​Celebrating the achievements of young people in care

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust's Employability Service celebrated the achievements of young people in care at a celebration event in the Blackbox Belfast recently.

In front of a packed room young people engaged in the Employability Service, Include Youth's Give and Take Scheme and Start360's Switch onto Employment project - which works with young people in the community - shared their training and employment stories from the past 12 months.

Paddy Mooney, Director of Include Youth, speaking at the event said:

"For more than 30 years Include Youth has been delivering youth work based employability programmes to disadvantaged young people, in particular young people in and leaving care.

"This year our Employability Service, delivered in partnership with Start360, worked with 92 young people - 80% of which moved into training or employment. Our Give and Take Scheme, which also falls under the trust's Employability Service, saw 70% of participants move successfully into mainstream education, training or employment and gain a total of 150 accredited qualifications."

Tanya McCallen, a young nursing auxillery at the Royal Victoria Hospital who received support from the Employability Service, said:

"When I was young I always thought that I wouldn't have a job, my own car, be independent and fend for myself as I had been through the care system. Know I know I can achieve anything that I want to do by believing in myself.

"If it wasn't for the employability service I wouldn't be where I am today. They have helped me build my confidence so much so that I'm now able to speak to people without being embarrassed. I am now on my way towards achieving the career that I've always wanted, and that's to be Paediatric Nurse."

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