Koram Centre Northern Ireland

The Koram Centre is a counselling provider, set up to respond to those people suffering in silence after the conflict in Northern Ireland. It provides support to victims and survivors through listening & counselling and works mainly through local volunteers. The aim is to aid both individual and community healing through providing the space for people to express their feelings and be empowered.

The organisation was formed in 1996 as a befriending and counselling association. Its task was to provide safe space and confidentiality for those who wanted to talk using local volunteers. Assured of confidentiality, victims and survivors of the conflict were able to receive one to one support from trained and supervised volunteer 'Listening Ears'. The volunteers are trained by the Institute for Counselling and Personal Development, Belfast, through its 'competent helper' programmes. Part-time counsellors are also on hand to administer further support if needed. The Koram Centre has also been successful in implementing outreach programmes so people could engage in a shared learning environment with those that had experienced similar situations.

Community Counselling Course

An accredited course in solution-focused counselling skills, open to professionals or volunteers working in the community. The aim is to support both individual and community healing through training people to promote positive relationship-building and good mental health. The course is delivered using a solution-focused approach, and aims to enable personal healing and promote positive mental health and well-being.

Transformative Dialogue

Transformative dialogue seeks to bring together victims and survivors of conflict from both sides. It is concerned with dealing with the past, mediating and negotiating to find a way forward. The centre is presently working with two US universities to develop a model of transformative dialogue which will be suitable for local requirements. The aim is to develop a model of restorative justice which will be responsive to the needs and specific conditions of Northern Ireland.

Last updated: August 2009