About Us - Introduction
Partnership, sharing and integration
Suffolk Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) is an award winning community development organisation based on the Suffolk Lenadoon interface in outer West Belfast. Regeneration and peace building are the cornerstones of what SLIG does.
SLIG is owned by the two main community organisations in the area: the Suffolk Community Forum and the Lenadoon Community Forum. These organisations paved the way for SLIG and its property and urban regeneration arm: Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project (SRRP).
There had been no contact between Suffolk and Lenadoon for over 20 years until community leaders met in 1996. This was a brave step at a time when violence was prevalent. Those involved contended with decades of conflict, deep suspicion and mistrust. Determination to create a better future for their communities led to the creation of SLIG and SRRP. Both these organisations are grounded in, and fully consult with, the communities in which they operate. Community based solutions to social justice, equality, regeneration and conflict transformation issues have been and will continue to be sought.
SLIG, a Community Relations Practitioner of the Year award winner, is concerned with social justice issues affecting people in Lenadoon and Suffolk. Both communities suffer from serious deprivation and are characterised by:
- High unemployment.
- Low incomes.
- Poor health.
- Poor housing.
- Poor services.
- Poor skills and levels of educational attainment.
- Sectarian division and community polarisation.
- High levels of stress, trauma and poor mental health.
- High levels of anti-social behaviour and sectarian violence.
Suffolk Community Forum
The Suffolk community is an 800 strong, protestant/ unionist, community in predominantly catholic /nationalist West Belfast. Suffolk has traits typical of an enclave and interface area, suffering serious economic and social deprivation.
The Suffolk Community Forum was formed in 1994 to provide a voice for the Suffolk community, spearheading projects creating a viable and vibrant community. The Forum has a strategic role and acts as an umbrella group for local groups including: Suffolk Community Centre Committee; Upper Falls Protestant Boys Flute Band, Suffolk Football Team; Suffolk Residents Association; Mothers and Toddlers Group; Youth Forum; Highland Dancers and Pensioners Groups. The Forum is also an active member of the Lenadoon Neighbourhood Partnership.
Lenadoon Community Forum
Lenadoon Community Forum was established in 1992. It was the first Community Forum in this region. Forum leadership led to a comprehensive agreed Neighbourhood Renewal strategy. It has therefore earned the recognition and respect of government and public bodies. Currently it has over twenty local community groups/organisations as members.
The Forum was the driving force behind three Community Plans and a Neighbourhood Action Plan. The Lenadoon Community Forum's mission is:
"To provide the framework and community infrastructure for planning and
Co-ordinated action by residents, community and voluntary groups, service
providers and statutory agencies in pursuit of a shared vision".
This is tied to its 2015 vision for Lenadoon which envisages:
A community in which people of all ages and abilities participate in opportunities for volunteering, personal development, the development of skills which create the capacity to play a full role in economic and social activity;
An environment which is safe and healthy for all and provides a range of social, recreational, community and enterprise facilities and will be:
A model for inclusion, partnership, co-ordination and cross-community collaboration.