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Oasis Youth Project News

21 September, 2012 - 08:20


Supported by BBC Children in Need, the Oasis Youth Project has completed another successful year of project delivery which encompasses three overarching indicators targeting BME children and young people in Portadown.

  1. Improved participation & inclusion of children & young people,

  2. Increased self esteem, confidence and empowerment.

  3. Increased awareness of healthy lifestyle choices.

The impressive range of activities delivered from June 2011-June 2012 benefited a total of 253 different children and young people from 12 different ethnic backgrounds. While the majority of the activities were delivered at the CIP Oasis Youth & Family Life Centre in Portadown other projects were delivered in partnership with local youth clubs or at residential facilities.

  •   34 sessions of afterschool club provision attended by 60 children

  •   24 sessions of Youth Drop in Provision attended by 100 young people

  •   Inclusive 12 week sports development project with local clubs

  •   4 x 6 weeks sports projects

  •   6 week graffiti project removing sectarian/racist slogans from local park

  •   2 week summer scheme for 80 children

  •   1 European Youth exchange Programme to Belgium

  •   4 week drug and alcohol awareness project for 25 children

  •   1 x 6 week art project for 30 children

  •   1 x 6 week drama project for 12 children

  •   1 x 6 week mentoring Programme for children

  •   2 team building /outdoor pursuits residential for a total of 38 youth

  •   1 Intercultural Family/children’s festival event attended by 500 people

    The comprehensive range of projects has inspired a significant number of young people to be more confident, more participative and more socially aware of risks and opportunities. An additional outcome to the project is that some of the young people now act as volunteers and peer mentors and a number will be participating in an Ethnic Youth Forum which has just been launched. In all, a volunteer team of 28 people from 8 diverse cultures assist in the delivery of the Oasis Project.

    Andrew McCreery, the Ethnic Youth Inclusion Officer tasked with delivering the project commented, ‘We are delighted with the impact that the Oasis project has had on the lives of children and young people. When they are first introduced to the project many are apprehensive and withdrawn, and in some cases their parents are equally fearful of allowing their children to attend the activities. After a few months it’s wonderful to see how they have developed a new confidence, created new friendships and motivated to get involved in new learning experiences. We were delighted that the Oasis Youth Project was also awarded the Inspire Mark from the London 2012 Olympic Committee’

    Craigavon Intercultural Programme would like to thank BBC Children in Need for providing salary costs for this rewarding project and the other agencies that supported individual projects: SELB, PSNI, Neighbourhood Renewal, Craigavon Council, Community Relations Council, Housing Executive, Southern Health Trust, Early Years 

21 September, 2012 - 08:12


The B.O.S.S project was a summer youth intervention project which Craigavon Intercultural Programme delivered in partnership with two local youth clubs in Portadown during July & August. B.O.S.S is an anagram for the three participating clubs, Ballyoran Community Association, Oasis Youth Project and Scotch Street Youth Club. The project provided diversionary activity for 50 young people over a eight week period and aimed to improve cross-community and cross-cultural relationships.

The B.O.S.S project was developed as a result of a successful outdoor adventure day that was coordinated by the local PSNI Policing in the Community team in May. The eight week project was coordinated by the youth leaders from each club who developed a strong team spirit alongside a committed group of volunteers from different backgrounds.

The project included a series of workshops that explored key issues in the lives of young people from the communities involved, these included useful and honest discussions regarding perceptions of issues such as flags, parades, racism, sectarianism and public safety. The teenage participants also engaged in a range of team-building activities convened in the respective youth centers. Relationships were enhanced by day trips to Belfast, Scotland, Dublin and a weekend residential at the Shannaghmore Adventure Centre in Newcastle.

Even though the young people were drawn from diverse religious, political and cultural backgrounds, they were observed forming new friendships across community divides. Oasis Youth Inclusion Officer, Andrew McCreery said, “the amazing thing about this project was that from the beginning, the young people engaged in all activities in a very natural and meaningful way. Quite often as leaders we find ourselves stimulating debate artificially. However, we discovered very quickly that these young people were prepared to put key differences aside, work together, learn from and build sustainable friendships with each other”.

Katie, one of the participants said, ‘As a result of the B.O.S.S. project I am more likely to mingle with people from a different religion, I previously thought people from the ‘other community’ caused the riots, now my perceptions have changed.’ Comments from other young people include; ‘B.O.S.S gave me something to do over the summer and I mixed with people that I would not have done so before’. ‘I changed my opinion about people from different countries, they’re so dead on’. ‘It’s OK to have friends who are Protestants, Catholics or from an ethnic minority’. ‘As a result of the project I am more likely to become friends with people from a different community, culture and religion.

