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Kilkeel youth groups celebrate cross-community project

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Two of Kilkeel’s biggest youth clubs today marked the completion of ground-breaking project at JIMS Youth Centre.

 

4-jims-_3808With financial support from the International Fund for Ireland, Kilkeel Parish Bridge Association and Kingdom Youth Club teamed up to deliver a wide range of joint activities that address important issues including relationships, drugs and antisocial behaviour.

 

Building on previous collaborations and geared towards promoting dialogue between the two communities, the project also used an innovative street outreach approach to engage with young people who were not involved with either organisation.

 

 

Megan McIlveen, Project Coordinator and Youth Outreach Worker said:

“Through this project we’ve cemented good relationships between both organisations and delivered a range of workshops that specifically meet the needs of young people in Kilkeel. We’ve been able to encourage 200 young people from different backgrounds to come together and address issues like sectarianism, flags and symbols.

 

“The activities have also had a fun social focus too and it has been rewarding to see so many friendships made and bridges built between people who would otherwise have had no positive contact with each other. We hope the legacy and relationships from this project will continue to benefit Kilkeel for many years to come.”

 

David Graham, International Fund for Ireland Board Member, said:

“This has been an important and ambitious project that has expanded on previous successes gained from both organisations working together and which the Fund has supported. The collaboration between Kindgom Youth Club and Kilkeel Parish Bridge Association is a model that others should look to replicate. They have shown that they can deliver sensitive and meaningful change with young people who are often viewed as hard to reach.

 

“The participants on this project also deserve to be congratulated for taking the bold steps forward and leading their peers. I look forward to seeing the relationships between young people in Kilkeel continue to flourish.”

 

The International Fund for Ireland provided more than £200,000 financial assistance to Kilkeel Parish Bridge Association and Kingdom Youth Club through its Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration (CBESR) Programme. In 2008, the Fund also provided £90,645 funding to towards the extension and refurbishment of the JIMS Centre on Greencastle Street, Kilkeel.

Click here to download press release