Lower Shankill Young Leaders Graduate

Driving to Success Programme

Lower Shankill Young Leaders Graduate

A group of young people from the Lower Shankill had reason to celebrate recently as they had just completed a Co-operation Ireland Youth Leadership programme. At their ‘graduation’ ceremony at Crumlin Road Gaol on 10 June, the ten girls and boys, aged between 16 and 21 years received their certificates from Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and local MLA Nelson McCausland.

Funded by Co-operation Ireland, the group completed OCNs in Dealing with Life Conflicts and in Drug Awareness, both of which aim to increase the confidence of the young people. In addition, each of the group have been allocated 27 hours of driving lessons, a very practical skill which expands their opportunities and access to employment.

Their youth worker Mark West said “the programme so far has been brilliant the young people involved have really embraced it, their commitment unquestionable. As a result we are seeing them volunteer in other areas, pursue education, and make good choices.”

Anne Anderson-Porter from Co-operation Ireland said “This programme aims to support young people through the learning of new skills and gaining qualifications. It aims to help them become future leaders in their own communities and become positive role models for their peers and young generations. This graduation ceremony is an indication of what can be achieved by young people when given the right support and guidance”.