Belfast Telegraph

Groups ready for trips of a lifetime

By Nicci Gregg

Two Newtownabbey groups are embarking on an exciting educational trip this month.

A select group of young women will visit London's Westminster while a group of young men are heading to France and Belgium.

Both programmes have been organised by Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Community Services and Good Relations sections.

Students aged 16 to 18 have been selected from six local post primary schools.

The young women have been chosen from Ballyclare High School, Ballyclare Secondary School, Belfast High School and Newtownabbey Community High.

The pupils are off to London in a few weeks to find out more about the corridors of power at Westminster. It is hoped the trip will help pupils have a better understanding of local, regional and national politics.

Students have already enjoyed several classes and excursions and are looking forward to the trip.

Claire Fox, the council’s Good Relations officer, said: “The students have become more confident in dealing with political processes and engaging with political representatives at a local, regional and national level.

“We hope they have enjoyed coming together with other young women from different traditions and viewpoints to look at issues that are important to them and their peers.”

Mr Holmes, principal at Newtownabbey Community High School, commented: “I am grateful to the council for organising such a worthy educational experience for these pupils.”

The young men have been chosen from Ballyclare Secondary School, Edmund Rice College and Monkstown Community College.

The programme, Journey of Remembering, will take the pupils to France and Belgium on March 12 to visit battlefields, cemeteries and other places of historical interest relating to World War 1.

It is hoped that the young people will gain an understanding and appreciation of the events which took place in the lead up to and during World War 1, focusing particularly on Ulster’s contribution at the Battle of the Somme.

Mayor of Newtownabbey Alderman John Scott, who will join the group, said: “This study visit will give the students the opportunity to come together with other young people from different traditions and viewpoints and help them to appreciate the contribution and sacrifices made by so many in international conflicts. I hope they too will find this a life changing experience.”

To find out more about other initiatives organised by the council’s good relations section contact Claire Fox on 9034 0033.

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