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Young people celebrated for changing lives and communities in Tyrone

Published on:  24 Aug 2018

Young people enrolled on an innovative outreach project have been honoured for turning lives around and promoting positive change in East and South Tyrone.

Launched in 2016 and led by Galbally Youth and Community Association (GYCA) with support from the International Fund for Ireland, the Game Changer Project has supported more than 30 individuals aged 16-25 to take better control of their lives, improve community relations and enhance employment prospects.

The project provides a focused range of accredited and non-accredited training that has helped two-thirds of its first intake secure employment or reconnect with formal education. In the last year, Game Changer welcomed a second cohort of 14 participants to the project. Both year groups came together on a community project working with Galbally Country Club – a social group for older people within the area. This was an outstanding success with both young and old building on experience, respect and community.

Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland Board Member said:
“The young people in Game Changer are taking enormous strides towards a brighter future. It has built confidence and friendships while supporting everyone to claim an active role in planning and meeting their own goals and ambitions. This project is connecting people to learning, training and employment and helping turn young lives around.

“Everyone involved in Game Changer deserve credit for the achievements they have made. It is tackling hard issues like isolation, anti-social behaviour, alcohol, drugs and mental health. It is pleasing to see the young people support each other and work with the community to change their prospects. Projects like this are critical and build momentum for change, stability and prosperity.”

Leanne Skidmore, Game Changer Project Coordinator said:
“This project engages on the issues that deeply affect the lives of young people and equips them with the knowledge, skills and competencies to build a more positive future for themselves and others. Each of our participants have taken brave steps forward and raised expectations for themselves while claiming positive roles within their community.

“By building confidence alongside personal and professional development, this project is giving people the means to connect with new skills and opportunities, make better choices and take control of their own lives.”

Lauren mcFall a participant on the programme stated:
“I feel comfortable seeking support with the staff and the people in the centre. I have gained qualifications on the course and I feel more ready now to seek employment. I can now apply for jobs online which was one thing I was not good at before coming to Game Changer. I get on very well with the staff. They are very supportive towards everyone. I would definitely recommend this course to any young person who is not in Employment, education or training”

In June 2017, the International Fund for Ireland awarded GYCA £254,365 to extend the Game Changer project for two years, following an initial one-year allocation of £92,618 in 2016. The extension enabled seven new participants to enrol and for 18 people in the first intake to engage in additional further education and employability activities.

Funding to GYCA was provided through the International Fund for Ireland’s Personal Youth Development Programme which is managed by the Rural Development Council.

Galbally Youth & Community Association (GYCA) is a grassroots community organisation based six miles between Dungannon and Carrickmore. The group was established in 1993 and operates from a purpose built community centre with provision for training, arts, drama, childcare, sports and recreational activities.


Pictured at the celebration event are Bridget Nugent, Project coordinator; participants Victoria McGirr and Tiernan McCaul; and Paddy Harte, International Fund for Ireland Board Member.

For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.

Belfast Office

International Fund for Ireland
Seatem House
28-32 Alfred St.

+44 (0)28 9031 2884

Dublin Office

PO Box 2000
Dublin 2

+353 1 408 2130

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