Current Europe/UK Teams
On this page, you can find all the information about our current teams! Europe/UK Program teams complete their Skill Building Phases in the Summer and Fall of each year. Their Community Building Phases end in the early months of the following year. Use the menu to the left to navigate between the teams!
Eth12: Scotch Street Youth Club/Oasis Youth Club
Community Building Phase
Jan 10: Community Building PlanThe team met after a holiday break to begin planning their Social Action Project. There was time for reflection on the skills they learned during the Skill Building Phase which led to meaningful conversation about how they can use those skills to help others.
Skill Building Phase
Scotch Street Youth Club
Scotch Street, Portadown, Northern Ireland
To provide young people with a safe and challenging environment and opportunities which nurture their character, beliefs, and ability to build meaningful lifestyles.
Scotch Street is a village in County Armagh, Northern Ireland that has seen significant population growth in the last ten years, despite only having 1000 current residents. Due to the population increase, there was a lack of facilities and events for young people to attend, leading to disturbances in the community. While local efforts to create opportunities for the youth have led to a decrease in anti-social behavior, there has been an increase in drug use and underage drinking as a result. This increase in substance abuse has aided an already established conflict among multiple religious beliefs living in the area. Scotch Street Youth Club joined Friends Forever International’s programs to create more opportunities for young people to contribute to society and promote acceptance and understanding of others.
Oasis Youth Club
Scotch Street, Portadown, Northern Ireland
Oasis is an inclusive youth focused programme that engages with ethnic children and youth to empower them to develop positive relationships, respect diversity and improve achievement levels while allowing them to enjoy new experiences in a safe environment.
Oasis is a Youth Centre that provides services for children and young people primarily from an ‘Ethnic Minority Community.’ Portadown is a small rural town of approx. 40000 people. Having a difficult history through The Troubles and the following sectarian contentions particularly around parades and flags, there was a natural spill over of tensions when significant numbers of migrants arrived in town in the early 2000s. There was skepticism among some that the migrants had a political motivation to support one side of the sectarian dispute, therefore the legacy of sectarianism started to manifest itself as racism.
Meet the Team
KatrinaHobbies: Socialising with friends and family, baking, watersport and outdoor activities
Favorite Quote: “Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so"
My Role Models: My parents, my youth leader and my big sister
Favorite Quote: “I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend." - Freddie Mercury
My Role Models: Jim Root - Slipknot Guitarist, Mick thompson - Slipknot Guitarist, Josh Dunn - Twentyonepilots drummer
ClaraHobbies: swimming, hairdressing
Favorite Quote: “Nothing is impossible the word itself says I'm possible." - Audrey Hepburn
My Role Models: Mum, Dad, RuPaul
Favorite Quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because in the end those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.”
My Role Models: My mum, My granda, My best friend
TiaHobbies: riding horses
Favorite Quote: “I have a dream that one day I will in a nation where I'll not be judged by the color of my skin but by the content of my character.”
My Role Models: mother,
Martin Luther King
CharlieHobbies: Volunteering, socialising
Favorite Quote: “Prove Them Wrong Babe”
My Role Models: Friend Lauren, Dad, Ainé Heaney
AdamHobbies: Driving and out with friends
Favorite Quote: “When you feel like quitting think about why you started”
My Role Models: My Dad, My big brother, My friends
ZuzannaHobbies: Reading, Singing, Writing, Doing Kendo
Favorite Quote: “Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today.”
My Role Models: My mum, youth workers, celebrities who use their money and fame for good
LOL: Corpus Christi Youth Centre/Blackmountain Action Group
Community Building Phase
Jan 31: Social Action, Part 2The second part of Team LOL's social action project was at St Gerard's, a school for children with disabilities. The team led games, an arts and crafts session, and cookie decorating! The students had a blast and the team did an great job playing to their strengths to provide a good time for everyone.
Jan 28: Social Action, Part 1Team LOL's first Social Action event took place at the Glenalina Lodge, which is located alongside the peacewall that divides the communities. While there, the team led cookie decorating, facilitated games, and talked with the residents. The team enjoyed the session and their project was off to a good start!
Jan 14: SAP Planning, ContWith their idea in place, the team met to set dates and assign roles to take the next steps in their project. After work time, the team spent some time relaxing and catching up with their friends.
