29 Apr 2022
Gilford Youth, a participant in the Foundation’s Community Innovators Programme, have been showcasing the efforts young people are making to improve relationships between adults and children in the area.
The Community Innovators programme supports communities to find new and innovative solutions to challenges they are facing. As a result of some incidents of antisocial behavior, young people in Gilford were collectively viewed in a negative light and their views were rarely sought when making decisions in their community.
A lack of engagement increased the likelihood of children and young people from Gilford coming into contact with police and the criminal justice system, damaging relationships between older and younger people even further, leading to reduced quality of life in Gilford.
‘Through Our Eyes’, a project celebrating youth and sharing achievements was put into action to improve the relationships between children/young people and adults in Gilford. A series of imaginative workshops and intergenerational events was held over eight weeks, leading up to the festival day itself. The workshops ignited conversations between generations, supporting people to express themselves and highlight issues they face through creative mediums including art, photography, film making, dance, music and inventive workshops.
The overarching aim of Through Our Eyes was to provide a platform for building better relationships in Gilford and promote intergenerational understanding, through regular interaction and the inclusion of young people in local decision-making bodies.
Gilford Youth Chairperson, Matt Crozier commented “ We wanted to celebrate creativity, energy achievements of local young people who have just completed the ‘Through Our Eyes’ programme.
On show where the young peoples creations including mural art, animations and the young people shared what they got out of the programme. This programme was the beginning of new relationships between young and old in the community, bringing everyone together to begin that conversation and decide how we can work together in the future sharing our community space so everyone feels welcome and safe.”