GROW Rural Youth Celebration

1 April 2015

GROW Rural Youth Celebration

GROW South Antrim celebrated the success of its Rural Youth Workshop project, which has seen 35 young people from across rural South Antrim make links with their European neighbours from France, Finland and Estonia.  The young people showcased their hard work and experiences to their parents and funders at a special Rural Youth Celebration event held in Antrim Civic Centre on Tuesday, 31st March. 

One of the participants was Lisa Wilson, from Doagh, said, “I really enjoyed the overall experience of the Estonia workshop.  At the beginning it was very challenging with dancing and trying to mix with the other countries, but it was a great opportunity to get to know each other.  I enjoyed trying something new and the experience introduced me to wonderful people – the only bad part was when we had to leave.  The workshop was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget.”

Bob Adams, Member of the GROW Local Action Group, was delighted that the young people involved have gained so much from the project, “The Rural Youth project is particularly special to us.  It brings Europe to life for young people, who are the future of our rural areas, and gives our young people the opportunity to get involved.  I'd like to praise all the young people who participated.  They have really made the project a success, getting to know other European cultures, finding out more about the Rural Development Programme and broadening their horizons.  Our GROW slogan is: 'Invest Together, GROW Together' and this couldn't sum up this project better in terms of all the young people who took part, investing their time and effort to make the project a success.”

“I would also like to thank the leaders who gave their time voluntarily to support the young people during their visits and the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster for their input in developing the project.”

The project has seen three groups of young people from across Antrim, Carrick and Newtownabbey, visit Sisteron in Southeastern France, Kullaa in Western Finland and Abja in southern Estonia, to broaden their horizons and meet other young Europeans involved in the Rural Development Programme. 

The workshops are a cooperation project between GROW and three other Local Action Groups in France, Finland and Estonia, with the aim to engage 14-17 year olds in rural development and get to know other European cultures whilst boosting their skills in videography and photography, dance and music.  The second year of the project combined a visit to Estonia and our own workshop at Greenmount with learning all about dance and music. 

The Rural Youth Project is being run in partnership with Local Action Groups in France, Finland, Estonia and the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster.  The project is funded under the NI Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, which is part-financed by the European Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.