The Banbridge Area Youth Support Network (BAYSN) group, and some of the young people they work with from across the district, gathered recently to celebrate their achievements over the past year.
The event was held in Banbridge Youth Resource Centre, hosted by young people and offering a great night of entertainment which also delivered some strong messages of safety and wellbeing, and included a wide range of interactive entertainment and activities.
Certificates were presented for a wide range of achievements including OCN qualifications in Disability Awareness, Leadership in Youth Work and Skills and Techniques and certificates of Recognition/Appreciation for a range of voluntary contributions such as Peer Mentoring in school (Banbridge High School) Youth Council and Youth Club volunteering.
All of the work and achievements of the young people will not just benefit the community but also greatly enhance their personal development, educational opportunities and employability.
Banbridge Area Youth Support Network (BAYSN) represents a hub for organisations working with young people across the Banbridge District with representatives meeting every 6-8 weeks to share practice and ideas, often leading to collaborative approaches whereby resources and skills are shared to offer the best possible services to young people.
The crowd of over 100 people was entertained through interactive workshops and teambuilding activities provided by the PCSP, Banbridge Neighbourhood Team and SELB Youth Service with the evening very ably co-ordinated and compered by members of the Youth Centre and Banbridge District Youth Council.
The final act of the evening was a real treat with a few great tunes from Que Pasa, winners of ‘Spirit of Buskfest’ 2014.
SELB Area Youth Officer, Roisin McConville commented: “Tonight’s celebration event was an excellent example of collaboration, young people were left in no doubt that statutory agencies ie SELB Youth Service, Banbridge Council, Banbridge PCSP and the PSNI working together can offer a much improved menu of activities that go a long way in promoting young people’s self-confidence, active participation and sense of achievement.
“It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening that showed Banbridge Youth Centre in a very fine light.”
Mrs Hilary Dobson, Banbridge PCSP Vice-Chair, continued, “Banbridge PCSP was delighted to have the opportunity to support this event which enabled us to engage and consult with young people from across the District about projects for young people, and youth related projects that they think the new PCSP could support from 1st April 2015.
“This event was the best attended in the three years of Banbridge PCSP and reflects the benefits of working in partnership with other agencies and in having representation on appropriate local forums.”
Constable Colin McDonnell, Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team, added, “It was privilege to see young people from our local area recognised at this event.
“All too often, we only hear the negative perception of young people and it is gratifying to hear so many examples of the positive contribution they make to our community.
“I held a question and answer session with some of those attending to provide an insight into the work of police in Banbridge, the type of issues we are tackling and the efforts we make to ensure this area is a safe place to live, work and visit. We will continue to work with our partners to help our young people make informed choices and stay safe.”
See next week’s Leader for more photos from the event.