Education news

Young people affected by homelessness celebrate educational achievements

Chloe O'Toole, Tyler Morrison and Mileni Lopes Seidi, three of more than 100 young people whose lives have been turned around by the Relentless Change Programme

MORE than 100 young people affected by homelessness have rebuilt their lives in a major project run by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

The Relentless Change Programme (RCP), funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, has helped participants find permanent accommodation, employment and connection to vital statutory services.

It is supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Extern and Ulster University.

Those involved establish transformational relationships and complete personal and social development and experiential learning courses to help them deal with the challenges and pressures of homelessness.

On top of that, 18 have completed a work placement this year and 41 have completed an accredited Ulster University course on civic empowerment. A further 15 are registered to take part in the course in April.

One of the participants, Saoirse McEvoy, is now employed by Northern Ireland Youth Forum as a youth apprentice in its peer mentoring project.

"Being on the Relentless Change Project has changed my life massively in relation to my mental health, before I started the project I was not in a good place," she said.

"I had the most brilliant experience from this project and made the most amazing friends. I gained lots of skills and developed my qualities. Having the opportunity to experience university was incredible."

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