15 local teenagers presented with OCN awards

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Thursday, January 5th, 2017
kilkeel3Fifteen teenagers from the Newry and Mourne area who took part in and completed the Kilkeel Gets Active Youth programme over the summer months were presented with an Open College Network (OCN) accredited award in Healthy Living for the Individual this month in Newry. Richard O’Flaherty from the Anti-Poverty Pathfinder Programme, Department for Communities commended the programme at the awards evening. He stated, “Structured summer activities for young people are important gaps that we collectively need to be addressed in Northern Ireland. The OCN accreditation of this pilot programme shows the possibilities of learning outside of a school setting and over the summer months in a fun and interactive way. Article continues below: 2nd-dec-2016-big-box“The Kilkeel Gets Active Programme emphasised the confidence, independence and team building skills that were built in the young people who participated on the programme over the two weeks. “The Department for Communities is committed to identifying what works and build them up in scale through partnership working, co-design and co-production with organisations, children and their families,” Richard added. kilkeel4The “Kilkeel Gets Active” youth summer programme encouraged young people to stay active during the summer months and helped them understand the importance of healthy living by providing them with the skills and confidence to cook simple nutritious meals on a budget. In addition to creating a safe place for young people to continue learning and participate in physical activities during school holidays, the pilot programme also fostered their relationship building skills and helped develop resilience to improve emotional wellbeing. The awards event was attended by statutory agencies including the Education Authority, Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the Health and Social Care Board who came together to celebrate the participation of young people on this programme. Allison Slater from Supporting People and Communities Everyday (SPACE), a charity offering family support in the Newry and Mourne Area offers their experience stated, “SPACE were delighted to be involved in the Kilkeel Gets Active programme. Our work in the community highlights the need for a new type of holiday provision for our young people.
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30th-nov-2016-small-box“This programme has reduced some of the financial pressures that parents face over school holidays whilst providing continued education, physical activity, opportunities to meet other young people and most importantly lots of fun. She added, “The number of OCN qualifications achieved at the end of the two weeks pays testament to the success of programmes of this nature.”
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