The Carrickfergus Raising Attainment Group and the Local Children Services Planning Partnership hosted a Youth Fair at the Oakfield Community Centre in Carrickfergus on Tuesday, 8 February.
Supporting and encouraging young people to achieve their potential was the theme of the event. Twenty eight voluntary and statutory organisations provided stands to let young people know about the various services and activities that are available to them in the area. Volunteers were available to speak to young people about their hopes for the future and the types of facilities that they would like to see in Carrickfergus.
A short film involving eight sports and business personalities from the Borough discussed what inspired them as young people was shown at the fair. The four main schools in Carrickfergus took part with around 500 pupils aged 15-16 years attending.
The Raising Attainment Group was formed to encourage an ethos of “life long learning” within the Borough. Speaking at the event, Billy Ashe, a member of the group, said:
“We want young people and adults to get a sense of achievement and enable them to gain better and more useful qualifications.”
The Children’s Services Planning Locality Partnership, works to co-ordinate existing youth services to make them more effective. It also regularly reviews needs in the area to see that services meet the actual needs identified by young people and their families. The event also provided a great opportunity for young people to contribute their views to this process through interviews.
Bob Loade from YMCA and who chairs the Locality partnership, said:
“Today’s event is a good example of what the partnership is about – organisations coming together for the benefit of young people in the Borough.”
Mr Loade also thanked the Children Services Planning team of the Health and Social Care Board for their ongoing support and work in the East Antrim area and for hosting this event .