Fearon and Ross present awards to young people and youth practitioners

Date published: 20 June 2016

Junior Minister Megan Fearon and Junior Minister Alastair Ross have presented awards at Youth Link’s Annual Certificate Presentation Ceremony held in Grosvenor House, Belfast.

Junior Ministers Megan Fearon and Alastair Ross present Josh Beck of Ballyclare Youth for Christ with his certificate
Junior Ministers Megan Fearon and Alastair Ross present Josh Beck of Ballyclare Youth for Christ with his certificate

Youth Link is a collaborative partnership of the four larger churches in Ireland and awards were presented to around 300 youth practitioners and young people from the churches who have taken part in Youth Leadership training programmes, Community Relations and Active Citizenship Youth projects.

Speaking at the event Junior Minister Megan Fearon said: “Our young people make an immense contribution to society and the future belongs to them. It’s fantastic to see so many young people and youth workers receive much deserved recognition for the training programmes and projects they’ve undertaken. 

“Youth Link provides important community relations work and tonight is a shining example of that. My Department works closely with Youth Link through another area of its work, the Together Building a United Communities Summer Camps programme. I’m delighted The Executive Office has been able to provide nearly £15,000 in funding to Youth Link for its 2016-2017 summer camp. Without funding, these programmes simply wouldn’t be possible so I’m pleased together we were able to make it happen.

“Tonight though belongs to the young people. You are the leaders of tomorrow and as the youngest MLA in the Assembly, you are a major source of inspiration not just to me but to your community and beyond.”

Junior Minister Alastair Ross said: “I commend Youth Link for the important role you play in building peace and improving community relations in Northern Ireland and I congratulate all the young people who are being recognised this evening.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has a shared aim to continue to improve attitudes amongst our young people and build a community where they can play a full and active role in building good relations. The Summer Camp Programme is one of the Executive’s headline actions in our Together: Building a United Community strategy. It plays an integral part in achieving this aim by bringing groups and individuals from different areas and backgrounds together to create a society without division and segregation.

“Last year, 4,200 young people attended the summer camps where many new and lasting friendships were made. The Northern Ireland Executive fully endorses the work you do to unite and build relations and I am delighted that we have been able to fund Youth Link this year in hosting its first camp. Those young people and leaders who attended past camps, and those of you who will attend them in the future, will continue to make valuable contributions to your communities and throughout Northern Ireland and I wish you well in the future.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Youth Link is a regional voluntary organisation and is the inter-church youth service for Northern Ireland. It was established by the Catholic, Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian churches in 1991. 
  2. Media enquiries about this press release to the Executive Office Press Office on 028 9037 8283, or out of office hours contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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