Social farming has been an excellent addition to the programme of activities. Young people have been going on 10-12 week placements, building confidence and experience on organic farms, learning to prepare meals from scratch and growing food in poly tunnels.
When problems around engagement after summer and Christmas breaks began to arise, the centre realised extra support was needed to stop people slipping into old habits.
A community support worker was brought on board to assist families more widely, which freed up Cathy’s time to draw in other resources. A professional counselling service, which nearly all participants have availed of, has also been a massive aid to progress.
Cathy notices all the little changes being made to lives. “One young person who was not being treated fairly by an employer has learned to read and write from scratch, completed a training course and got a properly paid full time job.
“It has made such a difference to his life. He now knows his rights and entitlements. He has come so far in the space of a year.”
Other successes over the last year include young people passing their driving tests, one completing a law qualification and two young artists coming together with plans to open a gallery space.
“The young people are back into education and work and thinking long term which is great” Cathy said.
Participant’s success was celebrated at a recent and plans are afoot for cross-border work and linking in with projects in Belfast and Drumgore.
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