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Council and The Prince’s Trust launch support for Young People

17 September 2018

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust is teaming up with Antrim and Newtownabbey Council to support young people to learn new skills and train.

With more than one in four young people (27 per cent) in Antrim and Newtownabbey struggling to find work, The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme aims to tackle some of the barriers faced by young people in the area.

The personal development programme for 16-24 year-olds aims to show that despite facing barriers like unemployment, homelessness, being in care or being in trouble with the law, young people can succeed with the right support.

The pilot programme, which provides group activities and tailored one to one support, is aiming to help young people from across the borough over the next couple of months. 

Councillor Paul Michael, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, said: “The Fairbridge programme has been instrumental in supporting disadvantaged young people who are educational underachievers and not in employment, education or training (NEET). It has made a real difference to their lives and at Antrim and Newtownabbey Council we are passionate about supporting all young people into positive outcomes.”

Aoife, 21, has just graduated from the Fairbridge programme in Belfast and came to The Prince’s Trust after struggling with her mental health. “I was terrified when I started, social interaction was a real problem for me so even stepping in the door on the first day was a real achievement. I hated myself and I didn’t know what the point of even trying was. The Prince’s Trust helped me see that there is a place for me and I have the possibility of a bright future. I’m so much more confident and happy and I’m starting an apprenticeship soon” 

A recent study by The Prince’s Trust, the Macquarie Youth Index, revealed that almost half of young people in Northern Ireland have experienced a mental health problem, while 60% said they regularly feel anxious and a third go as far as to say they feel hopeless on a regular basis.. The report reveals that unemployed young people across the UK are significantly more likely to feel this way.

Patrick Davidson from The Prince’s Trust, said:  “We are proud to be working alongside Antrim and Newtownabbey Council and to deliver The Fairbridge programme for young people across the borough. The scheme challenges young people to try something new and supports them to overcome personal barriers. The personal development and skill based learning they get from the programme can be the springboard they need to move forward in their lives."

On the programme young people take part in a five day Access course, which includes a residential trip and adventurous activities to improve confidence, motivation and team building skills.  After the initial Access week, each young person participates in a selection of personal and social skills workshops alongside one-to-one support sessions to help them move on with their lives.

Information sessions

Drop-in information sessions will be running Every Wednesday 1-3pm from 19th September – 17th October 2018 with the programme starting in earnest on Monday 22nd October.

For more information or to sign up call FREE on 0800 842 842 or Text/Call Karen on 07483 977387.

For more information about other Prince’s Trust courses visit www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842.