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opportunity youth newsletter

June 2011

opportunity youth newsletter

June 2011

Chairman’s Awards Winners Announced! Wednesday 30 March 2011 The winners of the 2010 Chairman’s Awards have been presented with their trophies and service development cheques by Trust Chairman, Mr Pat McCartan.  More than 70 entries were received in the five categories which reflect the Trust’s five corporate objectives.  The five category winners were: • Nights in white Satin • Gynae R Us • Employability Service for Looked After Children • Here 4 U • Down to the Bare Bones

The winning projects each received a trophy and certificate and a cheque for £10,000 to reinvest in their service. Second and third placed project in each category received a cheque for £3,000 and £2,000 respectively, to reinvest in their service. Representatives of the fifteen shortlisted entries received their prizes yesterday at Knockbracken hall.

At a Glance: Chairman’s awards P1 Girl Power Fashion Show P2 Testimonial P2 Augher Community Support P3 Newington CU Young People Awards P3 O.Y. Services P4 £412 raised Well done Ronan!

Sponsored Walk

City of Derry cultural awareness day Opportunity Youth Board of Management and the Senior Management Team recently attended a Cultural Awareness Day in Derry. This was an inspirational day full of learning and challenges! It gave all those who attended the opportunity to examine their own prejudices and to gain an increased awareness around the history and culture associated with the City of Derry. The day was made possible through the Reaching Them Young project, which is funded and supported by the International Fund for Ireland and the Rural Development Council. A Prejudices workshop in the morning had a panel of 6 people

Opportunity Youth would like to invite you, your family, friends and people in your community, to join them on a sponsored walk to help raise money for the charity. The walk will take place on Friday 1st July 2011 @ 13:30 In Derry & Belfast (Details to follow!) Start your Fund Raising now! from a range of backgrounds - a male ex- IRA volunteer, and ex- British Soldier, a Loyalist from the Shankill Road, who was the victim of a bomb attack, a female ex- IRA volunteer, an ex UDA volunteer and a Catholic who is a serving police officer. This was an emotional experience for all involved and allowed Opportunity Youth staff to make connections to their own lives, both personal and professional. It highlighted the importance of being able to develop the confidence to tell your own story and how that process can help with healing and understanding - something particularly important with the young people and vulnerable adults we support, through these initiatives. In the afternoon cultural awareness of the City of Derry was facilitated through a tour of Derry. This gave an insight into the history of the Walls of Derry, with awareness of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and the most famous siege of Derry in 1689 and history up to the present day. The day was a real success in increasing knowledge and understanding around the various aspects of the history of Derry, including an increased awareness of the community relations issues within Derry and wider within Northern Ireland. We would like to thank CALMS for their facilitation and all those who helped increase our understanding on the day. Opportunity Youth can be contacted on 028 7137 1162 for further information about our work and projects can be found @ 1

Opportunity Youth’s Belfast Marathon Target: £1,000, Raised so far: £505.00

opportunity youth newsletter

June 2011

Girl Power Promotions

wanted a neutral venue. The group decided on the Youth Action Theatre as their vision had more of a community and supportive element to it than an actual fashion show. Through using the theatre the young people have had the opportunity to work with stage, sound and lighting technicians to develop their vision to reality for the show. The young women also worked alongside The Computer Club House in Springvale Learning where they learned to design promotional material such as invites, posters and flyers. The young women assisted by their partners had to formulate a running order for the fashion show and buy clothing for the show. They also selected the music which was to be played at the event and made their own CD. The Girl Power Group have turned their concept in to a social enterprise. Through engaging with eye4education and successfully received a grant from UnLtd - the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. The young women have formally begun establishing themselves as a group - the name ‘Girl Power Promotions’.

was a 16 week project developed by a group of young women at Loughshore Educational Resource Centre in North Belfast, eye4educations and Reaching Them Young Team in Opportunity Youth. The project was formulated with a group of young women in Laughshore identifying a trend within young women which is emerging; low self confidence and low self esteem. This topic formed a discussion for the young women about what that meant for them and progressed to what it meant for young women in general. The group decided that it was important to connect with other young women who had these issues they addressed these feelings and supported them in a process of feeling better in themselves. The young women highlighted that the things that effect self confidence and self esteem is others opinion of them, opinion of themselves, how they feel internally, self belief, how they look and how they dress. The young women from Loughshore decided to work with young women aged 10-18 these were mentees from Opportunity Youths Reaching Them Young Team. The young women decided that a fashion show would be the ultimate challenge, and decided to engage the young women in a community fashion show in order to help them progress and face their fears. The group explored a number of venues for the event as the people taking part

‘Girl Power Promotions is a Social Enterprise with the aim of empowering young women to succeed in all aspects of life.’ Thank you to Gemma Agnew and Gerry McVeigh for all their hard work

