Transformative Leadership Programme

The Transformative Leadership Programme (TLP) is a 10-module accredited leadership training programme funded by the Peace IV programme through Belfast City Council (BCC). 

What is the Transformative Leadership Programme? 

The Transformative Leadership Programme (TLP) aims to build leadership skills and connections between people living and working in interface areas of Belfast in order to make change possible (click here for course content). This practical and enjoyable leadership training course has been running since Autumn 2019 in Belfast and has been attended by local people, public sector staff who work in those areas, and political sector reps. NICVA delivers it along with locally based partners across the city: Falls Community Council, West Belfast Partnership Board, East Belfast Community Development Agency and Forward South Partnership.

COVID-19 has meant that we have moved the Programme online - you still get the same content, and the chance to meet up with others from your interface area - in the comfort of your own home! The programme is still accredited at ILM Level 3 for those who would like to pursue accreditation. For 2021 dates - see below.

Interested in the programme? Fill in the Expression of Interest Form.

Who is it for?

This course brings together people from local communities, public sector agencies and those involved in politics, to build leadership skills and share ideas on how to make life better in interface areas. You just need to be:

  • Living or working in the Belfast City Council area
  • Aged 18 or over
  • Would like to learn new ways of working with people from other backgrounds and sectors in order to make life better in interface communities.

Since Autumn 2019, NICVA and partners have run 11 TLP courses across Belfast - our participants have included:   

Local residents and Voluntary and Community Sector: Participants have included: Ligoniel Improvement Association, Newington Housing Association, Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum, Ethnic Minority Support Organisation NI, East Belfast Alternatives, Cliftonville Integrated Primary School PTFA, Women’s TEC, Ashton Community Trust, Community Sports Network, An Droichead, Mornington Community Project, Youth Link NI, Ormeau Business Park, Greater Village Regeneration Trust, Chinese Welfare Association NI, Woodvale Community Centre, Cara Friend. To find out more about voluntary and community sector experiences of the programme click here

Public Sector: participants have included: the Housing Executive; PSNI; Belfast City Council; Belfast Health and Social Care Trust; Queen’s University Belfast; Department of Justice; Department for the Economy. (To find out more about public sector experiences of the programme, click here

Political Sector: the Progressive Unionist Party, SDLP, DUP, Green Party and Sinn Fein. (To find out more about political sector experiences of the programme click here

Helen McLaughlin, the Programme Co-ordinator says:

“Whether you’re brand new to learning about leadership, or you’ve been involved in working to make life better in your area for many years, as a volunteer or as a professional, this course could be for you. We have now transferred to online delivery which means that this opportunity is still available and you don't have to miss out.


What will I get out of it?

  • You’ll be taking part in a world standard leadership training course designed uniquely for Belfast
  • You will learn skills and tools:
    • to explore your own personal leadership
    • to collaborate more effectively with others to make change (building relationships, managing conflict, planning together)
    • to understand local issues in the wider context
    • to explore new ways of dealing with old challenges – social innovation and what it means for interface areas
  • Because the course is part of the wider BCC Peace IV Transform for Change programme, you’ll have opportunities to take part in area-based and city wide networking events and study visits across NI, ROI and UK, when restrictions are lifted.
  • You’ll have the chance to work on a small collaborative project with others on your course
  • You’ll meet and build relationships with people from other backgrounds or sectors who are interested in addressing interface issues
  • You can gain accreditation at Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 3 (this is optional).

This ILM Level 3 accredited course provides skills and tools for working with others to addressing issues facing interface communities (Click here for details of course content). As part of the wider Belfast City Council Transform for Change programme, participants will also have the opportunity to plan projects together and take part in local and Belfast-wide events organised by the council once they have completed the programme.The course covers 10 modules which include:

Where and when is it on?

2021 Dates for North Belfast Transformative Leadership Programme

The course is made up of 10 x 2 hour modules, which will be held online on Zoom on 5 Thursdays on the following dates: 20th May, 27th May, 3rd June, 10th June, 17th June. Each day will comprise a module in the morning 10am - 12pm and a module in the afternoon 1.30pm - 3.30pm. A further date is offered on Thurs 24th June to provide you with support with your accreditation, and for the course group to meet with Belfast City Council to plan your group project. In addition, we provide participants with materials for 10 hours of home learning.

