Uniting Communities is a cross community youth sport and creativity programme delivered by the Department for Communities (DfC).

Uniting Communities logoIt is one of the seven headline actions included in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Strategy where it sits under the T:BUC priority, 'Our children and young people'.

This priority aims to: Continue to improve attitudes among young people and to build a community where they can play a full and active role in building good relations.

Uniting Communities uses sport, physical and creativity to build good relations between young people from different community backgrounds.  It is delivered in both urban and rural settings to young people aged between 11-24 years and it focuses primarily on youth engagement and leadership training.  It seeks to deliver on the following outcomes;

  • Engage young people in sport, physical and creative activity that brings communities together and helps create the next generation of community leaders
  • Positive attitude towards those from different political, religious, ethnic, and marginalised backgrounds
  • Increased community capacity and capability

Uniting Communities programmes have two strands; Young Leaders and Participants. 

Young Leaders

Young Leaders are aged between 16-24 years and are challenged through an exciting training package to become the next generation of community leaders. Young Leaders are supported to co-design and actively deliver an action plan targeted at Participants (11-16 year olds), which sets out how they intend to improve good relations using sport and creativity.


Participants are aged between 11-16 years and are invited to participate in a series of sports, physical and creativity sessions which seek to bring young people together, share experiences, and promote good relations.  Participants are invited to engage in the programme through local schools, youth clubs and other community groups in the area. 

Video: Enhancing Good Relations

Footage from two celebration events organised by Young Leaders from the Uniting Colin and Eastside and Uniting Erne East programmes. This video shows how Uniting Communities is bringing young people together and includes interviews from young leaders, project partners and 11-16 year old participants.

Programme Structure

Typically a Uniting Communities programme takes approximately 18 to 24 months to complete and is rolled out in four phases: 

Phase One Recruitment and Training of Young Leaders (aged 16-24)
Phase Two Recruitment of Participants (aged 11-16)
Phase Three Delivery of Community Based Good Relations Activity through Sports and Creativity
Phase Four Embedding Sustainability with Young Leaders designing and delivering their own projects in the community

Due to the intensity of programme delivery, it is rolled out on an area by area basis.  At present the Uniting Communities Programme is delivering in the following areas:

Diagram showing Uniting Communities programmes The Uniting Communities programme is also supported by three other elements:


You can contact the Uniting Communities Team on;

E: tbuc@communities-ni.gov.uk
T: 028 9082 3354

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