Testimonial of Success Hannah Wimpress, 19, Bangor. I was referred to DAISY late September because I ended up in hospital due to overdosing on meph. At this stage I was addicted to the drug and was drinking heavily on a daily basis. Due to this, relationships with my family deteriated. We decided to try DAISY as the other drug and alcohol services in our area had a bad reputation with some of the people I knew. My Key Worker Syd came out to the house to meet us and was very helpful to both my mother and I. I then agreed to complete an assessment and continued working. During my sessions with Syd we did various exercises

to help with my confidence, self esteem and repairing the damage I had created with my family. My KeyWorker was down to earth and had an understanding of what it was like; this made it easier to talk about certain things. In my experience we met every week for about an hour, usually in a mutual building completing planned and focused work, although on occasion it was nice to meet for coffee or a bite to eat, which I really enjoyed as it, helped break up the weeks and helped motivate me. After a few months of help I finally decided to 2

disengage as I got out of “rut” and started to form a relationship with my family. As I had a previous qualification and we had created a good CV for me I began to start looking for new opportunities. I had job offers from various UK, American and Swiss companies and recently got an email about a job offer in New Zealand. “I was speechless” My mum and dad were delighted and have supported my decision to take the job. I’m really excited to get a new start, new job and a new life.

opportunity youth newsletter

June 2011

Opportunity Youth Community Support Open Day in Augher on 7th April 2011. In picture from left Charlene Bleakley (Community Support Worker, Clogher Valley), Kathie McCausland (Community Support Worker, Armagh), local residents Florence & Joyce, Neville Lawther (Chill Mentor) and Claire Carleton (Community Support Worker, Dungannon). We would like to thank those who assisted on the Open Day and those who attended the event. It was attended by a number of local residents and community, statutory & voluntary agencies within the area. All expressing the importance of such a service within the local area. Opportunity Youth, 63 Main St, Augher, Co.Tyrone, is a base for the two Community Support Workers for the Clogher Valley and Dungannon area. This base is utilised for Community Drop-in’s and one-to-one sessions to provide support, guidance, awareness and training to a diverse range of community groups, agencies and stakeholders on alcohol, drugs, and lifestyle related issues.

Upcoming Events/ Training in Augher: From Thursday 12th May there will be a DROP-IN Every Thursday between 2 pm – 6 pm. Information Stand with relevant leaflets, Drugs Box (samples) and the opportunity to ask questions and find out about further support if required or if you just want a cuppa and a chat. 5 Week OCN Accredited* Level 1 in Drugs & Alcohol Awareness Every Thursday from 26th May – 23rd June, 10 am – 12 noon. Module’s include Drug and Alcohol Awareness / Use / Misuse: includes What is a Drug; Types of Drugs; the Effects on the Body; Individual and Society; the Law; Facts & Myths. * OCN Credits Recognised by UCAS 4 week Talking to your Children about Tough Issues Course Friday 27th May – Friday 17th June 2011 10 am – 12 noon. Being a teenager in today’s world is not easy. Being a Parent / Carer of those teenagers can be even more difficult. This 4 week course will help to explore ways that we can make the involvement of our children in risky behaviour ‘less likely’. The phrase ‘less likely’ is important as the reality is that for many young people drinking alcohol, and in fewer cases using drugs, in an inevitable part of growing up. As Parents / Carers we can only do our best, there are no guarantees. To Register for the above Courses or if you have any queries contact Charlene Bleakley, Clogher Valley Community Support Worker on 07545929276; charlene.bleakley@ or call into the office.

Birthdays for June

Maeve Gormley 6th June Christine Boal 12th June Caroline McKinley 19th June Jackie McDowell 19th June Clare Connolly 27th June Anna McArdle 28th June Orlaigh McKenna 26th June

Birthdays for July

Kristine McLean 6th July Richard McRory 22nd July Ciara McBride 23rd July Robert McErlane 24th July


Newington Credit Union Young Peoples Awards: Lauren Orr - mentee from the Reaching Them Young Project was short listed for the Young Artist/Performer in the Awards In attendance was Lauren’s family and Gemma Agnew - mentor who nominated her for the award. The award was for a Young Artist/Performer who shows talent in their chosen field (arts/ music/drama/comedy). The Awards ceremony took place in the Europa Hotel in Belfast City Centre Thursday12th May.

opportunity youth newsletter

June 2011

Opportunity Youth is an award winning regional youth organisation, established in 1993. Opportunity Youth has developed its services around the ever changing needs of the young people in Northern Ireland. By holding true to our core vision we continue to provide a range of innovative services, focused on making a positive impact on the lives of young people.

Mission: Vision: Opportunity Youth Values:

Helping those we work with make the most of life’s opportunities and be the best they can be.

• Our services work! • Accepting those we work with at face value • Together we will succeed • You think you can’t, we believe you can

The quality of Opportunity Youth’s services will leave a lasting footprint on the world.

• We deliver what we promise • Challenge promotes possibility • Mistakes are temporary, success is permanent

Within the organisation we have a wide range of services available:

Reaching them Young is a service for young people who feel socially Community Support Work isolated or excluded from their communities. This could be due to behavioural issues, emotional health and wellbeing or cultural differences. This service is available to those deemed at risk or vulnerable and in need of help and support in relation to alcohol or drug use.

