to secure their immigration status post-Brexit and protect their rights here.

The Stronger Together Consortium has been funded by the Home Office to provide help and support to vulnerable EU citizens with this process since April 2019. To date, the Consortium has assisted 25,000 people in making an application out of a total of 58,600 applications made in Northern Ireland up to April 2020.  However many, including those most vulnerable, have not yet applied. Find out more at:

Information about the Settlement Scheme is available in EU languages at the website

Downloadable information and publicity materials to raise awareness about the Scheme and ‘how to’ guides are available in English HERE 

Stronger Together EUSS partner organisations work across Northern Ireland. They provide free bilingual and local support, as well as specialised immigration advice within established and trusted ethnic minority support organisations in applying to the Scheme. They also provide assistance in accessing other public & community services.

Contact on 02887750211 from Monday to Friday, emailing,  or by contacting individual partners (details for ANDBC area below)

YMCA NorthDown

10-12 High Street, Bangor, County Down BT20 5AY
Area covered: Bangor, Newtownards, Downpatrick & Lisburn

Languages: Latvian, Russian, Polish and

Ph: 028 9145 4290

Advice NI

Need help with gaining Settlement status in the UK?

The Independent Advice Network provides free advice & information on the following:

  • Immigration advice
  • Practical assistance and support to complete EUSS application/s
  • Language support & interpreting services
  • Digital support & equipment/digital provision
  • Information sessions for EU nationals, NGOs, service providers, employers, trade unions, embassies/consulates

Contact FREEPHONE helpline to speak to an adviser

Telephone 0800 915 4604 - lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Text action to 81025


For further information or to find your local advice centre visit

Open the Advice NI Poster in PDF 

International Women's Day 2021: Choose to Challenge (8-12 March 2021)

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations Team invites you to join this programme celebrating this year's International Womens Day with the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’

Facilitated by Finola Hunt of Education Matter and quest speaker Carol Walker MBE, the programme will look back at the challenges faced by women on the island of Ireland during the 20th Century.

This programme will be delivered on ZOOM from Monday 8th – Friday 12th March, 6.30-8.30pm.

To register, please email

World of Words - exploring myths and legends from different cultures - March 2021 2020

‘World of Words’ is an online diversity programme using the medium of storytelling to explore traditional folklore myths and legends from different cultures, the lessons they can teach and the global similarities of the stories we tell. First run last year, this popular programme returns with new storytellers in March 2021.

The programme will be delivered on ZOOM and run from Monday 1 to Friday 5 March 2021 daily at 12pm-1pm.

If you would like to register for the programme please email

SAME / Difference – To See Ourselves Creative Workshops (February/March 2021)

A series of creative writing & photography workshops exploring the themes of identity, cultural awareness and expressing ourselves.


Delivered on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings on ZOOM.

Creative Writing – Tuesdays 10.30am – 12.30pm. 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd Feb & 3rd March.

Photography – Thursdays 7.30pm – 8.30pm. 4th, 11th,18th, 25th Feb & 4th March.


Showcase event on 11th March 2021 – Online celebratory event to share the writing and images generated by participants.

Workshops are free, participants are required to attend both aspects of the programme where possible.

To register please email: 

To find out more download the SAME / Difference - To See Ourselves poster

Towards Reconciliation in Northern Ireland Lecture Series (23-25 February 2021)

A three-part lecture series by Professor Peter Shirlow followed by Q and A

Programme delivered via Zoom on 23, 24,25 February 2021 from 7pm - 9pm

  • Where have we come from?
  • What does change mean?
  • The next generation of reconciliation

If you would like to register for the programme please email

How is COVID19 affecting different generations?

Good Relations is running a new programme focusing on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different generations.

If you are a grandparent with a grandchild aged between 12 and 14 years old, and would be willing to answer a few questions online please contact

Holocaust Memorial Day Programme (25-29 January 2021)

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, the Good Relations team is hosting a series of online talks about the atrocities of the Holocaust and other major genocides. 

  • Monday 25th January – Rwanda 
  • Tuesday 26th January – The Holocaust 
  • Wednesday 27th January – Srebrenica/Bosnia 
  • Thursday 28th January – Darfur 
  • Friday 29th January - Cambodia 

Times are 7.00pm-8.30pm and the talks will be delivered via Zoom 

If you wish to register for the programme please email

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is Be the Light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide. 

* Due to the areas of discussion, this programme is not considered suitable for children under 16 years of age. 

In addition to this programme of talks, Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards and McKee Clock Bangor will be lit up to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 on Wednesday 27 January.

"It Takes Allsorts!" - Diversity Events October 2020 - January 2021

In October we will be starting our series of All Sorts diversity events.

This year, they will be run virtually over four sessions and will feature speakers covering a range of topics that affect our community.

All sessions will take place from 12noon to 1pm.

Monday 19 October 2020 - Mental Health
Tuesday 17 November 2020 - Race
Wednesday 9 December 2020 - Dementia
Thursday 14 January 2021 - The partition of Ireland and the establishment of Northern Ireland during 1919-21

The sessions are open to the public and if you would to join us, please register at with details of the session/s you would like to attend.

Good Relations Week - September 2020

To celebrate Good Relations Week 2020 we have made this compilation of some of the programmes run by the Good Relations team in Ards and North Down over the past few years. Watch it on YouTube at 

We hope you like it: everything is GRand! 

Find more online events and digital content showcasing 30 years of peace building and cultural diversity in Northern Ireland at from 14th to 21st September 2020

Virtual Living History - a look at migration to and from Ireland, past and present (Oct-Dec 2020)

The Good Relations team invites you participate in its latest online programme: ‘Virtual Living History’ 

Virtual tours and speakers will guide you through an 8 week programme on migration to and from Ireland, past and present.  

Each online session will be followed by facilitated discussion on how migration has affected our society today. 

Programme is available on: 

Tuesday 6th, 13th 20th October, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th November and 1st December 10am – 12.30pm 


Thursday 8th, 15th, 22nd October, 5th 12th, 19th, 26th November and 3rd December 6.30pm – 9.00pm 

As places are limited it is advisable to register for the 8 online sessions.   

Please email with your chosen day. 

Information for signing in to Zoom will be sent closer to the time. 

Online Event Series - Life for Women 100 Years Ago (August 2020)

Starting in August 2020, a number of weekly online workshops will explore what life was like for women on the Island of Ireland 100 years ago.

Facilitated by Finola Hunt of Education Matters, each 2 hour workshop (with 30 minute break) will introduce participants to the social and economic conditions for women, women’s involvement in the suffrage movement, women’s involvement in political issues and key characters from that period.

  • Tuesday 11 August
  • Tuesday 18 August
  •  Tuesday 25 August
  • Tuesday 1 September
  • Tuesday 8 September

All workshops will run from 11am to 1pm.

To register your interest, please contact the Good Relations team with your details: as soon as possible.

Places of Worship in Ards and North Down

The Good Relations team have collated information about places of worship in the ARds and North Down Borough area.

Places of Worship Newtownards

Places of Worship Comber and Ballygowan area

Places of Worship North Down

Places of Worship Peninsula