‘Fusion’ United Youth Pilot (2015-2016)
The United Youth Pilot Project, Fusion, was a good relations programme that provided flexible, high-quality, young-person-centred opportunities for 16–24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training. It was a key commitment in the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy.
Fusion aimed to bring members of marching bands together and through their passion for music to support their development. Young people were actively involved in the co-design of and participated in:
(1) Personal and social education to confidence, relate effectively with others and deal with behaviours/attitudes that can undermine participation.
(2) Diversity education, explore the origins, history and traditions of bands/music and symbolism as reflected in the events of Easter Rising and Somme, underpinned by educational visits to Dublin and Ypres (Belgium); in turn supporting them to understand identity, impacts of prejudice, relationships with communities and value of better community relations/diversity.
(3) Workshops/visits to raise awareness of citizenship and positive community participation through development of self-selected service projects e.g. a musical performance with QUB, fusing traditional loyalist and republican band music with a variety of traditional global musical traditions.
(4) Enhance employability through work readiness skills, volunteering and masterclasses in musicianship.
Throughout one-to-one mentoring took place and residential / informal activities were scheduled.