COVID-19 youth work response
The staff at Youth Initiatives still want to be able to connect with and work with the young people who attend our programmes regularly. We recognise that our current situation has come as a shock to most and presents challenges with schools being closed, job uncertainty amongst other challenges.
We want to respond to the different needs that are being experienced by those we work with. During our time of self-isolation, social distancing, schools and gathering being shut we want to ensure that the mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing of our young people is protected and nurtured throughout this uncertain time.
In 1991, Youth Initiatives opened its doors as a youth work to the young people of Poleglass without a pre-packed strategy or methodology. The initial staff team had a wealth of experience in youth work and working together in a Christian community. They brought together 30 young people to form the Project Leadership Team and start youth volunteering which has been at the heart of our work since. Over the past 22 years this staff team has grown in number and strength reaching out to young people not only in the Colin Area of West Belfast but also East Belfast, Downpatrick, Banbridge and L'Derry.
June 2013 saw the opening of our new purpose-built Regional Headquarters and West Belfast Project Centre. The building was made possible with funding from the International Fund for Ireland as well as a few other Trusts. The West Belfast youth work projects undertook some fundraising in the local community who gave generously to the building fund through the Buy-a-Brick Campaign. We would like to thank those who made this dream of a purpose-built centre come true and also to those who continue to support our work.
Youth Initiatives aims to awaken hope, inspire initiative, and mobilise youth to make a vital contribution to their community and to a shared future in Northern Ireland.
The team at Youth Initiatives has been taking time to reflect on the recent racial events and what our response as YI should be.
We believe we should have a voice to our sphere of influence with regards to zero tolerance of racism in YI and in our communities. We want to respond effectively rather than just react to what we have seen and heard. This video is part of our strategic response