OUR Generation Project

OUR Generation Project2022-07-27T13:40:51+01:00
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The OUR Generation project is a Peace IV funded project that provides a unique opportunity for communities, north and south of the Border, to work together to halt the intergenerational impact of trauma and to build emotional resilience and peace for generations to come.

This three-year project will run to December 2022 and engage with 36,000 children, young people and their key contacts. The project will be delivered in education, youth and community settings aimed at the five Urban Village areas of Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

The cross-border partnership of seven regional organisations is led by Action Mental Health in partnership with PlayBoard NI, Donegal Youth Service, Co-Operation Ireland, Youth Action NI, Youth Work Ireland, and Ulster University. Funding for the OUR Generation project has been awarded through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), match-funding for the project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

OUR Generation: Spaces to Be Programme

The OUR Generation programme delivered by PlayBoard NI will look at, and build on, cross-community development which strives to further improve relations between communities using a play methodology.

PlayBoard’s OUR Generation: Spaces to Be programme is based on the Spaces to Be – Mapping Identity and Belonging toolkit. The toolkit was developed by PlayBoard through its Peace III Diversity in Play initiative and builds on PlayBoard’s many years of Playwork and peace building experience and practice working with children, young people and communities across Northern Ireland. Our focus is on the critical role of play as a means of supporting both the development of childhood resilience and as a mechanism for positively addressing differences at individual, familial and cross-community level. Through a range of practical and playful exercises the Spaces to Be programme will focus on breaking down barriers caused by transgenerational traumas and adverse experiences, such as, those caused by The Troubles. Using play, we will build resilience in children and young people by recognising and celebrating difference, in turn supporting their positive mental health and well-being.

In terms of resilience, research has highlighted the importance of play in offering children access to opportunities to build characteristics closely associated with high levels of resilience. These include the ability to adapt to distinct or changing circumstances or set-backs and recover from same; the ability to learn and grow from mistakes, challenges and difficult situations enhancing both mental and physical capacity to cope with stress and adversity; the capacity to develop positive self-concept and high self-esteem.

From a cross-community perspective, despite perceived differences, the one uniting factor for all children and young people throughout childhood is PLAY. Children and young people’s lives are full of play opportunities and it is through these play opportunities that children learn about others, explore difference and better understand the world around them. Through play, they are able to develop the skills required for competence in cognitive, creative and social spheres. Critically, in play all children are equal, and it is through the act of play that children and young people’s learning in cooperation and conflict resolution begins.

OUR Generation Team

Katherine Lindsay Dunlop - PlayBoard NI


Service Delivery & Development Coordinator

Aidan Burns - PlayBoard NI


Play Participation Officer

Bernadette McCann - PlayBoard NI


Play Participation Officer

Laura Perry - PlayBoard NI


Play Participation Officer

Roberta Johnston - PlayBoard NI


Play Participation Officer



PlayBoard’s OUR Generation programme offers a suite of training on positive mental health and emotional well-being for parents and practitioners. We also offer a programme for children to support them to build resilience and support their positive mental health.

Delivered by PlayBoard’s OUR Generation team, the project is aimed at staff working with children aged 4 – 11 years in a School Aged Childcare setting, school, or community group, and the parents of children who attend.

The FREE programme will be delivered within the Urban Village areas (North, South, East and West Belfast, and Derry/Londonderry). Settings outside the Urban Village areas but who have children attending from within the areas are also eligible to participate in the programme.

Practitioners’ Training Programme

Course aim

How play can build resilience and support children’s positive mental health.

Session 1 topics:

  • Play

  • Adversities and trauma

  • How we respond to stress

  • Reducing the impact of adversities

  • Resilience

  • The role of play in developing resilience

  • Self-care tools

Session 2 topics:

  • PlayBoard’s Spaces to Be Toolkit

  • Community relations

  • The Playwork approach

  • The Playwork Principles

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Dynamic Risk Assessment

  • Mindfulness

Parents’ Training Programme

Course aim

How play can build resilience and support children’s positive mental health.

Session 1 topics:

  • PlayBoard’s Spaces to Be Toolkit

  • The Playwork approach

  • Adversities and trauma

  • How play can help

  • How we respond to stress

  • Self-care tools

Session 2 topics:

  • Play

  • Benefits of play

  • Promoting play at home

  • How children develop resilience

  • Play based activities to build resilience at home

  • Partnership with parents

Children’s Play Sessions

PlayBoard will facilitate five play sessions for children aged 4 – 11 years.

The play sessions will include a range of practical and playful exercises for children which will support them to build characteristics closely associated with high levels of resilience, support their positive mental health and as a mechanism for positively addressing differences.

Session topics:

  • Individuality and difference

  • Promoting emotional intelligence and resilience

  • People who are special to me

  • My community

  • Celebration and advocating Play Champions

If you would like further information or to book training contact Roberta Johnson, E: roberta.johnson@playboard.co.uk or T: 028 9080 3380 or complete an expression of interest form

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