Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Ford congratulates young people for their involvement in active citizenship

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice

Justice Minister David Ford has congratulated the young winners in the Youth Justice Agency’s “Citizenship – what’s your role?” competition.

Open to all 10 to 17 year olds, the competition challenged young people to use their creative skills to demonstrate their involvement in active citizenship within their local community either as an individual or as part of a group. They were invited to showcase their talents through a range of media including photography, poetry, short story or newsletter, song or rap, arts and crafts, or short film. A photograph of the overall winner Gareth Greenfield can be found athttps://flic.kr/s/aHsjXbSSva.

David Ford presented winners with their prizes at a ceremony in Parliament Buildings. He said: “Many young people make a positive contribution within their communities but seldom get the credit they deserve. This competition gave them the opportunity to use their artistic skills to show the positive impact they have in today’s society by presenting creative ideas to demonstrate their involvement in active citizenship.

“I was most impressed with the breadth of entries on display. As fine ambassadors for their peer group, it is clear that the winners of these prizes have demonstrated both exceptional artistic talent and impressive insights into what being a good citizen actually means. We can learn a lot from them. 

“I congratulate not just the winners, but all those who have submitted entries. They have given us considerable food for thought. I thank them for that and wish them every success with their future endeavours.”

Competition prizes were sponsored by The Co-operative Group, Harrison Photography and Ulster Rugby. Local actor and writer, Dan Gordon, once again provided his support to the competition. As a strong proponent of young people in the arts, Dan entertained guests with his tales of working in the industry and gave encouragement to winners to make full use of their artistic abilities.

Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency Paula Jack added: “I am delighted with the record level of support for the competition. As an Agency we are constantly seeking new ways to expand our engagement with the local community and this has given us the opportunity to reach a wide range of young people. 

“I am most encouraged by the standard of entries and particularly by the number of schools and clubs who adopted our competition as part of a special project. 

“My sincere thanks go to Dan Gordon and to The Co-operative Group, Harrison Photography and Ulster Rugby for helping make the competition such a resounding success.”

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