The Greater Shantallow Area Partnership, commonly referred to as GSAP is a core community support agency operating across Galliagh, Shantallow, Carnhill, Culmore, Skeoge, Pennyburn, Ballynashallog and wider Derry City & Strabane District Council Area. We work with local residents, community/voluntary sector groups and statutory/private organisations to help improve the social, community, economic and physical regeneration of the area.

Peter Mc Donald current Chairperson of GSAP with MP and former MLA, Mayor and local Cllr Elisha Mc Callion and Founding member Joe Martin at GSAP 20th Anniversary Celebration Event in the Guildhall (Oct 2015)

Our vision

“To develop and sustain a vibrant community & voluntary sector in the Greater Shantallow area in which well-informed people enjoy high quality, sustainable and appropriate services in an accessible, well-managed environment"

The strategies we use to meet our overall objectives have included:

  • Providing a broad range of services, programmes and activities to individuals, families and communities within the Greater Shantallow Area to help address the problems associated with living in poverty, to help improve residents’ health and well-being, to increase their skills and qualifications and overall improve their quality of life;
  • Focusing on informing, supporting and strengthening the community/voluntary sector operating in the area;
  • Working in partnership with other agencies to establish social, community and economic improvements within the area, develop new community infrastructure and secure the widest range of services is available that helps meet the needs of the population


A public meeting in October 1995 facilitated by Joe Martin (a founding board member and subsequent chairperson of GSAP during the period 2005-2008) led to the formation of GSAP’s voluntary 20 member management board chaired by Joe Mc Laughlin (then Chief Executive North side Development Trust). We obtained our first office at the NIHE District 3 offices at Collon Lane from the NIHE Housing Manager at the time (Seamus Kelly) who was also a founding member of the GSAP board and at the same time secured our first funding package which came from the DOE (Londonderry Development Office) through the assistance of Mr. John Tourney who by all accounts at this time was a very strong advocate for the development of local partnerships across the city This funding enabled GSAP to commission the Housing Research Centre at Magee to carry out a community consultation and audit of the needs in the Greater Shantallow Area which later resulted in a report published by GSAP in August 1996 entitled Building Successful Communities. We accessed further financial assistance from LDO, CFNI (formerly NIVT) and Council which enabled GSAP to appoint a full time Project Manager (Carol Mc Keever). John Thompson was subsequently elected as GSAP chairperson in 1996 and a year later saw the appointment of Darren Kirby as PM in May 1997 and a move to St Brigids Parish Centre later that year.

In 1998 Charlie Mc Daid took up the reigns as chairperson of GSAP to 2000 and who like our current Chairperson Peter enjoyed it soo much that he came back to take up the role again for the second time from 2003-2005. In 2000 Philip Sheerin took up the post as Chairperson from 2000-2002 and this was then followed by a move to Northside Village Centre in 2002 under GSAP chairperson Peter Mc Donald, an expansion of our premises at Northside in Nov 2007 under GSAP chairperson Joe Martin and then again a further expansion of our premises in 2012 under our current chairperson Peter Mc Donald.

 In those first 10 years GSAP programme delivery included a major Community Capacity & technical assistance Building Programme (1999) (funded and supported by the Local Strategy Partnership) to support the C&V sector, our out of schools programmes with 5 local schools (funded by the New Opportunities Fund), our health improvement initiatives such as Health first (in partnership with the WHSCT, funded by NOF), wider horizons youth development programmes (funded by IFI / DEL & FAS), community drug and alcohol awareness project (funded by the WHSCT and later Pilgrim Trust), community safety projects funded through NIO, our volunteer programme funded through the VCU/DSD and employability programmes such as Work track (funded by DEL and lead by Maydown Ebrington).

In 2005, the NR strategy was launched and over the next two years a series of public meetings and planning meetings, many of which were facilitated by GSAP chairperson at the time Joe Martin were held across the area. This culminated, in GSAP taking on the secretariat role for the new ONNRP and Darren moving over to Strategy Manager of the ONP and Ciara Ferguson being entrusted to take on the role of project Manager of GSAP in October 2007. From that period onwards GSAP and ONNRP staff and members played a pivotal role in helping to ensure the area could benefit from ongoing and significant investment to deliver much needed physical, community, social and economic renewal projects and services. We worked hard to help bring a greater focus and importance on cross sectoral collaborative working and from 2008, GSAP not only helped develop but also took the lead on a number of significant cross-sectoral programmes in the area, such as the Learner Access & Engagement Programme (in partnership with the NWRC and no of outreach community centres in the area), the Extended Schools Cluster Initiative (in partnership with 17 local schools and funded by the WELB), Employment Support Programmes (such as Kickstart, Derry2020 and currently the Skills2020 Project), Active Citizenship (funded by Derry City Council), the Shantallow Youth Leadership Programme (Funded by Co-operation Ireland) and the Family Support Hub (funded by DSD / WHSCT/WELB),