The leaders of the three clubs are currently looking at ways to develop a new programme of work that will build on the foundation created by B.O.S.S. and expand the positive impact that the project generated.

The B.O.S.S team would like to thank all who made a contribution to this very successful project, including SELB Youth Intervention, Craigavon Borough Council, Good Relations, PSNI and BBC Children in Need. 

16 February, 2012 - 15:07

Around 20 young people from across Craigavon have come together to rejuvenated a underpass in Portadown. The participants have been working hard in recent weeks on a creative mural that will be painted using graffiti unto a small underpass at the Bann Bridge in Portadown. Meanwhile an additional group will be making a short documentary regarding the problems that can be caused by graffiti and alternately how it can be used as a constructive art form.

Those who participate will have the opportunity to attend an action packed weekend at Todd's Leap at the end of February.

This project has been financed by DSD Neighbourhood Renewal Programme, we are also thankful to Craigavon Community Safety Partnership for their cooperation. 

3 March, 2011 - 11:53

The Oasis Youth Project has commenced its latest project in conjunction with the Belfast Giants. Around 20 young people from 7 different nationalities are participating.

The young people met with a representives from The Giants and then enjoyed a social night together at The Odyssey Bowl. They now have some hard work ahead of them as their next task is to make a presentation to 2 members of The Giants team, explaining who they are as a community.

• Make physical activity fun, so creating a more positive image and experience of physical activity for the young people.

• Celebrate the strengths in the young people, thus developing self esteem and confidence.

• Create greater self awareness in the young people regarding their responses to difference, stereotypes and prejudice, to enhance their ability to understand and respect difference.

• Develop awareness in the young people about their what we their motivational styles and mechanisms they can use to maintain motivation beyond the programme

• Enable young people to experience a new sport on ice.

The project highlight will be on 26th March when the young people will experience a VIP day on the ice with the Giants and attend the final game of the season at The Giants home venue, The Odyssey Arena.

The project is supported by Housing Executive, Craigavon Borough Council & Unite Against Hate.

3 March, 2011 - 11:37

A capacity crowd filled Portadown Town Hall on Friday 17th September to watch enjoy a unique variety show which included the participation of children from new communities in Craigavon. Another highlight of the evening was a circus act performed by ‘Mr H’ from the Belfast Community Circus. For 30 minutes the audience of 260, composed mostly of ethnic families, remained spellbound as ‘Mr H’ masterfully moved through a series of routines rarely seen on a regional stage.

The core programme consisted of song, dance and drama performed by children from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Portugal.

For weeks before the event each community developed the talents of the children & young people via workshops and practise sessions.

The dedication of facilitators was matched by the enthusiasm of the children, who were determined to put on ‘the show of their lives’. Zuzanna Baran, from Poland, presented a solo performance with her enchanting voice and was followed by a group of Portuguese children that presented a traditional dance much to the pleasure of their parents.

The children from the local Lithuanian Saturday School put on a

variety of acts which included solos, group acts and intriguing

dances. Their quality presentation was equalled by the exquisite attire carefully developed by their teachers.

For long hours over many weeks the International Drama group practised their play at the Oasis Centre perfecting their skills until the curtain opened on Friday evening. The group demonstrated a high level of confidence and delighted their family members with a flawless presentation.

At the end of the evening some of the children were in tears because the show had come to an end. However, plans are in place to involve this group of enthusiastic actors in future projects.

In order to introduce the children to local culture and music, the Portadown based group, The Zephaniah Dancers, also took part in the 2 hour programme. Their high quality performance was much appreciated by a youthful audience many of whom were inspired to dream of future opportunities.

CIP thanks the Good Relation’s Department of Craigavon Borough Council for supporting the Intercultural Childrens Community.  

3 March, 2011 - 11:21


The Oasis Youth Project has created a partnership with CAPS ( Craigavon Alliance of Portuguese Speaker) & SELB Youth Service in the delivery of a "Personal Development Skills Training" programme which is accredited by OCN. In total 13 young people are involved in workshops each Wednesday. The participants have completed modules on:

• Recognising strengths and weaknesses

• Improving skills for employment

• Develop the ability to make decisions

• Set personal objectives for self improvement

Those who were involved in the project concluded the activities with a residential at Corrymeela in Ballycastle.  

3 March, 2011 - 10:32

Members of The Oasis Youth Project recently joined together with Goal Line Youth Trust & Cabin Crew to participate in an exciting film project. A local film production company BNL, facilitated the media workshops, exploring the issues of sectarian & racist perceptions that exist within our area. The outcome of the project was the production of 2 films in which the young people acted, directed, scripted and filmed. This was an opportunity for young people from many different communities to come together in a fun and creative environment to discuss some sensitive issues. The project was delivered by PEACE III Investing In Our Futures.

5 January, 2011 - 22:17

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