Young Care Leavers in the Western Trust 'Try' Harder

ULSTER Rugby's Peter Nelson and Alan O'Connor were in Strabane to celebrate the achievements of young care leavers involved in the Western Health and Social Care Trust's Employability Service at the Melvin Sports Complex.

The annual event, which recognises the employability and personal development achievements of young people in or leaving care in the Western Trust area, is organised by Include Youth in partnership with the Trust. Young people involved with Include Youth's Give and Take: Core, based in Derry and Omagh, also spoke at the event. Chloe, a participant on Include Youth's Give & Take Scheme in Derry, said:

"My mental health had been a barrier for me; in particular I really struggled to achieve my English qualification. But Give and Take is flexible and supports me to learn in a way that works for me. I have achieved more qualifications than I ever expected and I am even working on my Essential Sills Level 2 English and Level 3 ICT, which I am very proud of."

Young people also told how they had benefited from the support they received and flexibility of the programme. Paddy Mooney, Director at Include Youth, said:

"We are so proud of young people we work with who show real commitment and determination throughout the year to improve their educational outcomes and move positively into training or employment. It was also great that players from Ulster Rugby, our charity partner for the next two seasons, were here to hear the young people's stories and also share their own stories of success.

"We continue to deliver the Employability Service in the Western Trust area and the success stories heard today are proof that working in partnership with the Trust really delivers for young people in care."

Give and Take: Core is a 12 month employability programme for 16 to 21 year olds in or leaving care and who are not ready for mainstream education or training. Give and Take is a standalone section within the overall Trust's Employability Service and has engaged with more than 65 young people since April 2015, who have gained 72 Essential Skills qualifications, 41 training qualifications, 16 First Aid certificates and availed of a range of work experiences between them.

The event was supported by Allstate Northern Ireland, who donated goodie bags to the young people in attendance. Follow @IncludeYouth or like our Facebook page for more information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Sharon Whittaker, Communications Coordinator at Include Youth, on 028 9031 1007 or

  • Include Youth is based throughout Northern Ireland but supports young people in the Western Trust area at its Queens Street office in Derry and Community House office in Omagh
  • Young people involved in Give & Take: Core are referred to Core by their social worker and participate in:
    • Supported work experience opportunities
    • Personal development programmes
    • Training and qualifications
    • One to one mentoring support from a volunteer in their community
    • Transitional support in their move on