Jan 7: Social Action PlanningTeam LOL met to build out their ideas for the Social Action Project. Taking charge of the planning, they decided to work on 3-4 smaller projects within several vulnerable populations rather than 1 big project. They will be working with children with disabilities, elderly residents, and the homeless population.
Dec 17: Team HangoutAfter all their hard work recently, Team LOL had a well deserved break together to catch-up and relax as a team. Without any other goals for the meeting, they were able to enjoy the company of the friends they've made through the program.
Dec 6: Volunteering Christmas DinnerSome of the team came together to volunteer at a Christmas dinner for the elderly. They helped set-up, served food, and cleaned-up afterwards. The team worked hard and enjoyed engaging with the elderly residents.
Nov 29: VolunteeringTeam LOL volunteered to coordinate and facilitate a cross-community outing to the SSE arena for their two youth centers. They collected money and permission slips, as well as planned and supervised during the trip. Overall, it was quite a success and their fellow young people from the centers enjoyed the trip!
Skill Building Phase
Corpus Christi Youth Centre
Ballymurphy (Upper Springfield), Belfast
We work in partnership with young people (8-25 yrs.) as they seek to meet their political, social, personal, cultural, spiritual and physical needs. In working to achieve these aims we will strive to create a climate of mutual respect, understanding, equity, diversity, and interdependence.
The Ballymurphy and greater Upper Springfield neighborhoods of Belfast, primarily of Catholic identity, is considered one of the most socio-economically deprived communities in Northern Ireland. According to CCYC staff, many of the young people who attend the centre have been affected by suicide, family breakdowns, drug and alcohol addiction, and other criminal offenses. The area is the highest ranked community in Northern Ireland, in regards to deprivation and educational underachievement. Many students drop out before graduation or leave school with little to no qualifications. CCYC joined Friends Forever with a hope to provide their young people with the confidence to explore, share, and test their own abilities and beliefs, and to engage with others from a variety of backgrounds.
Blackmountain Action Group
To encourage integration and reconciliation from the youngest to the oldest member of our community. We provide activities and programs to promote the benefit of health, education, employment and social regeneration.
The development of Springmartin Estate, now primarily of Protestant identity, was completed in 1968. During a time of political unrest, referred to as “the troubles,” members of the surrounding area took refuge and eventually residence within the estate. Over the next few years, Springmartin began to see vicious sectarian riots and eventually became a flashpoint area for violence. Rioting and shootings became a daily occurrence for residents within the surrounding areas. The legacy of the troubles is felt in nearly all aspects of the community. Blackmountain Action Group joined Friends Forever to encourage peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and to enable and encourage strong youth leaders for the future.
LYFFE: Holy Family Youth Club/Mountcollyer Youth Club
Community Building Phase
Jan 24: Leadership DevelopmentThis meeting focused on furthering the leadership development they began in the Skill Building Phase. The youth are diving into concepts like mentoring and how to be a role model with enthusiasm.
Jan 17: Social Action PlanningAfter a holiday break, team L.Y.F.F.E. came back together to continue planning their Social Action Project and the rest of their Community Building Phase. The team is excited to get involved in their youth centers and planned a residential in March!
Dec 1: Food Bank CollectionThe team volunteered for 2 days in 3 hour shifts at a collection for the local food bank. L.Y.F.F.E. used the skills they developed volunteering at the Boston Red Cross to collect and sorted food, hand out leaflets, and stay focused without guidance from their team leaders.
Nov 22: PlanningThe teams from these youth clubs always puts on an event called the Lark in the Dark. This meeting focused on planning for the 2018 event and coordinating some volunteer time at a local food bank drive.
Skill Building Phase
Holy Family Youth Centre
Newington, North Belfast
To work in partnership with young people as they seek to meet their political, social, personal, cultural, spiritual, and physical needs.
There are high levels of social disadvantage in the Newington area as the ward was ranked 16 on Northern Ireland’s Multiple Deprivation Measure and has the second highest crime rate in the country. According to a 2010 study from the Centre for Social Justice, 4 out of 5 births were to unmarried mothers and 66.4% of young people between the ages of 14 and 17 attain low or no levels of qualifications from school. Although Holy Family Youth Centre would be seen as a “Catholic” youth services provider, the center has a membership which includes those of other faiths and those who identify with none.
