Boost for future civic leaders

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The creation of a ‘Young Ambassadors’ programme in the Mid & East Antrim borough is a step closer to being realised.

Members of the Council’s Community Planning Committee agreed recommendations from the special working group set up last year to progress the initiative when they met in the Braid on Tuesday night.

These included that it be run in the first instance as a pilot to enable Council to gauge its success and that the age range of 18-25 be targeted for recruitment, with 15 places being offered across the borough to those resident in Mid and East Antrim.

They also agreed the group’s recommendation that civic leadership and promoting good relations are central to the Programme; and, that a specification to procure a Service Deliverer to support the Programme be drawn up and issued.

The aim of the programme is to encourage and support young people in the area to be involved in local democracy and civic leadership in their areas.

The report presented to councillors stated that the term of the proposed programme would run for 24 months and the proposed criteria for those who wish to become Young Ambassadors sets out that they must have an interest in local democracy and civic leadership, must be willing to act as Young Ambassadors for the duration of the programme and participate fully and have a willingness to use the skills they have gained in the Programme by volunteering with community/voluntary organisations in the borough.

The report also stated that the initiative would “allow Council to be seen as true civic leaders by promoting a project whereby it is encouraging young people to be involved with local democracy and civic leadership in the Borough.”

The proposal by Cr Paul Reid, seconded by Cr Paul Sinclair, to approve the working group’s recommendations will be subject to ratification by full Council.