Youth Development Programme Honours Young People

3rd December 2021

A celebration,  in partnership with the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and St John Ambulance NI,  to honour the first group of individuals completing a 12 week Youth Development Programme has taken place in Lisburn.

The programme, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, offers participants the opportunity to improve their employability skills by completing an ILM level 2 in team working and a qualification in First Aid.  Other short courses aimed at developing participants knowledge and skills are offered and these can be tailored to suit the needs of the group.

The young people who have taken part in the programme are also provided with the opportunity to gain experience working as part of a health care team, through a specific volunteering role in a healthcare setting.  They are also given support to prepare their CV and advice on how to prepare for job interviews in healthcare and other industries.

Sonya Duffy, Volunteer Services Manager, South Eastern HSC Trust said, “We are delighted to have launched the Youth Development Programme in partnership with SJANI.  The Trust has actively encouraged the involvement of younger volunteers within our hospitals and community facilities.  This programme takes a step forward in not only offering the opportunity to gain valuable experience,  but also to gain further qualifications and develop knowledge through short courses.   The young people who took part were amazing and showed commitment and willingness to learn, attributes that are so important in the workplace.  I have no doubt these young people all have successful futures ahead of them. “

Dr Andrew Kerr, Regional Youth Manager, St John Ambulance NI added, “ We are delighted to have partnered with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to design and deliver a new programme to young people within local communities. As a charity, our aim is for more young people than ever to be qualified and ready to be active health citizens, role models and be the next generation of health professionals. We support young people to play an active role in creating health resilience in their community, through programmes shaped by them. This partnership programme provided young people with opportunities to explore health and well-being topics, while developing life-saving skills in first aid, alongside developing leadership and teamwork skills through the completion of an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) qualification with the aim to create health resilience in local communities. Young people also gained valuable experience of volunteering within a healthcare setting.”

Francis Ferris, Youth Leader said “The young people appear to have enjoyed the programme, voting with their feet as they are still attending each week. That says it all!”

For information on further programmes or if you would like to volunteer within the South Eastern HSC Trust, please contact