Young people gathered at a special event outside Dungannon to celebrate their achievements in the ‘Game Changer’ project.
The initiative is part of the Galbally Youth & Community Association, funded by the International Fund for Ireland, which aims to support disengaged young people who are often isolated by society and face barriers to participation in mainstream provision. It works to boost their confidence, self -esteem and motivation through various workshops, qualifications, personal and skills development, encouraging them to re-enter education, employment or training.
Since its launch in 2016, the project has supported 42 young people who have received 139 qualifications to date. Participants benefit from driving lessons, theory tests, OCN accreditations, work placements, certificates in First Aid, Food Hygiene, safeguarding children and vulnerable adults while being supported by caring and professional staff.
The celebration event marked the achievements of the participants and reflected on the positive outcomes of the programme. The group have also been involved in community events such as, ‘Galbally’s Christmas Craft Fair,’ intergenerational work with our older peoples group “Galbally Country Club” and hosted and volunteered for a five-week well-being programme with the senior youth club. Work experience was provided by local businesses including Newell Stores, Grovehill Animal Shelter and Glenburrisk Farm Eggs.
Participants received their certificates of achievement from IFI Board Member, Allen McAdam, who said:
“This project really is a game changer for participants, giving them their future back whether it be through education, training or employment. It is incredibly encouraging to hear about the progress and transformation projects such as this have on young people’s lives. The courses on offer provides young people with a solid foundation where they can continue to grow.”
In 2016 the Game Changer programme was awarded £92,618. The project received a further £264,365 in 2017. In the most recent funding allocation the project received £127,999 to continue their work until December 2020.
Leanne Skidmore, Project Coordinator added:
“Today young people face a range of complex issues. Game Changer is unique in the way we support our participants to grow. Each participant is given personalized support which they receive when here in GYCA. Last night’s event was a fantastic opportunity to hear from the people who matter, the participants. Listening to their perspectives and seeing how the programme has changed their lives is always rewarding. This year’s group should be proud of the strides they have taken towards building a positive future.”
Participant of the project, Ben McGirr said:
“Game Changer has helped boost my confidence. It has given me new opportunities and I have gained relevant qualifications. It has supported me through different issues and helped me feel more positive about my future.”
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.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884