Key project transforming prospects for young people

Back row: Niamh Doherty, Carla Hurley; Andrew Coyle; Martin Sheridan; Michael Mc Daid; Abigail Kuzma. Front row: Olivia Smith, HURT Project coordinator; John Boyle, Mayor of Derry and Strabane; Courtney Ormston; Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland board member.
Back row: Niamh Doherty, Carla Hurley; Andrew Coyle; Martin Sheridan; Michael Mc Daid; Abigail Kuzma. Front row: Olivia Smith, HURT Project coordinator; John Boyle, Mayor of Derry and Strabane; Courtney Ormston; Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland board member.

A cross-community project in Derry has been praised for providing young people with brighter prospects at a celebration event.

Launched in February with £234,558 from the International Fund for Ireland and led by Have Your Tomorrows (HURT), the to Learn project offers training and support to 24 young people from the cityside and Waterside areas.

It is designed to give participants the means and knowhow to take better control of their lives by improving confidence, self-esteem and employability.

During the celebration event, which marked completion of the first phase of learning and good relations activities, participants received certificates for accredited training and for each contributing 50 hours towards the Millennium Volunteer Award.

Paddy Harte, IFI Board Member said: “The young people deserve credit for the achievements they have made through the Live to Learn project.

“This project has successfully enabled people to reassess their prospects and take active steps to improve their lives and their communities.

“The reality is that there are growing issues of disaffection among young people in many areas and that increases the risk of being drawn towards negative influences and a spiral of poor choices.

“The project tackles issues like anti-social behaviour, alcohol, drugs and mental health and provides young people with practical ways to improve their prospects. Projects like this are critical and build momentum for change, stability and prosperity.”

Olivia Smith, Live to Learn Project Coordinator said: “This project is about engaging on the issues that deeply affect the lives of young people and offering the knowledge, skills and confidence to build a more positive future for themselves and others.

“We’ve been impressed by how each participant has applied themselves within the project and within their communities.

“Live to Learn is a great way to get people together, promote mutual understanding and raise aspirations.”