Students help build a strong community ‘habitat for humanity’

Ulidia sixth formers Shannon, Rebecca and Arianna were among the volunteers working on the Habitat project at St Michael's Parish Hall.
Ulidia sixth formers Shannon, Rebecca and Arianna were among the volunteers working on the Habitat project at St Michael's Parish Hall.

Sixth Form Volunteers from Ulidia Integrated College have rolled up their sleeves to support a new community building partnership.

The partnership between Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland and St Michael’s Church of Ireland Parish, off the Shankill Road, will serve people across West Belfast.

Habitat volunteers of all backgrounds are helping to refurbish St Michael’s parish hall on Craven Street. To date, volunteers have included young people taking part in Habitat’s cross-community ChangeMakers Programme which explores social justice and active citizenship with 16-18 year olds, including those from Ulidia Integrated College.

Work is closely supervised by trained professionals and includes cleaning, sanding, painting and basic construction.

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat Northern Ireland, said: “We very much appreciate the commitment of the volunteers from Ulidia Integrated College. Since our founding in 1994, breaking down barriers between divided communities has been at the heart of our work. Thousands of volunteers have worked on Habitat community-building projects, in Northern Ireland and around the world. In our experience, when volunteers from different backgrounds engage in practical projects, like this one, meaningful relationships are developed based on understanding.”

Habitat NI have creative and interactive programmes for young people to engage in their mission. From learning about the importance of home, exploring waste and sustainability issues, to working beside young people from across the community, their programmes directly link to the curriculum. Find out more at habitatni.co.uk.