Portstewart youth initiative

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Portstewart Together an Inter-Church Civic Project) took seriously the views of young people who completed their community audit last year.

Responses highlighted the need for young people in the town to be provided with a support network for developing cross-community social activities and pursuing creative development in a safe environment.

To that end the follow-up team linked up with the Education Authority Youth Council and an initiative is now under way to encourage widespread participation in a variety of development programmes open to the 16-21 age group. This would be supported by qualified youth workers from the Youth Council, co-ordinating and facilitating staff and young people; there would also be support from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

These will include opportunities for volunteering, cross-community social events and show-casing local talent as well as participation in more structured accreditation schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the various Millennium Volunteers Programmes.

The group is particularly grateful for the continuing support of the Coleraine Rural and Urban Network. Wills Cafe has already hosted a fact-finding evening attended by a nucleus of local young people, Portstewart Together members and professionals.