Young people develop their social skills

THIRTEEN young people from Craigavon and Banbridge have completed this year’s SHAPE (Social Health and Personal Experience) Project.

A partnership between the 1825 Project and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, SHAPE supports young people with mild to moderate learning difficulties to develop their self esteem and social skills.

Since September 2011, the young people have attended the one day a week programme which includes; Personal Development; Sexual Health and Relationships; Social Development; Building Self Confidence and Self-Esteem.

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Along with staff and volunteers from the 1825 Project, organisations which contributed to this year’s programme included Craigavon Borough Council Leisure Services, the Family Planning Association, Opportunity Youth and The Armagh Rhymers.

Congratulating participants on their success Kate Courtenay, Head Social Work Services for Children with a Disability from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said, “SHAPE encourages young people to recognise the positive contribution they can make amongst their families, local communities and wider society.

“The range of activities available through the project aims to develop the confidence of participants and enable them to make informed choices about their personal health and wellbeing. I would like to commend everyone who took part for their commitment to the programme and on the individual portfolios of achievement which they have developed.”

Mel McConville, Director of the 1825 Project said, “We are delighted that the progress made by the young people who have participated in SHAPE has been well beyond our expectations.

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“They must be commended for their determination and desire to learn new skills. I would also like to give credit to the commitment of our team of caring and dedicated volunteers and facilitators who have given this programme the potential to empower young people with learning disabilities.”

SHAPE is funded by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the Public Health Agency, Big Lottery Awards for All and Craigavon Borough Council through the DSD Neighbourhood Renewal Programme.

The programme will continue in September with a new intake of young people.