An event has been held to celebrate the achievements of 10 young people from the Gilford area of County Down who completed the Making a Difference Project 2020.
The Making a Difference Project, funded by The Executive Office (TEO) and delivered under the Planned Interventions Programme as part of the wider Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Strategy, is focused on young people in interface areas and areas where there is the potential of unrest during the summer period.
The Programme aims to improve attitudes between young people who come from different community backgrounds, and reduce incidents of anti-social and risk taking behaviour by young people.
The Project involved 10 young men (aged 14-16 years) participating in 12 sessions over a five week period, combining informal education opportunities with diversionary activities. These included:
- Team building
- Diversity workshop exploring perceptions, prejudice and stereotypes
- Be Positive training (facilitated by PIPS Hope and Support)
- PSNI question and answer session
- Mountain biking
- Night Safe workshop, and
- Coasteering and rock climbing.
The outcomes of the project included an increase in mutual understanding among participants, and an increased self-awareness and appreciation for the concept of community safety.
Speaking following her attendance at the celebration, Charlene Sharkey, TEO’s Good Relations and T:BUC Division, said:
“It was a privilege to take part in the celebration event for the young people from Gilford Youth who participated in the ‘Making a Difference Project 2020’, part of TEO’s Planned Interventions Programme. I would like to say well done to all involved and wish each one of them all the best in the future.”
Due to the current covid-19 pandemic limited programmes are currently being delivered, with group numbers restricted to a maximum of ten participants. Groups adhered to Public Health Agency advice throughout all aspects of their programmes.
Despite the current pandemic it has been encouraging to see so many groups delivering under the Planned Interventions Programme, with 91 groups delivering projects in their local areas.
TEO would like to play tribute to the hard work and dedication of The Education Authority who administer the Programme, and group leaders for their commitment in delivering the Programme to date.