Belfast Hills Bright Future

Feb 10, 2016 environmental action

Project name: Belfast Hills Bright Future

Lead organisation: Belfast Hills Partnership

Project partners:     

National Trust, Ulster Wildlife, Woodland Trust, Ligoniel Improvement Association, Cave Hill Conservation Campaign, Butterfly Conservation, Mount Eagles Residents Association, Queens University Belfast, Belfast City Council, Lisburn & Castlerea Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Council, NI Environment Agency

Project summary:   

The scheme has two strands:

  1. Youth Engagement Programme for young people 11-18 years old
  2. Empowerment Programme for young adults 17-24 years old

For young people within the formal education process the focus will be on engaging and inspiring them to positively change attitudes and behaviour, helping them understand environmental issues and be involved in planning of small scale projects such as planting wildflowers in their school grounds.

The scheme will work with groups of young people both within the formal education setting, and those who are no longer in formal education and the unemployed. The focus will be on empowering these young adults to plan and deliver environmental projects that will have a meaningful impact on their local environment. The project will also offer a wide range of training courses for young people, including biological surveying, conservation skills, GIS/GPS skills, walking the hills, health & safely etc. Young people will be mentored to challenge their and their ideas, increase confidence in their own abilities to feed into local plans.

Project outcomes

  • Developing positive attitudes and behaviour of young people (and through them their parents, peers etc) relating to their local environment and how it should be looked after
  • Barriers to engagement broken down through providing support and opportunities to disadvantaged youth, and breaking down barriers including social, cultural and religious divides
  • Positive impact on the natural environment along the often neglected urban/rural fringes of the Belfast Hills, enabling these spaces to be better used by local communities, improving health and wellbeing
  • Confident, experienced and multi skilled young people who can find employment, and continue to respect and care for the local green spaces, inputting into community planning towards a more sustainable future environment

Primary counties working in: Co Antrim & Down

Website: Belfast Hills Partnership

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