Volunteers from across the North West area have been celebrated for all their hard work and commitment throughout the year at a special event held at The Verbal this week.

Each week, there are around 67 volunteers from The Verbal’s Listen Share Change (LSC) project, who help to deliver Reading Rooms sessions to over 450 participants in communities right across the North West and beyond.

LSC project is a Peace IV funded programme that we, in partnership with The Housing Executive, are currently delivering. 

It’s a four-year programme working across Northern Ireland delivering Reading Rooms to various cross communities. 

As the event coincided with International Human Rights Day, guests were also treated to a fascinating workshop led by Roberta Bacic, curator of ‘Embracing Human Rights’ exhibition. 

The exhibition uses textiles, namely ‘arpilleras’ to depict a variety of themes including local and international issues, human rights issues and the experience of new communities. 

As part of the event, volunteers also took part in a festive-themed Reading Rooms session before having lunch together.  

Speaking following the event, LSC Programme Director, Andrea Doran said: “Our LSC project is about maximising meaningful community integration by working with others, giving back to the community and developing awareness and understanding.  We used Tuesday’s event to give something back to the people who make it possible for us to deliver our programme. We felt that International Human Rights Day was a fitting day to do this.” 

She added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our fantastic volunteers who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to bring communities together. What they have achieved in the short life-time of the project is remarkable. We’re really looking forward to continuing that great work with all our LSC volunteers and groups in the new year.”

Gareth Doran, Housing Executive Listen Share Change Northern Sector Co-Ordinator, has also been working with the LSC Project to deliver the Reading Rooms model in the Northern sector.  

He said: “The first year of this project has been a massive success, and I would like to thank all the groups for their participation in Listen Share Change year one programme and hopefully continuing to engage with them into year two.

“Special thanks must go to all the volunteers for the time they invested in the project, their contribution has been amazing,” he said. 

More information on the LSC Community Project can be found at Listen Share Change