Sixty ladies from across Derry/Londonderry took part in the project and were involved in researching and subsequently choosing a woman from their community, their city or further afield, who had made an impact on Northern Ireland society. This also gave participants the opportunity to discuss how women in Northern Ireland have impacted on peace and reconciliation over the years.

Speaking during the event, TWN chair, Patricia Lewsley-Mooney said: ‘The project ‘Ripples in the Pond’ was born. The reason for this title you may ask? Derry/Londonderry sits on the River Foyle and as we all know throwing a pebble in a pond creates a ripple effect that spreads far and wide. That is exactly the affect that cross-community dialogue and discussion between women can create – those tiny ripples can and will create waves for change in not only individual communities but across this DiverseCity.

‘We have all seen the success of the project here tonight. The wonderful deliberations, role playing, poetry and telling the stories of so many great, brilliant women out there that so inspire us across all our communities.’

The aim of the ‘Ripples in the Pond’ project was to increase the sense of community belonging between participants whilst celebrating the diversity that enriches our society so that all participants could feel equipped and able to positively contribute to good relations between communities.

With over 60 local women from community organisations such as Galliagh Women’s Group and Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group and Nelson Drive’s Women’s Network taking part, an excellent night’s programme saw a keynote address by Rev. Judi McGaffin, poetry by Margo Connolly (Galliagh Women’s Group), An in-depth talk on the late Mo Mowlan and Cecil Frances Alexander as well as a number of local women praised for their success in their own communities.

Also notable was Caw Nelson Drive Action Group’s piece on the life of Laura Gailey, while Rena McGlinchey also sang ‘Somewhere in the Shadows’ which moved quite a few members.

Catherine Cook, organiser said she was delighted with the success of the project and from momentum it appeared more similar projects should be in the pipeline. She also commented: “I was really looking forward to the many presentations tonight and to hear about the women who were researched by the groups and their findings. I was not disappointed and great credit to all those who took part tonight and throughout the programme. I recall the previous ‘Framing the Future’ closing event last year where we had some budding actresses and fabulous musicians taking part and we were not disappointed again tonight.’