We were delighted to welcome some familiar faces to a special event held to celebrate the first anniversary of Third Space.  

Over the past year, Third Space has helped around 200 young people across the North of Ireland, counties Donegal, Cavan and beyond to access life changing opportunities.  

On Tuesday evening (April 9) we celebrated these achievements with a special graduation ceremony at Third Space offices on Queen Street, Belfast. At the celebration evening, young people were given the opportunity to share special memories before being presented with their certificates of achievement.  

 

As part of the programme, participants are offered the opportunity to meet new people, take part in residentials, and participate in shared reading experiences. During each six-month programme, participants also use digital media to help tell their stories. 

Commenting on the achievements over the past 12 months, James Kerr, CEO of Verbal, said: “This is a landmark moment to be celebrating with the young people, staff and our partner Extern. Verbal believes that everyone has a story to tell and that every story matters. Through the commitment and dedication of the young people to this programme they have grasped the opportunity in a safe space to learn the lifelong skills of storytelling as well as ensure that that those stories are shared with and heard by others. 

“Using literature and storytelling Third Space has enabled young people to self-reflect, grow and develop. This is a very special project and I am very excited to see and listen to all the future stories that the young people will produce.” 

 “Building good relations and giving young people a sense of purpose and achievement is absolutely central to the Third Space project,” said Extern CEO Charlie Mack.  

“Through thousands of hours of engagement over the past year, the dedicated staff from Extern and our partners in Verbal have done a wonderful job in helping hundreds of young people to engage in new areas and enjoy fascinating new experiences. I am so proud of what has been achieved so far and look forward to more years of success for Third Space.” 

 Recognising the importance of the project, Gina McIntyre CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body said: “The EU’s PEACE IV Programme recognises that many of our young people feel that they are excluded from society, and is therefore providing a significant amount of funding to help them meet their personal challenges. I have seen at first-hand how this project is making a positive difference to the lives of young people, on both sides of the border, and talked to many young people who have become more resilient as a result of it. 

“It is also giving the participants the confidence to meet and learn from someone of a different religion or culture. This is one of the core objectives of the PEACE IV Programme, which is helping to build a more cohesive and peaceful society. I respect and admire the young people who have been involved in this project.”