Newly qualified youth workers in North Belfast will now be able to give back to the community.
The 14 graduates received an OCNNI Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice. Ardoyne Youth Enterprise (AYE) led the training, supported by the North Belfast Strategic Good Relations Programme (NBSGRP).
NBSGRP is delivered by the Community Relations Council in partnership with the Executive Office.
Fully Qualified Youth Workers
The qualification enables participants to work as fully qualified youth workers, and can then progress to Ulster University’s Certificate in Youth Studies.
Ruth Curran, a new graduate, is now working with Ardoyne Youth Enterprise as a youth work facilitator on Uniting Opportunities, run in partnership with New Lodge Arts, Ashton Community Trust, and T:BUC.
Prior to this, Ruth worked with young people for over 8 years. She started as an actress in kids’ shows around Europe, supporting young people to learn English through interactive activities and workshops.
Since returning home to Northern Ireland, her strong passion to work with young people led her to completing the OCNNI Youth Work qualification.
“It was an absolute pleasure to have been accepted to take part of this course,” Ruth said. “The staff where wonderful and had me engaged from the first class. They had such a passion for youth work and their focus and dedication really supported us throughout the course.
“When finishing Level 2, I was approached by AYE to start a 12-week programme with young people aged 11-16 on a programme around positive mental health and well-being. Within this programme I used many of the tools I learnt on the OCN, and I feel my confidence working with young people has improved greatly.”
Ruth is now in the positon to positively with young people in her own area through her position with AYE.
“The OCN course was amazing,” Ruth said. “I thought I had a good insight into youth work, but this course has taught me so much that I am now able to put into practice."
Ardoyne Youth Enterprise is currently running another round of youth work training with support from NBSGRP.
North Belfast Strategic Good Relations Programme
The North Belfast Strategic Good Relations Programme (NBSGRP) is a key good relations funding scheme delivered as part of the Executive’s wider Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Strategy.
The Programme is delivered by 11 contract holders and their partner organisations, with the key aim of improving relations between and within communities in North Belfast.