Strive and Thrive helps Newtownabbey young people build employability skills Posted on 1 November 2021

12 young people from Newtownabbey learned valuable skills to boost their employment prospects, improve their health and wellbeing and gain self-confidence during a six-week programme delivered by Clanmil Housing in partnership with Bryson.

The 'Strive and Thrive' programme took place in Belfast last month, giving participants, aged 16 years and older, the chance to take part in various 'bite size' employability workshops to increase their knowledge about CV building, personal development, interview techniques and job searching.

Young people on computers












Throughout the six-week programme, the basic principles that define 'Good Relations' including respect, understanding and sharing, ran through all sessions.

As well as classroom-based sessions, the young people had the opportunity to take part in outdoor challenges and activities, including canoeing, kayaking and zorbing.

Clanmil's Community Cohesion Officer, Gerard Rosato said:

"The Strive and Thrive programme is just one of a number of initiatives that Clanmil Housing is engaged in as part of its Felden Tbuc/Shared Communities initiative. It is hoped that this type of project will assist our young people to reach their full potential by enhancing their skills base in terms of seeking employment as well as giving them the confidence to consider further education or skills training as their next step after leaving school."

Roisin McBride from Bryson said:

"We were delighted that Clanmil supported the Bryson Strive and Thrive programme. As well as learning skills in goal setting and job seeking, the young people who took part developed new friendships and were able to meet face to face for most of the workshops and during the outdoor activities. Many young people have missed out on social interaction during the last 18 months, and it was important that they were able to be with their peers in a safe, socially distanced way."

Roisin added:

"It was very rewarding to see their confidence develop each week. There have been really positive results from the programme, with some of the participants returning to school to complete A-Levels, some returning to further training, while others have been successful in gaining part-time employment."

One of the participants, Annalisha, described her experience of Strive and Thrive:

"It was a really educational programme that helped me with lots of CV skills and the staff were lovely and really friendly."

Strive and Thrive was a 'bridging' programme that was developed from the Felden Good Relations Plan. Bridging events and programmes are delivered to the wider community to encourage a range of good relations outcomes which relate to health and wellbeing, education and training.

Felden in Newtownabbey is one of Clanmil's shared housing developments and was established in 2016 as part of the NI Executive Together: Building A United Community Strategy.

Strive and Thrive was supported through the NI Executive Together: Building A United Community Strategy, which reflects the Executive's commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.

The Felden shared housing development is also supported by the Department for Communities and the NI Housing Executive. £6.03m funding was invested in the scheme's development and the roll out of the associated five-year Good Relations Plan.

Clanmil continues to work in partnership with the Felden local Advisory Group and residents to develop the Good Relations Plan, which seeks to build good relationships and a sustainable community.

For further information on the NI Executive Together Building a United Community visit:

The Executive Office - Together: Building a United Community