Off The Streets’ new mobile hub to help reach more young people

Tommy McCallion (left) with Mayor Maoliosa McHugh with group including Off The Streets representatives and young people at the new Mobile Hub.
Tommy McCallion (left) with Mayor Maoliosa McHugh with group including Off The Streets representatives and young people at the new Mobile Hub.

Derry’s pioneering youth project Off The Streets have welcomed the recent arrival of their new Mobile Hub.

The new unit- the first of its kind in the city- will enable the Off the Streets group to visit and set up youth services right across the Greater Shantallow and Galliagh areas.

Local people, including community workers and politicians, gathering to check out the new Mobile Hub.

Local people, including community workers and politicians, gathering to check out the new Mobile Hub.

Off the Streets project manager Tommy McCallion said the new hub was something that staff and the management committee have been looking at for a number of years as a way to broaden the work of the group.

“There are limited facilities in the Outer North area this will enable us to move through the estates and work with the people there.

“This can broaden the scale of what we can do. There are more and more areas being developed from along Skeoge out towards Cornshell. Recently we were down towards the Clon Elagh and Knockena area working with residents.”

It is also hoped the new project will in the future be rolled out into other areas.

The new Mobile Hub in action.

The new Mobile Hub in action.

Off The Streets provides young people with opportunities for growth and development, and the new hub will provide a listening ear service, access to youth workers, structured work projects and access to computers.

“We want our young people to have a positive role within the community,” Mr McCallion said. “Our organisation is led by young people, and every project we have or we run has been guided very much by their views.”

He also thanked Off The Streets’ main funders, the Big Lottery Fund, and the support from Northside Development Trust, NI Housing Executive, Apex and Radius Housing, who have all helped make the hub possible.

Welcoming the new hub, Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: “Off The Streets are a service that is going from strength to strength and as a committee member I see first-hand the great work that they do with many young people. This mobile hub can only enhance this work, I wish them every success with it.”

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney, a member of the management board of Off the Streets, said: “The new mobile hub is a fantastic new initiative that aims to positively engage with young who may have fallen away from youth facilities for a variety of reasons.

“There are communities across this area with little or no facilities for young people. Rather than abandoning those young people, we’re bringing services to them in their community and in surroundings where they feel comfortable.

“The goal here is to listen to young people and offer courses, educational opportunities etc that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”