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Youth Initiatives News

Response Update



                                 12th May 2023

Response to safeguarding questions received by e-mail


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Updated Information



                                 14th April 2022


Please find below an update to on Mr Jamie Treadwell


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Youth Initiatives
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. 



YI Downpatrick featured on BBC Songs of Praise

YI Downpatrick featured on the BBC programme songs of praise, doing a spring clean of their centre and the local area.

Catch up here on BBC iPlayer

Or see a snippet on Facebook

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    Crosslinks Show​ - POSTPONED

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the Crosslinks show has unfortunately been postponed. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the participants who put so much into the show from learning lines and writing songs to practicing dances and building props. We are sad the show will not take place as planned but we will be back...

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News Release



                                  Feb 8th 2020

(date correction)

Please find below an update to our March news release

News Release

Crosslinks Celebrates 20 Years!



Youth Initiatives is launching our weekly cross community 'Crosslinks' youth arts project on Monday 7th October. Participants aged 14-20yrs from Catholic, Protestant and Ethnic Minority communities in Belfast, will take part in good relations workshops using drama, art, music and dance. A final theatre performance showcasing their work will take place 29th March 2020.

For more info please contact Lynda e:admin@youthinitiatives. 

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Community Relations Council awards YI £25,800

The Community Relations Council is delighted to reveal the successful organisations that will be receiving support from its Core Funding Grants Scheme for the 2019/20 year. The fund is supported by The Executive Office.

There are a total of 29 projects receiving support of £1.2million.

Speaking at the official launch of this year’s scheme, Community Relations Council Chair, Peter Osborne, said:

“Reconciliation is about relationship building on the ground.  It is hard, challenging work made more so within the current environment.  We are deeply appreciative of the courage, resolve and commitment of these organisations and their staff as they do their part to build a better future for us all.”

Youth Initiatives has been awarded £25,800 for our reconciliation project “Lasting Impact". The project will tackle sectarianism and racism at its roots working with young people currently disinterested or dissident and, through a 5-7 year process, help them to become leaders for good relations and change agents in their communities.

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Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018


This year Youth Initiatives is delighted to have been asked to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Garfield Weston. From 27th Nov until 4th Dec, all donations made to YI via will be matched! 

If you are interested in donating and would like a reminder sent to you on 27th Nov, please email

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New Banbridge Youth Centre!



Youth Initiatives: Under New Management

We are delighted to announce, that as of 1 April 2018, YI is being run by a new management team and new CEO. Following a three year long succession process, Tony Silcock has taken on the role of Chief Officer and Siobhan Darragh, Matt McCullough and Lynda Whinnery have been appointed to the new management team.
Tony, originally from Twinbrook, began in YI at age 16 through an outreach football programme and the YI Lifeline Project. Siobhan, our new deputy Chief Officer, began YI as a 10 year old coming to the YI summer programme. Lynda joined the YI Crosslinks project at age 14 and Matt started with YI as an 18 year old volunteer intern. The new management team models the YI mission of awakening hope, inspiring initiative, and mobilising young people - showing young people from their own community that success is possible and the future is full of opportunity for those who go for it.
Special thanks goes to Doug Smith and Andy Hewitt who have led YI for the last 15 years. We are indebted to their contribution and their equipping of and making space for this new generation of leaders to take the reins.

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