We must work together to build a better future – Ross and Fearon

Date published: 02 June 2016

Junior Ministers Alastair Ross and Megan Fearon today opened the Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Forum at Girdwood Community Hub, Belfast.

The Forum brought together over 180 representatives from local government, voluntary and community organisations, cultural groups and central government to provide an update on T:BUC, identify good practices, share learning and explore the topic of cultural expression.

Speaking at the event Junior Minister Alastair Ross said: “The next five years present a massive opportunity for Northern Ireland. Good relations are a key element of the Executive’s draft Programme for Government agreed last week, and we will be focusing on collaborative working; it is only by working together that we can deliver real change for the better.

“Today’s engagement forum is an important channel of communication, and an opportunity for everyone to make their voice heard and to work together with the shared goal to improve good relations. We all want a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland where everyone can live with respect and dignity. I have no doubt that by working together we can make real change and create that shared future we all aspire to.”

Junior Minister Megan Fearon said: “This forum is a key link between the Executive and the sector in how the T:BUC strategy is implemented. Today’s agenda is focusing on cultural expression. Recognising its importance and celebrating the diversity of our culture is at the heart of T:BUC.  While we have many good examples of how we celebrate our cultural expression in an inclusive way, more can be done.

“Today is also about challenges and opportunities, and T:BUC offers a great opportunity to deliver meaningful change to our society.  Since its launch three years ago a lot has been delivered, from summer camps to shared housing and campuses.  Again, more can be done and by working together we can overcome the challenges we’re presented with and open up many more opportunities.”

Notes to editors: 

Media enquiries about this press release to the Executive Office Press Office on 028 9037 8283, or out of office hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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