“A step forward for the Marching Band Community”
The Confederation of Ulster Bands, in partnership with REACT (Armagh) and Rural Community Network, launched the first strategic plan for the organisation on Tuesday 17th June 2014 at Brownlow House, Lurgan. The Confederation itself has been in existence for over 5 years and is representative of the 17 Bands Forums which operate across Northern Ireland.
This regional organisation, adopting a community development approach, worked alongside REACT and RCN for a period of a year developing their own governance structure and strategic direction.
Funding was secured from the Community Relations Council, through their small grants programme to launch this important document as part of Community Relations Week. Special guests and dignitaries were invited from across the region to hear about the work of the Confederation, its successes over the past five years and how it aims to move forward into the future. The event included a panel discussion entitled “Moving forward” with Peter Osborne, Chair of the Community Relations Council, Kenny McFarland, Londonderry Bands Forum and Daragh McDonald, Author of Blood and Thunder. This panel was facilitated by Quincy Dougan, the Newsletter columnist. Blue Eagle Productions performed a short exert from a play "The Pride" which was written by Jonathon Burgess and examines perceptions of the marching bands community.
Valerie Quinn Chair of the Confederation said “For the Confederation of Ulster Bands this is yet another positive step forward for the organisation itself and the member forums. For the past five years as an organisation we have operated completely on a voluntary capacity with no funding, to ensure that the voice of the marching bands community is heard across Northern Ireland with government departments, statutory organisations and the community and voluntary sector. This strategic plan is the first stepping stone for the aspirations and plans of the Confederation and through hard work and commitment from all the members of CUB, we have been able to produce a document that will positively promote our work and the marching band community in years to come.”
For more information on the work of the Confederation visit www.ulsterbands.co.uk or to receive a hard copy of the strategic plan, contact Charmain Jones, Rural Community Network, 02886 766670 or email Charmain@ruralcommunitynetwork.org