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A youth film project involving young people from Three Ways and Bosco Communities as well as from the the nine Neighbourhood Renewal Communities in Newry has been praised by participants and stakeholders alike at the end of a year in which the young people involved made three films looking at key issues that impact on young people and the wider community. The issues include, Driving and being distracted, social media, bullying and planned fights and anti social behaviour with the emphasis on throwing stones at cars and other vehicles.

The project funded through the Neighbourhood Renewal Youth engagement programme took 12 months of planning and delivery with young people from all areas across Newry.

Filming one of the scenes for the project.
Filming one of the scenes for the project.

Three Ways Youth Project and Bosco Extended Provision were the project promoters for the programme and worked in partnership with NM&DDC, SRC media and performing arts department, the PSNI along with young people from the Neighbourhood Renewal communities within Newry city. The screening of the films was a massive success; so much so, the premiere had to be shown twice. Following on from this, the young people who were on the steering group for the programme organised a celebration event in the Canal Court Hotel where almost 300 people attended.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Gillian Fitzpatrick at the time commended the young people involved and all the supporting agencies. She also paid tribute to the Three Ways Youth Project and Bosco Extended Provision for their work in the development of this project. Cllr Fitzpatrick also thanked the Department for Communities for their continued financial and administrative support.  She also commended her own Council officials within Active and Health Communities department as well as her fellow councillors. Finally she paid tribute to the Neighbourhood Renewal (NR) partnership for their dedication and commitment as they help to deliver the NR investment programme and she wished the project every success. 

Also speaking at the time Geraldine Merendino the chairperson of The Newry Neighbourhood Renewal partnership added her thanks to the Department for Communities for their continued support to the Neighbourhood renewal investment programme. She also thanked all the partners involved in the project to include the Three Ways CA and Bosco EP, NM&DDC, SRC, and the Education Authority, the PSNI, The Omniplex, the local community groups and the young people involved.

Organisers and participants in the Film project. Back from left – Right: Cllr Charlie Casey, Joanne McAteer (Bosco Extended – Project Promoter), Cllr Valerie Harte, Mary-Ellen Darling (Steering Group Member), Mickey Brady MP, Kaylem McShane (Steering Group Member), Sean McKevitt (NR Coordinator), Niamh Malone (EA – Area Youth Worker), Kieran Sheids (Education Authority) and Cllr Brian Quinn 

Front: Ally McKenzie (SRC), Sinead Ennis MLA, Catherine McIninerney (Department for Communities), Chairperson NMDDC Gillian Fitzpatrick, Padraig Harte (Project Promoter – Three Ways CA), Geraldine Merendino (Chairperson – NR Partnership) and Teddy Fearon (SRC)
Organisers and participants in the Film project. Back from left – Right: Cllr Charlie Casey, Joanne McAteer (Bosco Extended – Project Promoter), Cllr Valerie Harte, Mary-Ellen Darling (Steering Group Member), Mickey Brady MP, Kaylem McShane (Steering Group Member), Sean McKevitt (NR Coordinator), Niamh Malone (EA – Area Youth Worker), Kieran Sheids (Education Authority) and Cllr Brian Quinn 

Front: Ally McKenzie (SRC), Sinead Ennis MLA, Catherine McIninerney (Department for Communities), Chairperson NMDDC Gillian Fitzpatrick, Padraig Harte (Project Promoter – Three Ways CA), Geraldine Merendino (Chairperson – NR Partnership) and Teddy Fearon (SRC)

From the outset, the project promoters always continued the focus on the personal and social development of young people and a vehicle from which to try and connect our young people across the 9 Neighbourhood Renewal areas of Newry.

Joanne McAteer, Project Promoter and Leader in Charge of Bosco Extended Provision emphasised the thoughts of all participating young people and why such programmes are a success story.  Speaking at the event, Joanne said “I would like to thank you all for coming along this evening to celebrate our young people’s success in the planning and implementation of their second successful intercommunity project, with the involvement of nine different community associations and youth groups across Newry with over 100+ participants. I would like to thank each community association for their continued support and for helping to encourage young people from their area to get involved in such projects. Projects like this have accompanied young people in their journey of personal, social and educational development.”

Joanne then went onto say “I have had the privilege of working with youth groups to bring their project to the big screen. A big thank you to each individual involved in the film project, you should all be extremely proud of yourself.  Congratulations to our intercommunity steering group, which consists of 2 young people from each of the nine areas on the massive success that this event was, highlighting the issues which affect you and your communities.  This group was formed when planning last year’s art project and it has been breath-taking to reflect on the individual growth of all members in this time frame. These young people show up most passion for their communities and Newry as a whole. Each and every young person who has been involved in the project are a credit to their families and communities, I am so proud of them all. I want to thank them all for making this a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience.”

