About Us

The REACH projects aim is to deliver the hopes of the P.U.L. community, helping them to understand their history and culture. To educate both the young and the elderly so it helps our people to move onto a peaceful and brighter future for all of the people of Northern Ireland. To deliver a single identity program based around renewing, engaging and advancing community hopes in the Newtownards Road/Ballymacarrett area using history and culture.

  1. To engage, educate and inform the parents, helping them understand their history and culture. 2. To engage, educate and inform the young people, helping them to understand their history and culture.

If you have any questions please feel free to call – 028 9045 7657

 

LATEST – 8th November

http://www.carrickfergustimes.co.uk/news/african-orphans-benefit-from-lcc-volunteers-1-8235268

A Carrick man has spoken of his involvement in a project assisting staff at an orphanage in Africa and the personal development he experienced.

The LCC team of volunteers pictured with David Campbell (LCC Chairman) and Bob Thompson.

Robert (Bertie) McWilliams has returned from Tanzania after spending a month there as part of a Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) delegation.

Bertie was one of eight volunteers from across Northern Ireland who travelled to the east African country under the stewardship of project leader, Bob Thompson.

The group spent four weeks working with the Kidzcare orphanage and schools in Tanzania from September 17. The purpose of the project was to promote team building within different loyalist communities, offer international work experience and personal development and to expose the volunteers to different cultures, religions and challenges, while at the same time benefitting the children of the orphanage. The aim was to make a difference both at home and in Africa.

Ahead of their departure, Bertie was unsure how his special diabetic dietary requirements were going to be met in Africa. He also questioned his participation in the project as he knew he would miss his six-year-old daughter a lot.

Bertie, who works as a window fitter/joiner, was able to use his skills in Africa to carry out maintenance at the orphanage.

Commenting on the duties he performed in Tanzania and his interaction with the orphans, the east Antrim man said: “Straight away we got stuck into general maintenance work around the orphanage and whilst doing that we met the beautiful kids that stayed there.

“All our hearts were touched as these kids really have nothing and they are the most happy and friendly wee kids I have ever met. We soon learned that these kids are very much the lucky ones compared to others, as they have a safe life and love at the orphanage and without the staff they would be desolate and abandoned.

“Listening to their individual life stories would melt the hardest heart. My thoughts went back to my own daughter and I realised just how well-off she is compared to these kids.”

Although most of their time was spent carrying out work around the orphanage, the LCC volunteers were able to experience African culture on a rare day off.

Bertie explained: “We spent our day off by having a beach day with the kids.

“We had a fantastic time enjoying the beach, the warm Indian Ocean and most of all having fun with the kids. The trip home on the bus was amazing with the kids entertaining us with selection of Swahili songs.”

On his return, Bertie, who said he would be keen to volunteer in Africa again, said: “I learned to respect a lot of things back home, such as hot water, food and family. Everyone realised just how well off we are back home and none of us will take things for granted again.

“We went to Africa as strangers and returned as a family of the LCC and we will support each other from now on. I now see things very differently and I am so glad I got the opportunity to do it.”

Bertie would like to thank everyone for their support, the sponsors, the LCC and its chairman David Campbell for the idea and Bob Thompson the project leader for putting it all together.

For more information about the orphanage and the project, check out www.kidzcaretanzania.org

 

 

 7th November

Why Micheal Martin is a key unionist ally against resurgent republicanism

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/why-micheal-martin-is-a-key-unionist-ally-against-resurgent-republicanism-36265185.html

 

 

 18th October

 

Finally the LCC Tanzania Project challenge is over.
 
All arrived home safe and sound yesterday evening and with the exception of a few mosquito bites everyone is in good health and condition.
 
Berty, a member of Dalaradia/REACH, remarked “the trip started with three groups of strangers and ended with one group of family”.
 
The month away raised some challenges but as each challenge was overcome the bond of friendship grew stronger. The children of the orphanage touched their hearts and have shaped their lives for the future.
 
This is something we hope to build on for the future helping less fortune people. One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
 
Well done to everyone involved, you are a credit to your community.
 
For more information on this project check out:

 

26th September

On 12th May 2016 the Loyalist Communities Council launched a Flags Protocol.

Its aim, to prevent our national emblems being left on display in a dilapidated state and asking that steps were taken to prevent this occurring.

REACH, as part of the LCC, ask that, as agreed, all remaining flags be taken down on or as soon as possible after Ulster Day – 28th September 2017.

Flags and emblems are highly potent symbols of community allegiances and are important demonstrators of our Loyalist and Unionist heritage and culture.

