Active Communities Network has developed a GOALS programme which targets young people living across North and West Belfast that are confronted with barriers when it comes to learning and employment, specifically looking at those aged 12-21. Annually the programme was targeted to:
Engage with 300 young people through diversionary activities
Ensure 50 young people achieve accredited training qualifications and receive mentoring into training or employment.
Produce 100 new young volunteers which will help to provide support for their own communities and will serve as a youth committee/social action group.
The GOALS programme will be driven by the Youth Committee which which will have regular community consultations and meetings to ensure the programme stays relevant to young people in the targeted areas. In addition, the Youth Committee will attend the weekly sports sessions to speak with the young people and gather feedback whilst consulting with community members and staff. This process is key to insuring GOALS is constantly led by young people.
Since starting in 2016 the programme has:
Engaged with over 600 young people from North and West Belfast through weekly activities, which include sports such as, football, MMA, dance, and GAA.
250 have benefitted from focused mentoring sessions looking at personal and social development, building confidence, self-esteem and empowering young people to make more positive choices.
100 young people have received 1:1 mentoring support to enhance their emotional wellbeing and receive guidance to develop new skills for employment / placement opportunities. With 50 of these young people gaining an accreditation relating to their interests or chosen career pathways, such as Level 2 coaching qualifications, Level 2 fitness instructions, security industry authority training (SIA) and Beauty accreditations.
In addition, over 50 young people have experienced work placement opportunities with organisations such as Féile an Phobail in which they learnt skills such as, event management, marketing, security and hospitality.
Due to consultation feedback suggesting that lack of a driving licence was a common barrier to employment we developed a ‘Drive Ahead’ programme to help support young people with the next steps to employment.