Graduation Ceremony for Cork Young Leaders
On Tuesday the 16th May at 6.30 pm in Vertigo County Hall, the Deputy County Mayor of Cork Cllr. Kevin Conway formally opened the Graduation ceremony for the 24 young people who had completed the Co-operation Ireland Youth Leadership Programme.
Over 90 people attended the graduation including friends & families, the Co-operation Ireland Cork Committee including the chairman Mr John Mullins. Addressing the attendees, he spoke about how the young people had grown in confidence over the year - taking on a leadership role in addressing a very relevant issue “ Promoting the Positive Mental Health of young people” but also in making meaningful links in Cork and also across the border with young people in Belfast.
Peter Sheridan CEO Co-operation also congratulated the group on their project and highlighted the importance of these informal cross border links in maintaining a positive future for all across the Island especially now with the uncertainty of how Brexit will impact these relationship between North and South. Also present was Liam O’Sullivan MD of GasNetworks, who sponsor the programme, local community representatives and Cork Sports Partnership who delivered the leadership training component of the programme.
During the graduation event the young people made a presentation on their year-long project where they: undertook leadership training receiving a level 1 Sports leadership Award; worked together across Cork, with young people coming together from Knocknaheeny, Ballyphehane, Bishopstown and Cobh; developed a cross-border partnership with Colin Glen Youth Club Belfast, visited each other’s communities and worked together on a social action project to “Promote Positive Mental Health among Young People".
They also highlighted the achievements and challenges they faced together, including speaking in public, having their voice heard on issues important to them, walking the peace walls together with their partner group from Northern Ireland, and hosting them in Cork. They explained that during this residential in May while showing the Belfast group their communities they saw how working collaboratively they, as young people, can and have made a real positive change.
During the ceremony the group also shared an Imovie they had created over the year on their journey.
The Leadership Programme was run by Co-operation Ireland in association with Cork Sports Partnership, and funded by Gas Networks Ireland, the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, the Rory McDonagh Trust and funding from the Local Cork Committee.
We would like to thank all those who supported the programme over the year including Cork County Council who hosted their graduation event, Cork City Council who hosted a welcome reception for the young people during their residential in Cork, Cork Sports Partnership who worked with the young people throughout the year, the Garda Siochana who provided transport for the group during their residential in Cork as well as all the funders who make this programme possible.