Thirty seven young people from working class areas of the central Waterside gained new first aid, food safety and child protection skills through an ‘outside the box’ programme funded by the Londonderry Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).
The young people from Caw, Clooney, Irish Street and Kilfennan, who were aged between 15 and 25 and engaged in the Creating Space Transformers project, successfully completed qualifications in First Aid in the Workplace and Level 2 Food Safety as well as completing Fire Safety Training, Child Protection Training and under-going Access NI certifications.
Project co-ordinator Michelle Hayden said: “This was a new somewhat risky venture for us as an organisation, in that it aimed to develop and deliver diversion and intervention outside the box by adopting what we envisaged as a more sustainable and strategic approach which provided a legacy element after the project life.
“Buy-in from the targeted participant grouping might have proved more difficult to negotiate due to it being mostly training based rather the more popular activity based initiatives and indeed it may have proved more difficult to source the financial means to support its delivery.
“I can happily say we were proved wrong in all accounts. I would like to thank the PCSP for having the foresight to recognise the merits of the project, the community and youth organisations in all other partner areas for their support and assistance, and finally all those who participated and made the project a success.
“Transformation is seldom immediate but we hope in some way we have provided the tools by which it can be made possible.”
Alderman Drew Thompson chair of the Londonderry PCSP stated: “As chair of Derry PCSP I’m delighted that we were able to provide funding for this project and make a difference to the lives of young people in the Waterside area.
“The project proved to be hugely successful and these young people have now gained qualifications that will no doubt serve them well in the future.
“It’s important to recognise the work of the communities out there and support them where we can.”