Mountcollyer Youth Centre
Tigers Bay, North Belfast
To create an environment that is challenging and educational, and instills self-belief in the young people we worth with.
Since the years of the troubles, the area of Tigers Bay has seen a lot of conflict both internally and externally. The community faces many complex needs included one parent families, low educational achievement, low employment, crime, drug use, poor infrastructure and a lack of community leadership. According to the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure, Tigers Bay is within the top 12 most deprived areas. Members of the Mountcolleyer Youth Centre identify primarily as Protestant.
Favorite Quote: “you only live once and if you do it right once is enough"
My Role Models: Beyonce, my mummy and granny
Favorite Quote: “the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today"
My Role Models: Steven Gerard
SophieHobbies: shopping, doing art, helping others ,learning new things, getting to know new people,looking after young children
Favorite Quote: “have courage and be kind."
My Role Models: my mummy Katrina, my auntie Maria and Beyonce
MarcHobbies: football, listening to music
Favorite Quote: “the truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.”
My Role Models: my mum, my dad, Neymar
AimeeHobbies: Listening to music, spending time with friends
Favorite Quote: “beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” - Coco Chanel
My Role Models: granny, mum, Rhianna
Favorite Quote: “Tough times dont last tough people do”
My Role Models: Granda, Mum, Uncle
AbbieHobbies: socalising with friends
Favorite Quote: “live today how you like because tomorrow it could all be gone”
My Role Models: My Nanny, Beyoncé, my best friend
RonanHobbies: Music and gaming
Favorite Quote: “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world will be blind”
My Role Models: My grandmother, Ghandi, Donald Trump
KeelanHobbies: Going out with my mates
Favorite Quote: “sometimes you have to stop being scared and just go for it. Either it'll work or it wont. That's life”
My Role Models: Mummy, Daddy, Granny
Shivis: St. Peters Youth Center/Townsend Outreach Centre
Community Building Phase
Dec 11: Video ClipsTeam Shivis got together to watch some of their video clips and plan a celebration event. While the video clips unfortunately didn't arrive in time, the team had a great time planning a party to celebrate their program!
Dec 4: ReflectionsAfter completing their interviews, the team met to reflect on how well they worked together, what they would change if they did the project again, and how they felt their individual contribution went. It was a relaxed and fruitful meeting!
Oct 29: Video/Radio TrainingTeam Shivis continued to practice recordings and develop their skills. The young people caught on quickly and enjoyed learning more about how the process works!
Oct 22: Radio Recording PreparationThis meeting involved the young people practicing recording their stories from the Skill Building Phase. They supported each other through multiple takes and worked hard to ensure the final recordings reflect their stories.
Oct 16: Social Action FeedbackThe team meet to reflect on feedback from the groups they want to work with for their projects. They also started their project off by baking sweets to raise funds for the Children's Cancer Care Hospice.
Skill Building Phase
St. Peters Immaculata Youth Centre
Divis (Lower Falls), Belfast
The mission statement for the youth centre is the provision of ‘social and personal development of young people aged 8-18 years of age using non-formal education methodologies’.
The Divis area of West Belfast is primarily of Catholic identity. St. Peters Immaculata Youth Centre was initially developed as a Boys Club back in the 1950’s. Developed by the Cathedral to cater for the needs of the children of the parish it has grown into a self-sufficient registered charity. The Centre is managed by a group of local business and education professionals and continues to deliver services to over 200 local young people. Divis is based in the lower Falls area of West Belfast and has a reputation for serious crime and drug related issues. The community is beset with poverty, sectarianism and poor social condition
Townsend Outreach Centre
Townsend (Lower Shankill), Belfast
To enhance the educational opportunities for young people at risk in the Lower Shankill community.
The Lower Shankill area of West Belfast is of primarily Protestant identity. Townsend Street is a registered charity. It began as a children’s’ project. Since then we have developed work with parents and young people up to the age of 18 years. Young adults over 18 years are then progressed into youth leadership training and encouraged to develop their own personal and social skills. As an organization, we are client led and all users are involved in the management, planning, and delivery of all of our programmes and activities. We work alongside local schools to enhance the educational opportunities for young people most at risk of underachievement, this includes mental health programmes, life skills, community awareness and preparing young people for employment.