Please treat them as such – many thanks.

http://www.lcc-ni.com/
http://www.dalaradia.co.uk/

 

20th September 2017

“RED HAND COMMANDO” (RHC) FORMALLY REQUESTS TO BE REMOVED AS A “PROSCRIBED” ORGANISATION

The Loyalist grouping known as the Red Hand Commando (RHC) has officially requested to be removed from the list of proscribed organisations. The request was made in London and will be looked at by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. At the time of writing it is not known how long it will take for a decision to be made. Reaction to the request has been somewhat mixed.

The application has been made under Section 4 of the Terrorism Act (2000) which allows for members of a banned group to contact the government to request deproscription without themselves facing the threat of being charged with membership. The theory being that deproscription could help an organisation move forward towards integration and obviously away from previous association with violence.

The initiative is being supported by the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), the umbrella organisation set up by Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell to steer paramilitaries away from criminality, and the LCC’s chairman, David Campbell, said that Mr Powell supported the application to the Home Secretary. Mr Campbell argued that in retaining the paramilitary name, rather than disbanding, it would be harder for dissidents to seek to revive it at a future point. There has always been a fear that ‘dissident’ Loyalists could use the name of the three main Loyalist paramilitary organisations as a cover for criminal activity.

Senior Loyalist Jim Wilson (a former RHC prisoner) stated that;

“This organisation is not about glorifying murder, bombings, shootings – it happened in a conflict that we got engaged in as young lads and it’s not something that people want to run about and gloat about and to have it pushed into people’s faces. That’s not what deprosciption is about – it’s about allowing us to move to the next phase which is out of conflict, away from what happened in this society and all those people that were hurt by our organisation, Gusty Spence couldn’t have said it any better – it is true and abject remorse. But we were brought up in a society where there was violence and young lads from our Protestant community engaged in it and that’s it – the organisation couldn’t be any clearer; it’s sorry for the people that had to be hurt in this conflict.”

The words obviously hit a nerve with Gerry Kelly of Sinn Fein as he described the move as ‘abhorrent’. When it was pointed out to him that his actions and the actions of his former IRA colleagues went beyond abhorrent into mass sectarian genocide and that it was hypocritical of him to even comment on this move he decided to skulk off elsewhere. But there was widespread concern amongst victims groups that, in not dealing with the needs of victims and their families first, this type of move could be seen as too soon and too upsetting. Others welcomed the move and saw it as progressive and potentially ground-breaking.

Then there is the “politics” of it all and the repercussions should such a decision be given a positive outcome. Some seasoned political commentators queried what sane government would give the go ahead to legalise a former paramilitary group? What are the benefits to a Tory government when the media exposes Loyalist criminality (or what purports to be Loyalist criminality)? This idea could prove toxic to a government with a slim majority. In turn would those groupings intent on criminality latch on to “legal” groupings to ensure a type of “cover” or veneer of respectability? And the government will worry about the negative headlines around this. Then again the U.K. Government might just offer the suggestion that all this is pointless and groupings should leave the stage voluntarily. Which in turn creates a vacuum to be filled by criminal elements masquerading as loyalists. It is a complex issue indeed.

There is no doubt that within Loyalism there continues to be great desires to remodel and copper fasten the progress achieved during the last decade. Any new initiative to speed up reintegration must be viewed through a prism of positivity if we are to bring everyone forward. The removal of proscription carries with it many risks and it will be interesting to see how the mainland politicians deal with such a request.”

End

 

 

19th September 2017

Various articles relating to announcement:  Belfast Telegraph –  Eamonn Mallie.comBelfast Telegraph 2Slugger Otoole

 

12th September 2017

First Loyalist group applies to Home Secretary to be legalised. For more details click the following link – http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/first-loyalist-paramilitary-group-applies-to-home-secretary-to-be-legalised-1-8145559

 

RHC full statement

LCC statement

PUP statement

 

 

10th August 2017

A group from Loyalist communities (Among them members of REACH) have been selected to participate in a pilot scheme to undertake charitable work with a local orphanage in Tanzania. For more details click the following link – http://www.reachproject.co.uk/events/tanzania-project/

 

9th August 2017

REACH are facilitating a history course commencing 7pm Wednesday 6th September 2017  at REACH offices,240 Newtownards Road, Belfast to Bodenstown. 6 Workshops, 2 site visits (Belfast and Saintfield) plus a 2 day residential in Wicklow. If you are interested please contact our office on 02890 457657 or email reachni3@outlook.com. The course is FREE to attend.

 

23rd June 2017

 

REACH are now providing First Aid courses for the local Community. For more information please click the following:

http://www.reachproject.co.uk/community/first-aid-courses/

22nd June 2017

 

REACH are now providing a food bank to distribute food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough to avoid hunger. For more information please click the following:

http://www.reachproject.co.uk/community/food-bank/

 

1st May 2017

Proposals on Past open path to Truth

http://www.reachproject.co.uk/2017/05/01/proposals-on-past-open-path-to-truth/