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Louth

Louth participants celebrate successful achievements in ‘New Leaf’ Personal Youth Development Programme

Published on:  09 May 2018

Families and community representatives from Louth came together in the DeeHub Community Centre, Ardee to celebrate the achievements of the participants of the New Leaf programme, a Personal Youth Development Programme, funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).  The programme is operated and managed by Ardee & District Community Trust, in association with local community, statutory and voluntary organisations.  There are currently twelve young people aged between 15-24 years of age from Ardee, Dunleer and Tallanstown participating in the programme.  

The New Leaf Programme is designed to help young people build and develop life skills that foster good relations, build confidence and resilience and enhance their employability skills.  The young people participate in a range of programmes that are individualised and bespoke, intensive and meet their developmental and educational needs.  All of the participants are engaging in educational and personal development programmes ranging from taster to part-time and full-time programmes and courses. 

In addition, individual work is being carried out with each participant on a weekly basis focusing on personal development, confidence building, goal setting, general independent living skills, social skills, CV and job preparation, mental health and general well-being.  The participants also work on building positive relationships with their peers, youth officer and adult volunteers as well as engaging with community development initiatives from time to time.

An integral aspect of the work programme is the local interagency collaboration and involvement. Local voluntary and statutory agencies include: Deeside School Completion Programme, Louth Leader Partnership, Juvenile Liaison Officer, Youth Diversion Programme, Children and Young People’s Services Committee and the Ardee Jobs Club.

Speaking at the event, Mr Allen McAdam, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland said:  “The Fund was delighted to support this initiative under its Personal Youth Development Programme which has successfully enabled young people to reassess and take active steps to improve their prospects. The PYDP was created to enable younger generations to shape a better, more peaceful society and projects like this are critical to make our aim a reality. 

"The New Leaf Programme is designed to enable young people to involve themselves consciously and actively in their own development, through developing resilience and enhancing their education, training and employability capacity and prospects. The programme has proved a great success to date and I would like to congratulate the participants and everyone involved in the project for their enthusiastic support and participation. I have no doubt it will be of great benefit to them personally and to their communities in future years”.  

Mr McAdam took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund - the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - for their support.

Damien McKenna, Project Co-Ordinator, thanked the IFI for the funding support, “without which ‘New Leaf’ would not have been possible and we are indebted to the IFI for their support.

The initiative has been successful in actively engaging twelve young people, all of whom were not in any form of education, training or employment. The success of the project is built on having a clear vision for the initiative and on the hard work and dedication of many.  I would like to thank most sincerely Pat Flynn and all our local partners who have played a significant role in the success of the project to date and I look forward to working with everyone to build on this success in the months ahead”. 

The Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) was launched in late 2015 within the IFI’s Community Consolidation - Peace Consolidation 2016-2020 Strategy. The Programme aims to help young people build and develop life skills that foster good relations, build confidence and resilience and make them more employable.

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