Kilkeel Gets Active Summer Programme: Young People Get Education Boost

The summer programme organised by Eurochild's member Children in Northern Ireland promotes health and wellbeing for young people

Children in Northern Ireland, working in partnership with the Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership, Pathways Adventure NI, SPACE and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council ran a pilot programme for 2 weeks during August 2016.

The aims of the project were to engage young people in a health & well-being programme aimed at keeping them active during the summer, empowering them to make healthy choices in relation to food and offering them unique opportunities for personal growth by acquiring an OCN Level 1 Award in Healthy Living.

Over 15 young people achieved an Award. The programme evaluation highlighted the many benefits to running programmes like this and how these programmes – with a lunch club included - can have a positive impact upon the health and wellbeing and attainment of young people during the long summer months.  

Pauline Leeson, Chief Executive of Children in Northern Ireland, said: We were absolutely delighted with the achievement of the young people who took part in this programme. The fact there are children and young people who are often left to their own devices during the long summer holidays is something we need to address.  Offering programmes such as what we delivered addresses the well-being and educational outcomes of young people during the long summer holidays, it is something that we must continue to do.  We believe it will improve many outcomes for children and young people but also their families too.”  

Richard O’Flaherty, Programme Director for the Anti-Poverty Pathfinder Programme within the Department of Communities, spoke at the awards ceremony, saying: Structured summer activities for young people are important gaps that we collectively need to be addressed in Northern Ireland. The OCN accreditation of this pilot programme shows the possibilities of learning outside of a school setting and over the summer months in a fun and interactive way. The Kilkeel Gets Active Programme emphasised the confidence, independence and team building skills that were built in for the young people who participated on the programme over the two weeks. The Department for Communities is committed to identifying what works and build them up in scale through partnership working, co-design and co-production with organisations, children and their families.”


For further information
  

Contact Ellen Finlay, Policy Officer at Children in Northern Ireland