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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 When they are first introduced to the project many are apprehensive and withdrawn, and in some cases their parents are equally fearful of allowing their children to attend the activities.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