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Participants Celebrate Successful completion of ‘Step it Up’ Personal Youth Development Programme

Published on:  27 Feb 2018

Participants and local community representatives came together today to celebrate the successful completion of a twelve month Personal Youth Development Programme ‘Step it Up’, and also the news that the project has been extended for a further two years, funded by the International Fund for Ireland. 

Administered  by Mullaghmatt/Cortolvin Community Development Ltd, at  Teach na Daoine Family Resource Centre, Monaghan,   the ‘Step it Up’ project was designed to help young people aged between 16-21 years of age living in the Mullaghmatt/Cortolvin area  to build and develop life skills that foster good relations, build confidence and resilience and make them more employable.   Such was the success of the year-long programme, the IFI has agreed to provide funding to extend the project for a further two years. 

To date the project has encouraged ten young people to engage with people and communities that they would not have engaged with in the past.    Family influence has been a strong factor in this element of the project and has been challenged in various ways with many of the young people showing more positive attitudes towards the wider and different communities and showing a willingness to engage more positively in civic society.  

Representatives of Monaghan County Council played a key role in assisting in the rollout of the programme as well as participation from local statutory and community organisations including Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board, TUSLA, Probation Service, Garda Youth Diversion, Foróige and Youth Work Ireland.  These partners played a key role in the recruitment of young people to the project and provided on-going support to the project through real engagement.

The project has to date been concentrating on levels 1 & 2 of the PYDP programme, delivering personal development, good relations and career taster courses to the young people.  Engagement with the families and other statutory services working with the young people has also been very intensive in order to ensure the young people have engaged positively with the project.

The newly extended programme will continue to engage with the same 10 young people and to progress them onto levels 3 and 4 of the PYDP programme developing their career paths and possibilities.

The needs of the young people will be continually assessed and their progress will be supported through one-to-one meetings and support sessions, opportunities for networking, team building exercises, group study visits and interaction with other communities, counselling, and delivery of accredited and unaccredited training courses.  Work placements will also feature as part of this progression.

Speaking at the event Allen McAdam, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, said that the Fund was delighted to support this project under its Personal Youth Development Programme which has successfully enabled young people to reassess and take active steps to improve their prospects. “We are very pleased to support it for another two years and I congratulate all the participants for their accomplishments to date. Following a year of intensive personal development, the project will continue to support these young people on their journey to employment and positive civic engagement. Through learning new skills, building relationships and gaining greater levels of cultural awareness, I have no doubt this project will leave a lasting positive legacy for the participants themselves and their local community”.

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.

Project Co-ordinator Erin Lynagh thanked the IFI for the funding support, “without which this project would not be possible. To date the project has empowered ten young people to engage with people and communities that they would not have engaged with in the past and ultimately to play a positive role in their own personal development and lives.  Feedback from the participants has been very positive and I have no doubt that this project will leave a lasting positive legacy not just for the participants themselves but also for their wider communities.  I would like to thank most sincerely 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 years ahead”. 

The IFI’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) was launched in late 2015 within the Fund’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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