2021 Dates for South Belfast Transformative Leadership Programme Taughmonagh - Finaghy - Annadale - Ballynafeigh

The course is made up of 10 x 2 hour modules, which will be held online on Zoom on 5 Wednesdays on the following dates: 19th May, 26th May, 2nd June, 9th June, 16th June. Each day will comprise a module in the morning 10am - 12pm and a module in the afternoon 1.30pm - 3.30pm. A further date is offered on Wed 23rd June to provide you with support with your accreditation, and for the course group to meet with Belfast City Council to plan your group project. In addition, we provide participants with materials for 10 hours of home learning.


How do I sign up?

You can sign up by completing an Expression of Interest form here:   

TLP Expression of Interest Form

We will then contact you to let you know if you have secured a place, and to confirm your course details.

How do I find out more?

To find out more, contact Helen McLaughlin at NICVA. Email: [email protected]. Tel: 028 9087 7777. 

You can also talk to our delivery partners in your area of Belfast:

  • If you're in North Belfast, it's Helen, as above
  • If you're in West Belfast, contact Gerry McConville at Falls Community Council. Email: [email protected]. Tel: 028 9020 2030
  • If you're in South Belfast, contact Briege Arthurs at Forward South Partnership. Email: [email protected]. Tel: 028 9024 4070
  • If you're in East Belfast, contact Jonny Currie at East Belfast Community Development Agency. Email: [email protected]. Tel: 028 9045 1512

Participant Stories

NICVA and our partners have now delivered the course a number of times across North, South and East and West Belfast and are delighted that participants have agreed to share their stories of their experience of the course. 

Read all our participants stories here. Enjoy the stories!


"Starting the course face to face was great, but due to the Covid-19 situation everything was put on hold. But very soon after, everything was up and running again all online, at the start I wasn't sure how it would work. Using Zoom we finished the course, it was great to get back and involved with others again. Using the breakout rooms worked great and hearing different views from others also. Guest speakers also joined us and we didn't miss out. It was well worth taking part and I would definitely advise others to take part"
Zoe Ferguson, Treasurer, Cliftonville Integrated Primary School PTA.

A participant on our Spring 2020 Crumlin Road Ardoyne Glenbryn online TLP course said: 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the programme, and was delighted I was able to complete the programme online. Working in Queen’s, I understand the transition from classroom teaching to online teaching has not been easy and to make it so seamless has been fantastic"
Claire Regan, QUB, participant on Crumlin Road Ardoyne Glenbryn TLP May 2020


Promotional Videos

About the programme:

Coming together:

Belfast Peace 4 programme



TLP Participant Story: North Belfast TLP Autumn 2020: Gemma Cowles, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)

“I watched people blossoming over the 10 sessions of the course. And I learned to retreat a bit at times and to listen a bit better. It was very transformative from one end of it to the other.”

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story South Belfast TLP Autumn 2020

“It was amazing. I enjoyed doing Projects, exchange experiences, and gaining advice. Thanks” (participant from Chinese Welfare Association)

Transformative Leadership Programme - Join us for 2021!

Interface-based leadership course – sign up now for Jan - Feb dates!

Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants’ Stories

The Transformative Leadership Programme (TLP) is part of the Peace IV funded Belfast City Council Transform for Change (TfC) programme

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story Michael O’Hara, Suffolk Lenadoon TLP Autumn 2020

Michael participated in the Suffolk/Lenadoon TLP. The course started in February 2020 and had completed only 3 days before the Covid-19 lockdown occurred, and the course was put on hold. It resumed again online and was completed in October 2020.

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story Jahswill Emmanuel, North Belfast TLP, Autumn 2020

Jahswill Emmanuel is Chair and founder of MSCNI (Multi-Ethnic Sports and Cultures NI). Here he shares his TLP story.

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - Karen Pateman, DFE Limestone Road TLP, Spring 2020

Karen Pateman works for the Department of the Economy and did the Transformative Leadership Programme in Spring 2020. Karen shares her TLP story here.


The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - Falls Shankill TLP Autumn 2019

The first group to do the TLP course in the Falls Shankill area completed in Autumn 2019. The majority of participants had not participated in any similar type of programmes. Here are their reflections on TLP. 

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - Suffolk Lenadoon TLP, Autumn 2019

The first Suffolk Lenadoon TLP group completed their course in Autumn 2019. We hear more about their TLP story.

The Transformative Leadership Programme: Participants tell their story - David Murphy, Village Westlink TLP Spring 2020

David Murphy works at South City Resource and Development Centre. Here he shares his TLP story.'s picture

Helen McLaughlin

Project Coordinator


Mary McCaughey Programme Support Officer (TLP)'s picture

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