Winner: Upper Springfield Youth Team, Belfast

Upper Springfield Youth Team works with young people aged 11 to 25 from the Upper Springfield and Whiterock areas. The project enhances social inclusion, participation, educational attainment and the health and wellbeing of marginalised young people. It uses a needs-led and outcome driven approach which affirms the voluntary and democratic nature of the relationships between youth workers and young people. Effective work with children and young people is underpinned by respect for their rights and active participation. The project provides a clear pathway for the most excluded young people to become active citizens and community leaders in their own right. The team engages young people ‘where they are at’. This includes drop-in facilities, homework clubs, personal and social development, sport and recreation, health and wellbeing, Irish medium youth work, experiential learning, cookery programmes, community festivals, support for community and sports groups, school transition programmes, youth diversionary programmes, cross community projects, youth assemblies and campaigns.

Group Contact: Niall Enright [email protected]

The judges were impressed by the sympathetic and pragmatic approach adopted by this group in their engagement with young people. They are meeting the needs of young people in a depressed area beset with the social problems associated with drink, drugs, suicide and more. That is their priority in this needs driven environment. Initiatives have been successfully implemented to address the challenges and careful forward planning augers well for the future!

Runner Up: Dreamsheme Northern Ireland