Neil Renwick – Development Officer, CMO

August 21, 2015 | foundation4peace

Neil’s five steps to PEACE:

P – Project at the Foundation everyone should know about

Our Reconciliation project, funded by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Republic of Ireland, adds an East-West dimension to complement the many organisations and individuals active in peacebuilding on the island of Ireland. In facilitating dialogue between opposing sides and raising awareness of how to cope with trauma in workshops on both sides of the Irish Sea, this project has witnessed some of the most powerful moments in recent years, as beneficiaries are supported to deal with the past–and with the future.

E – Extremism challenge that needs resolving

Having the patience and confidence to build broad, deep, and lasting resilience to extremism over the long-term is a great challenge. It’s no easy thing to take violent extremism seriously without being overly fearful. This is the challenge of not demonising individuals and groups but working with them to reduce vulnerability; the challenge of not sensationalising, magnifying and dignifying theatrical violence in our collective response to it.

A – A fact people might not know about the Foundation

Though the Foundation is primarily active in the UK and has of course worked in the Republic of Ireland, in 2014-15 alone we have delivered training on preventing violent conflict in Slovenia, Germany, Norway, and Somalia. As co-chair of the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network Prevent Working Group and participants in the RAN’s Voices of Victims of Terrorism Foundation team-members, our team has shared expertise and solidarity in Brussels, Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, and Paris.

C – Colleague at the Foundation you want people to get to know

Harriet Vickers is our Project Support and Research Officer, a Time to Shine intern funded by the Rank Foundation. Harriet’s broad range of skills, ranging from research, editing of training materials, and managing stakeholders such as the press, is invaluable both in the office and on the road. She has worked on many aspects of the My Former Life project, feeding in to the design of the online resource, producing accompanying materials on varieties of extremism, handling enquiries and booking in places for delivery.

E – Everyone can help the cause of peace by…

Hiring the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre. This spectacular purpose-built residential asset is easily accessible from the M6, M62, West Coast Mainline and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Highly versatile, with an experienced team used to accommodating varied customer groups simultaneously for business meetings, training workshops and community sports, the Centre cannot be used all the time for our work, since our team is often delivering in communities where they are most needed. Yet when we have day-long or residential events here the difference is profound and memorable for beneficiaries. In order to keep the Peace Centre available for peacebuilding and conflict resolution–and maintain it  in top condition–it makes sense to hire the place out to cover the substantial costs of operating such an iconic building. This offers customers an opportunity for generating a responsible social return on corporate meeting or conference expenditures.


Neil’s Professional Profile

Neil is the Development Officer, working in the Commissions Management Office. His job is to research and develop new project proposals to tender to commissioners, and to monitor compliance with service agreements and contracts. He also works to establish methods for measuring, assessing and demonstrating the impact of projects, products and services on beneficiaries. Prior to working for the Foundation for Peace Neil worked for non-governmental organisations and in academia, mostly in international relations, US-UN history, political philosophy and political economy.