Ms Louise O’Boyle (Ulster)
This presentation will discuss the findings from evidence-based research into the effectiveness of a partnership between Louise O’Boyle (Ulster University) and PIPS Charity North Belfast, over a series of collaborations between 2012-2016. The constituency of North Belfast is an area of multiple disadvantages and has the highest suicide rate in Northern Ireland (Constituency Profile Belfast North, December 2012). These collaborations included a number of arts-based projects that involved post-primary children, PIPS staff and PIPS Family Support Group. The outcomes of these projects were further utilised to promote emotional wellbeing within the local communities of North Belfast. This presentation will focus on the development of the partnership and discuss what were the key considerations, synergies and modes of working utilised to make it effective; how these findings can inform future partnerships within communities. As proposed in the Assembly’s consultation document, ‘Strategy for Culture and Arts 2016-2026’ the driving vision is “To promote, develop and support the crucial role of arts and culture in creating a cohesive community and delivering social change to our society on the basis of equality for everyone” (2015: 11). This presentation will conclude that fundamental to the development of any partnership is recognition that knowledge can be created outside of the academy and other formal bodies. Who the experts are and where they are located is changing and this approach to partnership can lead to co-produced forms of knowledge. Communities can inspire and inform public bodies and in turn be supported by them.