Accolade for clean up

A GROUP of young people from Craigavon have been recognised at The Prince's Trust national awards.

The ‘Celebrate Success’ gala event took place recently in London and the young people from Craigavon rubbed shoulders with celebrities at the ceremony, such as Sir Michael Caine, comedian Michael McIntyre, BBC radio presenter Chris Evans and BBC Strictly Come Dancing winner Chris Hollins.

HRH The Prince of Wales also attended the event and met the group at a reception to honour the finalists.

The group of 11 young people who successfully cleaned up the Linear Stream in Craigavon were presented with a runner up accolade by Bond girl Gemma Arterton at the red carpet event.

Having won the Northern Ireland Community Impact Award, the group were in the final three for the national Balfour Beatty Community Impact award which recognises the positive contribution young people make to their local community.

The area that the young people chose to clean up is part of a neighbourhood renewal scheme as it is one of the top deprived areas in Northern Ireland and has been used as a dumping ground.

The young people made contact with Craigavon Borough Council who supplied a lorry and driver to collect and dump the material as the young people cleared it from the river. The group removed a small mountain of waste including dirty nappies, furniture, shopping trolleys and even a chimney, collecting more than 150 bin bags full of rubbish.

Tony Conway, Team Leader, said: “The difference to the river once the work was completed spoke volumes. The environmental impact is clear and residents living near the river are enjoying the return of different species of wildlife, with one such new resident a crane. Young people are now using this area as it no longer poses a health risk.”

Most of the young people from the group have now gone on to education, employment and training and the waterway is being maintained and developed by Craigavon Borough Council.

Ian Jeffers, Director of The Prince’s Trust in Northern Ireland, said: “The young people on this team displayed great effort and commitment in completing the project and developed a range of skills including time management, communication and leadership as well as tackling the physical challenge that the project provided. We are delighted they have received this acknowledgement for all their hard work and the very measurable positive impact they have made to their local community.”

The Prince's Trust helps change young lives. The youth charity gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 14 to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.

Since the charity was founded by The Prince of Wales in 1976, it has helped over 550,000 young people across the UK and continues to support 100 more every day.

More than three in four young people The Trust helped last year moved into work, education or training. Further information about The Prince’s Trust is available at or on 0800 842 842.

The Prince's Trust team in Craigavon recently held two street collections, one in Lurgan and the other in Portadown, to raise funds for for a community based project to raise awareness and introduce groups and individuals to the new sport of Geocaching.

The Lurgan collection raised 175 while the Portadown collection raised 159. The Prince's Trust team thanked the people of Lurgan and Portadown for their generosity and support.