Tuesday 20 March 2018

Teenagers to pay visit to Belfast

Nicola Donnelly

AS PART of a youth exchange programme with a group from West Belfast, teenagers from Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services have travelled to the city to take part in a range of activities.

Under the banner of 'Understanding Diversity' which began last April as part of the Causeway Exchange, the programme explores cultural diversity among young people.

Ten teenagers from Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services headed to Belfast to join with a group from Colin Development in Belfast to participate in numerous activities and tours.

Together, both groups enjoyed dinner before going to cheer on the Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team.

They also went go to see the Peace Wall, which has been decorated with more positive rather than paramilitary murals, reflecting the changing face of the city and the North in general.

'They also visited the historic Crumlin Road Jail and take the 'Black Taxi Tour' which were once synonymous with the dark days of The Troubles,' said Aishling Farrelly of Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services.

A range of outdoor activities including swimming and trips to the Antrim Coast were also on the agenda during the five-day trip north of the border.

Earlier in the year, a group from Colin Development in Belfast travelled to Dublin to meet the teenagers from Swords/Baldoyle Youth Services where they visited a number of sights in Dublin city including a guided tour of Aras an Uachtarain, a trip to Trinity College and an evening of dinner and entertainment in the Swords Baldoyle Youth Services premises.

'Part One of the exchange proved to be extremely successful,' added Aisling.

The project has been organised by the Swords group along with assistance from two youth workers, Aisling and Shona Whelan.

The first part of the project was partly-funded by Leargas, the Colin Development and Swords Baldoyle Youth Services, Irish Youth Justice/ESP and through fundraising efforts.

The second part of the project will be funded by the Northern Ireland Youth Council.

Fingal Independent