The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - Terry McCallum, Belfast City Council Falls Shankill TLP Spring 2020

Terry McCallum works for Belfast City Council’s Community Services Department. Here she shares her TLP story.

Terry McCallum from Belfast City Council did her TLP course in Falls / Shankill in Spring 2020 – the course managed to finish just before lockdown! Terry works in the greater Shankill area, so is familiar with the Crumlin Road/Twaddell interface, the Highfield / Black Mountain interface and also Lanark Way, Northumberland Street, Howard Street and Carlisle Circus.

I work for a statutory organisation. What makes me want to get involved is the opportunity to work with community organisations within the community that I work in and that I live in.



What motivated you to sign up?

I work for a statutory organisation. What makes me want to get involved is the opportunity to work with community organisations within the community that I work in and that I live in. So I’ll take that opportunity if it relates to my work, anywhere, anytime.

Experience and Learning

What did you like about the course? 

The variety! Let me try to be clear about this. While TLP is about one topic i.e. interface areas, transformation and leadership skills, there was still the variety of issues. Within the modules there are so many points that you can use. There are so many reference tools within each module that are really useful and you’re probably using them. But this is pinpointing how to use them and how to move on.

What topics stood out for you?

Nothing particularly, because every day I have taken away something that was pretty good. I enjoyed that! So far, I have really liked breaking down what’s a positive thing that you could do about a chosen issue i.e. ASB at an interface area; who can support that and who is a blockage to it. So I’m really enjoying that type of exercise and that is happening at every session. It helps me identify a pathway but it has also helped me recognise that I am already doing this but I’m just not breaking it down in my head as much, I’m slamming on a bit - maybe.

What are you likely to ‘take back’ to your life/work in the community?

The reference tools within all of the modules. I think it is so important for statutory agencies to be given networking opportunities with communities. How do you know what’s happening at community level if there isn’t that engagement? We’ve looked at good relations and how good relations takes in everything and I think there needs to be more awareness about that for those working in the good relations field. The importance of the elements within Good Relations, such as community safety & community development.

What difference has it made?

Is there anything you could or would do now that you wouldn’t have felt able to do before?

I will be using the templates to monitor, for myself: I have tried this, I have tried that; this is working, this is not working, and where do I go from here.

Are there people/agencies you feel able to talk to and work with now that you weren’t before?

It has opened up relationships with those statutory groups i.e. the participant from Department of Justice and I have attended the same meetings quite a lot together but we didn’t have any personal relationship – we now do. So it’s been a good networking opportunity. For other participants, community reps, I feel this has also allowed for some relationships to be built.

What difference will this make to how you engage in your interface area?

Within our class if there is something people want to get involved in I would be more than happy. Within my personal life as a resident if there is something that’s happening, if there is a project, yes, absolutely.

What difference will the course make to the interface area overall? Especially in terms of relationships, collaboration and increased understanding in the area?

Every module has delved a little bit deeper. So within each day attended and each module - we have looked at something different. Looking at people living at the interface, breaking up into working groups. There were some great ideas about how marginalised people might address fears and meet. Or a conduit to them meeting - we looked at that. There were some great ideas shared on that. I will be encouraging people that I work with to register for this course.

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