A GROUP of 37 young people from the Loughshore area enjoyed a great day out at Craigavon Water Sports Centre last weekend.
They came together as part of the “Allsorts of Rural Youth Programme” funded by Cookstown District Council through the EU’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III), which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
The programme aims to bring young people from rural youth groups, from different traditions, together for a series of fun filled activities over the year.
This group of 11-16 year olds have already enjoyed days away to Todd’s Leap Activity Centre, Ballygawley, and Corrymeela in Ballycastle where they participated in art workshops, discussion groups, problem solving and team building activities.
In June, the group will be going to Portrush for a day of peace workshops and surfing lessons. There are also separate art workshops running in the local area for younger children from the youth groups. Both age groups have planned to come together for a celebration day in September.
Reverend Barry Paine, whose young members are involved in the programme, believes that it has been a great success.
“The Allsorts of Rural Youth programme has been a great opportunity for the young people from the different traditions of this area, to mix, get to know one another and build friendships”, said Reverend Paine.
“Without funding from the South West Cluster PEACE III Programme, it is unlikely that they would have been able to do this.”
Catherine Carr from the SELB also welcomed the programme, syaing: “The young people I work with in Ardboe are thoroughly enjoying the programme. It’s great to see them getting to know other young people who live in the same area as they do, but never really get the chance to mix with.”
The groups involved in the programme include Church of Ireland youth groups from Ballinderry, Tamlaght, Ardboe and Woods, Saultersland Presbyerian youth group, Arboe Community Projects youth group, SELB’s Youth group in Ardboe and Barnardo’s Outreach Youth Service, young women’s youth group in Moortown.
If you would like more information about the South West Cluster PEACE III Programme please contact Martina Totten, PEACE III & Community Facilitator on 028 8676 4714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org