YOUNG people from across the district recently enjoyed an adventure during the Tollymore Outdoor Challenge.
Funded by the National Lottery Awards for All, Tollymore Outdoor Challenge is a joint initiative between Banbridge NPT, REACT and Banbridge District Council.
The project aims to raise awareness of antisocial behaviour, educate about the consequences of antisocial behaviour and rewards of hard work, and promote interaction between police and young people.
Fifteen teenagers from four local secondary schools - Banbridge Academy, Banbridge High School, St Patrick’s High School and Newbridge Integrated,were selected to take part in the challenge.
The first phase took place over two days with 30 pupils attending each day at Tollymore Forest Park. The first day included a series of team-building exercises and 10 pupils from each of the 15 were selected to continue on phase two, consisting of a hill walk over the course of a day.
The participants faced different scenarios throughout the day involving role play. Six pupils from each group were selected to progress on to phase three, a two-day residental focusing on command and leadership.
The last phase of the project will see two pupils from each school progress on to a week long residential course. All participants will attend an award evening in June to bring the Challenge to a close.
Constable Pete Stevenson, Banbridge NPT, said, “The project will run over the next few months and will see the participants take part in physical and mental challenges as well as discussion and reflection.
“We will chat and interact with the youths involved and take part in the challenges with them. We will discuss antisocial behaviour and how it affects the participants on a personal level, but also the effect this behaviour can have on other people.
“We will also look at the consequences antisocial behaviour can have such as a criminal record and the knock on effect on travel, education and career plans later in life. The participants will also get the chance to talk about their relationship with police and how we can make it better.
“The activities on the scheme will reinforce our discussions and demonstrate the rewards of hard work and good behaviour.
“Ultimately we hope that the teenagers and ourselves will learn from each other and form relationships which we can continue to build on after the challenge ends.”