 Also, in late 2008, GSAP became actively engaged in the development of the new regeneration plan for the city which resulted in GSAP in June 2009 working closely with ILEX and playing a key role in the delivery of the community engagement (Citi scope) element of the One plan. From 2010, we continued to work with a host of individuals and organisations both locally and city wide to develop innovative solutions to problems faced by residents in the community and these included Early Intervention Programmes (such as Talking to our Babies, ASPIRE NI, and FAST), in partnership with agencies such as the WHSCT, St. Brigid’s College, and Save the Children etc., the GS affordable loan pilot project (In partnership with organisations such as Apex Housing, Consumer Council NI and Credit Union), the Shantallow Foodbank (in partnership with our 4 local churches led by the Churches Trust) and more recently the Foyle Community Work (in partnership with the 4 NRPs, Ilex, Council, DSD, OFMDFM, DEL).

 A noteworthy milestone during our more recent times was the establishment in April 2011 of GSAP’s social research trading subsidiary which has once again partnered with Ilex and the Ulster University and completed the new citizen survey across the new DC&SDC area with the assistance of 52 residents living across the District. Also worth a mention in 2012, when GSAP similar to our early days with the Wider Horizon programme- we once again began to look beyond the city and region and was successful in securing investment under the Grundtvig programme which enabled over 50 members of the community to take part in the Questing Programme visiting our partners in Poland, Italy and Czech Republic and hosting participants from all three countries in the city this time last year

Also a remarkable period in our community and the city at this time was City of Culture 2013. Leading up to 2013 our community proactively, came together, mapped our arts and cultural  assets, assessed our needs and carried out a comprehensive consultation process which lead to the development of a new 5 year Arts and Cultural Strategy published and launched through funding from the Culture Company. This led to us securing substantial investment from DCAL and Council to support the role out 43 local arts and culture projects run by 33 organisations in the Greater Shantallow Area in 2013.

GSAP’s first 20 years can most definitely be defined by a kaleidoscope of happy memories, supportive friendships and enduring relationships. Also more recently, our community by working together has successfully delivered on a range of new and additional community led programmes, capital investment projects and events. Some of the capital achievements made over the past few years includethe completion and launch of the extension to Rainbow Child and Family Centre, Leafair Outdoor Gym and Mens Cabin, St Brigids Parish Centre refurbishment, St Pauls PS Family Room, the completion of Na Magha Hurling Club new club house, GSCA Refurbishment at Studio Two, St Joseph’s boxing club new facilities, the new regional playpark at Ballyarnett Country Park, the ongoing development of Leafair Sport & Leisure Facility and the planned refurbishment and extension to Shantallow CC, the refurbishment of Victoria Hall and the development of a new community centre in Galliagh and Culmore. These achievements and ongoing work demonstrate the importance of partnership working and collaboration and the hard work, capacity, commitment and strength of our community & voluntary sector in the Greater Shantallow Area.

GSAP give prime importance to strengthen existing partnerships, build new ones and be actively seeking out collaborative ways to achieve the best result for residents in the area. We aim to continue to develop real partnerships between community groups and residents with statutory agencies and local government, so existing services are retained and new solutions, led by local people, can be found for important social problems. We will consistently demonstrate our commitment to community ownership by investing in close dialogue with local people and organisations as they identify their own development priorities and we will remain steadfast in our commitment to paying close attention to the needs of our most vulnerable groups.

If you would like to find out more information about what we do and the services we provide, please feel feel to browse through our website, check out our latest annual reports below, check out local our annual Performance & Achievements 2019 each year. This will give you a flavour of the work that we have been carrying out within the Greater Shantallow / Outer North area over the last year.

History of GSAP with photos. 





ANNUAL REPORT - 2017 GSAP(annualReport)(V1)(201617)(231017).doc
ANNUAL REPORT - 2015 GSAP(AnnualReport)(2015).pdf
ANNUAL REPORT - 2014 GSAP(AnnualReport)(2014).pdf