A community project supported by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and aimed at maximising the independence and choice of young people with disabilities has been unveiled.
The Youthreach art project has created two large-scale artworks based on the young people’s interest and participation in sports, music and arts at Goal Line Youth Club in Portadown.
Geraldine Maguire, the Trust’s Assistant Director of Specialist Child Health and Disabilities, says the Trust is committed to working closely with community and voluntary groups.
“The Trust’s ethos is to support young people, families and groups to enhance their skills and broaden their knowledge. We help children and young people with disabilities to become integrated in their local community. The Youthreach programme enables young people aged 12-18 years with disabilities to attend a mainstream club, often for the first time, where they have the opportunity to mix with their peers, make new friends and feel accepted.
“The young people try new activities and develop skills, make their own choices and have fun. The comments of the young people, and their carers, on this art project have been very positive. Referrals to the Youthreach programme are through our Children with DisabilitiesTeam.”
Charlotte Keenan and James White were two members of the group who worked with Artist in Residence at the Trust Jill McKeown on a ceramic mosaic and a tissue collage.
Charlotte enjoyed working with the collage and said: “I loved this project. It was fun.”
James was involved in the mosaic and said: “It was noisy breaking the tiles. Being involved in this project made me happy.”
Jill explains: “We spent the first evening painting all the activities the young people take part in such as pool, basketball and skittles. This gave us the starting point for the design of the mosaic and collage. Learning a new skill, getting creative and working with others benefitted the young people and their leaders and the two pieces of art will be displayed with pride in the centre.”
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