Include Youth’s Strive pilot was a youth-led initiative that offered a new model of good relations working for young people, developed by young people.

Strive was one of 12 pilots delivered under the Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) Strategy and funded by the NI Executive.

Strive United Youth Pilot

Strive, a 'youth-led' programme, was developed and delivered by Include Youth in partnership with Newstart Education Centre, East Belfast Alternatives, Lisburn YMCA and Youth Initiatives Poleglass.

Young people, aged 16 to 24, who were in need of education, training or employment, participated in the eight month pilot programme which was designed by young people for young people and underpinned by a youth work approach. The pilot programme focused on the four main United Youth themes: good relations, citizenship, personal development and employability.

Strive worked from the principle that young people are experts in their own lives – whether personal challenges or successes, their experience of growing up in a particular community or their experiences of education – therefore were best equipped to shape the programme.

Young people who had been on a previous programmes with the partner organisations formed an 'Expert by Experience' (EBE) group to help design and run the programme. They created development plans around the main United Youth themes to equip the youth workers to run the programme in each of the four areas. As the programme progressed they recruited more young people to the EBE group to reflect the views of current participants.

In March 2016 a resource, developed by young people and designed in partnership with young people, was produced focusing on the four key themes of United Youth and capturing the learning from the pilot programme. Download the 'Experts by Experience, a youth-led approach' resource by clicking here. An independent evaluation was also carried out and copies of the report can be viewed here.

Strive was one of 12 good relations pilots delivered under the 'Together: Building a United Community' (T:BUC) strategy and funded through the Northern Ireland Executive. It is hoped that applications for delivery of the main programme will open later in the year – in the meantime, catch up on our Strive United Youth Pilot by following @StriveUYP or liking our Facebook page.