Opportunity Youth offers emotional and behavioural support to every individual who comes into custody within the Young Offenders Centre and Prison.l Provision (Regional)

The Drug and Alcohol Community Support Workers cover various areas in the southern board, working in Fivemiletown, Augher, Clogher, Ballygawley, Aughnacloy, Caledon, Dungannon, Armagh, Lurgan and Portadown. We are currently offering a wide range of services in your area to try and increase awareness about DRUGS and ALCOHOL Community lead support for the WHOLE community delivered by our Community Support Workers through…. • Accredited programmes • Non Accredited programmes • Community Drop-in/ outreach • Group work • Information sessions • Short intensive one-to-one work Topics covered include… • Drug and Alcohol awareness • Drug and Alcohol use/misuse • Recognising issues of substance misuse • Exploring behaviours • Life skills • Anti social behaviour Views of people using this service: “I’ve learnt so much and it’s been really interesting” “It’s great being able to get a qualification and enjoy what your learning at the same time” For further information contact: Claire Carleton, Drug and Alcohol Community Support Worker, Tel: 07545929277

Specialist Support Provision

CHILL Mentoring and Counselling


is a service provided by Opportunity Youth funded by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and is delivered in partnership with the Trust and the Northern Ireland Prison Service. AD:EPT is a comprehensive substance misuse service providing a multi component model of delivery. The service will operate as part of a multi disciplinary team in the prison establishments and the community

16+ Transition Team employment.

This is a 12 week mentoring support programme for young people who are looked after or have a care history within the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust. This programme is primarily targeted around education, training and

Opportunity Youth in Hydebank

Extra support to deal with barriers to employment delivered through mentoring, bespoke and/ or accredited groupwork. This service is only available to Recognised Training Organisations (RTO’s)

We also offer support for young people aged 8 – 17 who are directly or indirectly affected by drugs or alcohol. Views of young people using this service: “Mentoring is going really well, it’s so good to have someone who listens to me without judging” “I can talk about anything and not feel stupid” Areas: Clogher Valley, Armagh, Dungannon, Banbridge, Lurgan, Craigavon, Newry and Portadown For further information contact: Joanne Cahill (mentor) Tel: 07545929281 or Catherine Donaghy (counsellor) Tel: 07545929280

Support to Youth Conference Service

This service supports young people undertaking a Youth Conference plan. Support offered includes coaching, mentoring and advocacy.

Gerry Rogan Initiative Trust (GRIT)

The GRIT residential experience is targeted at young people at risk and those who have not succeeded in their formal education. Pre and post residential mentoring is also part of this service.

Protect Life Mentoring Service

Drug and Alcohol Targeted Education

The Protect Life Mentoring Programme is designed to support vulnerable young people who present issues around problem behaviours, self harm and suicide which could negatively affect their emotional health and wellbeing Views of young people using this service: “I’m working on self harm issues and my mentor is keeping me motivated” “My depression is ongoing and can be difficult at times, I have suicidal thoughts but this service is really helping me” Areas: Southern Health Board Area and Belfast For further information contact: Liedania Haughain (Mentor Southern Area) Tel: 07545929289

This service is a groupwork intervention for young people identified as chronic substance misusers aged 8 - 17 years.


This service offers support to young people aged 16 - 25 years on Probation in Ballymena, Antrim and Coleraine.

Lads to Dads

Lads2Dads is an accredited groupwork programme that provides young fathers/fathers to be aged 16 - 25 within the Belfast and Northern Health &Social Care Trust with support in a variety of areas of fatherhood.

DAISY Drug and Alcohol Intervention Service for Youth

Independent Representation (Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre)

The service is accessible to young people aged 8-25 years old, whose lives may be affected directly or indirectly by Alcohol or drug

The Independent Representative uses an independent advocacy model when promoting the rights of young people and making representation on their behalf. The IR represents the views of young people to others, possibly decision makers, allowing young people to navigate their way through systems and processes making informed decisions and feeling confident that they are going to be taken seriously.

misuse. DAISY are able to offer a comprehensive range of treatment and psychological interventions that are appropriate in order to meet the specific needs of the young person. The DAISY Service can offer: • Mentoring • Counselling • One-One work • Brief Intervention work • Unstructured Family Support • Group Mentoring • Therapeutic Groupwork • Groupwork Areas: Western Area and Eastern Area Offices in: Omagh, Derry and Belfast For further information contact: Bernie Carleton (Key Worker Western Area) Tel: 07545929271

Youth Advice Centre (YAC)

This is a sexual health clinic located at the Waterside Health Centre, 14 – 23 Spencer Road, Derry that provides sexual health and wellbeing advice including contraception. It operates on a Monday and Friday from 3pm - 5pm.

Employability Scheme

This service aims to create an infrastructure which will remove barriers to accessing training and employment within the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust for young people in care and leaving care aged 16+. 4

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