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Local Children and Young People ‘Voice’ On Their Future

Local Children and Young People ‘Voice’ On Their Future

Fri, November 02, 2018

Over 300 children and young people aged 14-24 across the Causeway Coast and Glens have been coming together to learn how to engage positively within their communities whilst improving and developing relations with others across the council area. 

The Developing Our Young Leaders programme encourages children and young people from different religious and cultural backgrounds to come together to participate in positive engagement and good relations programmes, with the aim of building positive relationships between and within local communities, leaving a lasting legacy for peace and reconciliation.

Due to run until September 2019, the programme has been created within the Children and Young People theme, which is one of three funded target areas within European Union’s Peace IV funding received by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Coordinated by Copius Consulting, the programme was aptly named the DOYL Consortium and is specifically designed to equip 300 young people aged 14-24 with skills and capacity to engage positively in their communities, demonstrating awareness of diversity issues and application of peer group leadership that promotes and enables cross-community cohesion.

Manus Magill, Chief Executive of Copius, stated in relation to the programme: ‘we started off with an aim to help empower our young people, to build their confidence, their life skills and begin to equip them with the necessary skills they will require in the future.’ He added, ‘little did we know, that the programme would be met with such energy from our young people who had a clear vision of how their voices should be listened to in the future. To watch them grow week on week and to see their importance towards things such as leadership, active citizenship and other community based concepts was memorising, and underlines why a project like this is vital in the development of our children and young people.’

Katie, one of the young people participating in the project from Limavady, commented on her involvement in the programmes: ‘Being part of the Developing Our Young Leaders project has been great. I have been able to make lots of new friends and also learn new skills. I really enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the workshops and learn how I can help benefit my community in the future. I also really enjoyed the cross-community element of the project as it has allowed me to develop a good understanding and appreciation of other people’s cultures’.

This programme was implemented across a mixture of urban and rural communities in six pre-identified areas, each of which has its own circumstances and local influencing factors. The DOYL consortium included at least one community and one youth partner organisation in each of the selected areas who provided an essential local link, with the children and young people being recruited from areas across the borough including areas such as Coleraine, Limavady, Cushendall, Dervock, Bushmills and Ballycastle.

Councillor Dermot Nicholl, Chairman of the Causeway Coast and Glens Peace IV Partnership welcomed the programme, stating: “This programme is just one element within the Children and Young People theme funded under the SEUPB’s Peace IV programme for the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.  This particular programme is exciting as it operates on a borough-wide basis, drawing in young people from throughout the council area on a cross-community and cross-cultural basis. It offers an excellent opportunity for outreach and engagement whilst the young participants involved can gain key transferable skills that can be applied in their lives such as leadership, personal resilience and conflict resolution skills. The dynamic nature of this project demonstrates the potential and capacity of Peace IV funding in the council area to encourage real transformation within our local communities, especially within the lives of our young people.”

Another youth participant, Dale from North Antrim, also remarked: “I’ve enjoyed meeting people from different places and learning about things that we don’t really learn about in school. I am also really looking forward to the cross-border trips.” The Developing Our Young Leaders Action Plan launch will take place on 7th November in the Bann Gallery, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council offices in Cloonavin, Coleraine between 6pm and 8pm. 

If you wish to attend or require further information, please contact Edward Hanna at Copius Consulting.  Telephone:  07739325556 or Email: manus@copiusconsulting.co.uk.  www.copiusconsulting.co.uk

For further information on Causeway Coast and Glens Council including the SEUPB Peace IV Programme visit: https://www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/peace-iv or email: peaceIV@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk.

The financial allocations for all of the local authority funding awards under the Peace IV Programme are based on per capita (Census) and deprivation (NI Multiple Deprivation Measure and Trutz Haase Deprivation Index).

A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).