Youth Achievement Awards 2014
8th May 2014
The 4th annual Suffolk Lenadoon Youth Achievement Awards took place on Wednesday 12th March 2014 thanks to funding provided by the Ur City Too fund via Belfast City Council and additional funds provided by SLIG.
The event, which includes all youth providers across Suffolk and Lenadoon, is a highlight in the calendar for youth providers and young people alike. This year 90 young people (34 from Suffolk and 56 from Lenadoon) were recognised and rewarded for their efforts across ten categories including personal endeavour, citizenship and additional needs.
The young people, their families and youth providers all gathered in the ballroom of The Balmoral Hotel with our keynote speaker, NICCY Chief Executive Mairead McCafferty. Mairead gave an impassioned speech on the importance of celebrating the positive achievements and quoted Frederick Douglass when she said ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men’.
This event has always been child centred but we went a step further this year by asking young people to announce the nominees and read out bullet points on why each person was nominated. In addition to the awards, we were entertained by two fantastic performances by young people singing “There’s a place for us” and “Titanic” respectively.
The event highlighted the commonality that exists amongst the young people of Suffolk and Lenadoon and the crowd collectively celebrated the diverse range of skills, abilities and talents on show.
A buffet was served at the end of the evening and during this period it became apparent through informal interaction how much the event means to so many local families. Parents, grandparents and siblings bursting with pride, young people eternally grateful for a little recognition and friends acknowledging each other’s eloquent delivery of their first attempt at public speaking.
Increased self esteem, personal development, improved social skills and a distinct sense of achievement are just some of the many positive outcomes that make this event so beneficial.
Next year will be bigger and better again and we hope to see many new faces.