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Project helping young people reflect on impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

The Youth Active Citizenship Programme was funded by the EU PEACE IV Local Action Plan to young people across the Mid and East Antrim Borough

A group of 20 young people have taken part in an initiative examining the impact on the COVID-19 pandemic on teenagers and young adults, in conjunction with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and a range of local youth and sporting clubs.

The Youth Active Citizenship Programme, funded by the EU PEACE IV Local Action Plan, gave the participants – members of Carlisle Coaching, Ballymena United FC, Larne YMCA and Sunnylands and Woodburn Community Development Group – the opportunity to undertake workshops in a range of areas, including Leadership, Communication, Emotional Intelligence and Mental Health.

Running over a six-month period, and delivered for Council by Copius Consulting, the project saw Ballymena 1st team players Trai Hume and Ben Wylie speak to the groups about the important role they have in being an active citizen within the community among many other topics during a series of virtual sessions.

The group are currently working on individual pieces reflecting on their own Covid-19 experience through video, poetry, art and music.

Plans are also in place to facilitate representatives from across Mid and East Antrim Borough Council departments to speak to the young people about the diverse areas of work Council is involved in.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Peter Johnston, congratulated all those involved in the Youth Active Citizenship Programme.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for everyone in our community, but has been especially difficult for our young people”, the Mayor said.

“I am delighted to hear about this very important work, made possible by the EU PEACEIV Local Action Plan, and how it has involved the Council, the sporting and community organisations in our borough and the young people themselves.

“Through the programme, the young people who took part have been able to use various media and techniques to look more closely at how they have been impacted by the events of the last 12 months.”

Jack Breslin, from Copius Consulting, said:

“The Young Active Citizens Programme has been an absolute joy to manage. Working with such talented and strong minded young people over the past year and seeing their development over the course of the programme has been something that myself and everyone at Copius takes great pleasure in."

The Youth Active Citizens Programme is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Match funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

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