restless development uganda

Twin Peaks! Twin Towns! Twin Trees!

October 30, 2015 | Nick Taylor

One of the most iconic features of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre, now has a twin over 5,000 miles away in the East African Republic of Uganda.

The ‘Peace Tree’ is an art feature at the Centre and is used by the Centre’s programmes when beneficiaries are asked to write their hopes for a peace on a small leaf which is attached to the tree.  The art installation is inspired by a real Peace Tree that sits in the grounds (*).

The inspiration to create a similar tree in Uganda was that of 22 years old Sarah McManus from Warrington (see picture of Sarah standing at the back fifth from the right).  Sarah is the daughter of the Foundation’s centre manager, Karen, and is a regular volunteer contributing creative ideas and solutions to the charity.

Sarah recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a first class honors in fashion, communication and promotion.  She decided to become a volunteer with the youth-led development agency, Restless Development and after a period of training has been assigned as part of a team to work in a village in Uganda.

Restless Development are a partner of the Foundation and use the Peace Centre to prepare young people to volunteer as part of their International Citizen Service (ICS).  The charity believes that young people are most affected by the most persistent problems in the world, yet are frequently overlooked as part of the solution. Their mission is to place young people at the forefront of change and development.

Sarah will finish her placement in November and hopes to travel to other parts of the world before looking for a career in visual communications.

Nick Taylor, Chief Executive of the Foundation said: “Sarah has produced some incredible creative designs and helped us as a volunteer at the Centre.  It is a fantastic idea to create a Peace Tree in the village she is working and to involve the children.

“Restless Development are an important partner at the Peace Centre and operate a great model putting young people at the heart of their organisation and in what they do.”

* the Peace Tree is a Silver Maple Acer Saccharinum planted on the 10th anniversary of the Warrington bombing in March 2003.  The tree was dedicated by Abi and Dom Parry,  sister and brother of Tim.  Every year on the bombing anniversary water is bought from the ‘River of Life’ memorial in Bridge Street, site of the bombing, and the leafless tree is watered and daffodils (a flower of Spring and hope) are laid as the tree buds into life.