Another project promoter Padraig Harte said the turnout to the premiere at the Omniplex and at the after show celebration in The Canal Court Hotel was a testament to the efforts and success of the young people from the 9 Neighbourhood Renewal groups. 

Padraig said “The turnout supports my thoughts in why we put these applications forward and deliver such programmes as high of calibre as this.  Personally for me, the films were right up there with the best, the countless hours, motivation and dedication by all involved is to be commended. I think everyone who had the opportunity to watch the films would agree with me when I say I haven’t seen nothing like this before and the professionalism it was done in.

A project like this if even is hard to find and the young people have taken it on their stride and didn’t realise how big of an impact it was until recently.  For too long young people have been in the spotlight with negative press, on working with these young people, it is clear to see they should be given the positive press they deserve, these young people who highlighted the issues of their issues and challenged them via the big screen, something in which they hope all young people will take something away from with their hard hitting showcase.  

Padraig then went onto say “The application put forward to the Education Authority – Youth Engagement through Three Ways & Bosco Extended Provision, was always to bring the community groups within the Neighbourhood Renewal areas together to deliver a piece of work based on their idea, from something originally a small sized project has escalated into what we have here tonight and this is all down to the young people and those who’ve supported them along the way.

This has always been about the young people from the community groups putting their skills to use and partnership working to build on their engagement within their communities and their personal & social development.  From what started as a conversation between Joanne McAteer, Sean McKevitt and I had progressed into a massive project which I believe has been done nowhere else.”

On closing remarks, Padráig said “It is evident from the feedback and the progression of the young people to see that programmes such as this work.  They have major benefits for the young people and those communities involved, but, they also have great benefits for those who support it.  We hope that going forward we can continue this great inter-community work and find further funding to allow this work to be carried out.  I wish to on behalf of all the young people involved and their communities thank 3 key people here this evening who’ve been the driving force behind these projects and whom do not take the recognition they deserve.  Joanne McAteer, Niamh Malone and Sean McKevitt; Your passion, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment has a lot to be desired for.

On behalf of the Intercommunity Steering Group, Three Ways Youth Project and Bosco Extended Provision, a number of thanks were expressed to those individuals who the project could not have been delivered without.

They included Kieran Shields/Deirdre Hassan and Pauline Rock of the Education Authority – Social Inclusion Unit, Department for Communities, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, Southern Regional College- Staff & Media/Performing Arts Students, Teddy Fearon & Ally McKenzie from  SRC who’ve been crucial and very supportive to the project – The partnership working has been fantastic and positive, PSNI  Neighbourhood Policing Team, Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, 9 Community Associations & Bosco Extended Provision, Omniplex Cinemas, Southern Health & Social Care Trust, McGennity’s Funeral services, Canal Court Hotel, Crilly Designs, Lift The Roof, Relapse Productions and S&C Party Hire.

The Participants Views

Kaylem Mc Shane, a young and enthusiastic member of Three Ways Youth Group and Steering Group said “This is my second year on the intercommunity steering group and now after another successful project I have never been more amazed at what we are able to accomplish as a connected group.  Each topic premiered was picked in consultation with the all of the young people from the 9 neighbourhood renewal areas where we then finally decided on these topics.  Our younger members focused on organised fights and cyber bullying as this for them will be a new issue facing their lives.  The older groups focused on careless driving as many of them will be earning their licenses and again these issues will be new and relative to their lives. Finally the movie based on stone throwing focuses on an ongoing issue in a number of local areas.”  

Kaylem then went onto say “As a young person, being involved in this project, has given me the ability to have a say in the issues facing our communities and to even help in some way to resolve them through raising awareness and I hope every young person in attendance and those who couldn’t make it feel that together everyone of us is making a difference in our communities.”

Mary Ellen Darling, a young and passionate member of Greater Linenhall Community Association and the Intercommunity Steering Group said “I initially got involved with the Intercommunity programme through the art project last year which we all know was a great success. From then I have held my position on the intercommunity steering group. When we met to evaluate the success of the art project we were really eager to get involved in another project, again with the nine areas and so we decided on the film project.”

Mary Ellen then went onto say “My involvement with the Intercommunity project has allowed me to work with other young people from different areas, given me the opportunity to work and strive together with these young people, to achieve something we felt was important to all young people within our communities today.  This programme has allowed me and the twenty others to gain new friendships and has really opened my mind and got me thinking as a young person in society today.  

 

 

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