Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody helps mentor local young people

Date published: 04 June 2019

A group of young leaders and young ambassadors from the Uniting Communities Programme have come together with Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol to share life experiences at Girdwood Community Hub today.

The cross community programme delivered by the Department for Communities (DfC) brings together young people with the aim of improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society through youth sport and creativity.

Part of their unique training is the inclusion of inspirational speakers from all walks of life on topics which are of relevance to them. Gary kindly offered his time to support the young people on their journey by talking to them about the highs and the lows in his own life.
Gary said: "It was a privilege to attend this evening to discuss a range of issues and share my life experiences with an inspirational group of young people.  Whether you play music or listen to music, it is something that brings us all together and something we can all relate to.  I was very impressed by the interaction of the young people who clearly have an extraordinary connect and will to unite their communities.”

The programme is one of seven headline actions included in the Northern Ireland Executive's Together: Building a United Community (TBUC) Strategy. This Good Relations Programme supports and enables young people to become agents of social change and impact positively on the lives of their peers, families and communities.  

Kathryn Hill, Director of Active Communities (DfC), said: “It was fantastic to be able to welcome Gary to Girdwood tonight to share his unique experiences with the young people on the programme.

“To have such an inspirational ambassador take the time to share his perspective and provide his support really emphasised the significant impact that the actions of these young people are having on their own future and on the future of good relations in Northern Ireland.”

The Uniting Communities programme is currently underway in the urban areas of Ardoyne/Ballysillan and Colin/Eastside.  Recruitment of young leaders has begun in the Derg and Ballymoney rural areas, so if you are interested in becoming a young leader (16-25) or supporting the programme in these areas please get in touch.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Executive’s Together Building a United Community Strategy (T:BUC) was published on 23 May 2013.   
  2. More information about the T:BUC programme is available 
  3. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on 02890823532 or email: Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110
  4. Follow the Department on @CommuitiesNI

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