We’re so proud of everything we have achieved in Belfast over the past eight years. We set up a pilot programme in 2009 called GOALS (Generating Opportunities and Learning Through Sport), working with a small group of high risk young people in Ballymurphy and Whiterock (West Belfast).
Through sport we developed their resilience and addressed wider mental health issues, supporting them to make positive life choices. The project was subject to an impact report by the University of Ulster, which praised our approach and methodology.
This gave us the confidence we needed to significantly grow ACN’s presence across West, North and East Belfast. Starting in 2011, we began to target areas of high tension and deprivation, combined with a lack of sports provision for young people. We found examples of teenagers living in chaotic circumstances without positive role models and opportunities to achieve.
Using our delivery model (below) we began to gain the trust of communities through the provision of activities 50 weeks of the year.
In April 2015, with the help of our supporting partners, we replicated this approach in Portadown, Coleraine and Omagh.