Terry O’Hara – Project Manager, Survivors’ Assistance Network (SAN) and Reconciliation Projects
August 21, 2015 | foundation4peace
Terry’s five steps for PEACE
P – Project at the Foundation everyone should know about
One of the areas of work in which the Foundation has had a long history of success is Community Dialogue where we facilitate dialogue between different communities and groups within the same community who may be in conflict.
Most recently we have worked in the Moston and Harpurhey areas of Manchester, an area which has been transformed over the last ten years. This includes a change in population from predominantly white to a more multi-cultural community with people moving into the area from countries including: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Hungary, Poland, Cameroon, Somalia, and China.
Whilst many in the community have embraced the changes, for some there is an understandable anxiety about ‘difference’ and nostalgia for the communities they grew up in. For others this shows itself as anger and resentment over perceived pressures on local services. Misunderstanding of cultural and behavioural differences can foster a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mind set which, in turn, can lead to segregation, suspicion and conflict
The Foundation for Peace was commissioned as an impartial third party to work with the all of the communities to reflect on the potential sources of conflict and seek ways to move the community forward together in a positive and peaceful way.
E – Extremism challenge that needs resolving
2016 sees the centenary of the ‘Easter Uprising, a key moment in Irish history which led to the partition of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. My work often takes me across the Irish Sea to both sides of the island and I see at first hand the damage caused by centuries of sectarian division and different views of history. The challenge facing people on both sides of the border is to be able to find their common history and to remember the past without feeding future conflicts.
A – A fact people might know about the Foundation
The Peace Centre relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to help in a multitude of ways including; catering at events; fund-raising; speaking to groups about the work of the Foundation; and even painting and decorating. If you want to know more, follow this link.
C – Colleague at the Foundation you want people to get to know
My colleague Andy Sherratt is one of two Project Workers (the other is Donna Craine) working alongside me on the Survivors Assistance Network (SAN) project delivering programmes to support victims of extremist violence and terrorism, ex-service personnel and emergency responders. He is the newest member of the SAN team and has a background working in the security industry and Citizens Advice Bureaux. Andy has a great understanding of the benefits system and other sources of support and is experienced in providing people with help and advice through his work for the CAB. He has already forged strong relationships with the people on his case load and is looking forward to helping more people to cope and recover from the effects of trauma through his work on SAN.
E – Everyone can help the cause of peace by….
Collect your loose coppers when you empty your pockets at night. You would be surprised how quickly it will build up over time. Your small change can make a big difference to the people we work with!
Terry’s professional profile: