The Scaffolding Project


The Scaffolding Project was established in 2017 with the aim of developing a strategic approach to alleviate the effects of poverty in east Belfast. It was born out of a working group of representatives from a number of community and voluntary organisations who were already delivering support services and who desired to work collaboratively to maximise resources in the local community. Local statistical evidence supports the reality of food and fuel poverty as the main areas of concern and wider research confirms the prevalence of food and fuel poverty as a national problem. It was agreed that whilst it isn’t possible to eradicate poverty entirely, additional work should be done to support the organisations already delivering anti-poverty services. 

The Scaffolding Project has 3 strategic aims:

1.   To establish a more strategic approach to tackling poverty in east Belfast through the Scaffolding Project working group

2.   To map the variety of support services available to people experiencing poverty in east Belfast and establish an appropriate signposting pathway through the working group

3.   To facilitate campaigns, activities and events to raise awareness of the issues of poverty and the services aiming to alleviate it within east Belfast. Increasing the level of donation and number of volunteers in support of the organisations in the working group.

The Scaffolding Project co-ordinates the collaborative work of community and voluntary organisations within the strategic structure of a pathway. The aim being to offer holistic support to those in need and at point of crisis.


Campaigns, activities and events aim to raise awareness of the issues of poverty, gain additional support, and influence change at individual, organisational and policy level.To date various activities have been undertaken to address some of the issues and to support people in need:

  • In the summer of 2017 a community ‘call out’ was made for donations of school uniforms for re-cycle. The principle of the initiative was ‘give and receive’ allowing people to donate uniform and/or choose items for the new school year. This enterprise was widely supported, and uniform stalls were hosted at four different events in July and August including the EastSide Arts Festival Fun Day in C.S. Lewis Square.
  • Throughout August 2017, funds were given to support the EBCDA summer nutrition programme, that provided healthy food parcels to 57 families in east Belfast.
  • In December the Scaffolding Project hosted a ‘Re-Gift’ stall at the Christmas market in C.S. Lewis Square as a fund-raising activity. The team worked together to source items and hosted a fabulous Christmas gift stall.  It was supported by many local people and the funds raised have helped meet the need of those in crisis.​
  • Additionally, throughout December 2017/January 2018 organisations within the working group were supported to supply approximately 1,300 food hampers with quality food and vouchers for the local butchers.

Membership of the project exists across a variety of organisations (see below) with active support from local politicians. 

The Scaffolding project is supported by the Urban Villages Initiative. The Urban Villages Initiative is a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy. It is designed to improve good relations outcomes and to help develop thriving places where there has previously been a history of deprivation and community tension.