Feb 13th: Social Action PlanningThe team applied for a Social Action Project Grant from FFI and assigned roles for the day of the event. Alumnus Josh Hall visited the group and assisted with the planning.
Dec 12th - Planning Coffee NightSaturi’s Social Action Project is a Coffee Night that will raise money for their chosen charity while helping bring people from different walks of life together. They planned out their presentations and assigned roles for bringing supplies to the event. Eirinn shared an experience she had meeting a man with autism recently and how she was able to reference her experiences at Living Innovations in the U.S. to feel confident interacting with him in a respectful manner.
Dec 5th - Holiday CardsThis meeting was mostly devoted to writing holiday cards to be sent to FFI supporters that Saturi met while in the United States. All the participants signed each card and wrote messages to the folks that made their Skill Building Phase a success! The group had extra fun writing messages to their U.S. Site Manager, Leah.
Nov 21st - Boston Group VisitWith the arrival of the Boston to Belfast U.S. team, the Twine Shakers, Saturi put their plans into action. They lead both teams in icebreakers and introductions as well as discussions and workshops. The Identity Workshop allowed Saturi to practice the skills they developed in the U.S. while getting the opportunity to be the hosts and leaders of an activity during another Team’s Skill Building Phase.
Nov 14th- Planning Identity WorkshopAs the Boston to Belfast trip drew nearer, Saturi continued planning the Identity Workshop. They assigned roles so each team member would lead at least one part of the session. Over the course of the meeting, the team pulled on their experiences from the U.S. and their meetings back home.
Nov 7th - Social Action Planning-Connected in with Chelsea to organise meeting with the Boston group coming to Belfast
-Began planning for social action project and fundraising night
-Began planning the youth-led identity session for the Boston group
-Begin to get concrete ideas on paper for what they will be doing for their social action
-Get the group thinking about everything that will need to be planned and organised for this to be achieved
-Begin thinking about what will need to be written on the grant application
Oct 24th - Clic SargentHear from the organisation about what we can do to help them. Clic Sargent look after young people with cancer.
To plan social action project. To meet agency and see what their needs are
Oct 17th - Stereotypes workshopStereotype workshop focusing on discussion and interactive walking debates. Group participated well in the discussion and challenged some misconceptions about race, religion and nationality. Gender Stereotypes was also discussed.
The young people requested that we had more discussion led work shops focusing on talking about community and social issues.
Oct 10th - British Red Cross RefugeGuest speaker from the British Red Cross led the session. Group brainstormed what they understood the term 'refugee' to mean to see if there were any misunderstandings or misconceptions within the group. Played a word association game with a similar aim. Leader held a walking debate to see how members of the group would react in certain scenarios (e.g "would you leave your country if all social media was banned?")
Oct 3rd - Red Cross basic first aidBasic first aid skills with Red Cross. Focusing on how to help someone under the influence of drink or drugs.
To gain first aid knowledge.
To receive relevant first aid skills as many young people will come into contact with someone under the influence of drink or drugs.
To learn more about the Work Red Cross does across the globe.
Sept 29th - ReflectionsFirst meeting back since USA. Group met at ymca and had time to just catch up. After 20mins the group enjoyed pizza and a video of all the photos/videos taken in America.
Then the group moved into the reflective stage. We broke them into groups of 2 and they had to find out three things about the other person. They had to find out what three things the person has done or is doing differently since America. This worked well.
After this the group talked about the importance of reflection, how
Saturi: Belfast YMCA
Greater Belfast, Northern Ireland
Throughout the years, the Belfast YMCA has sought to create an environment where young people can recognize and appreciate the diversity of society. Their focus is a range of programs within primary schools, post-primary schools, and out-of-school programs. They have worked within the juvenile justice system and on a number of youth unemployment programs. Participants of the Belfast YMCA’s programs mainly identify as Catholic or Protestant, and come from all parts of the city; however, they have been most recently focusing their recruitment towards the neighborhoods of Eastern Belfast.