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Have a look through the following articles...

 

Community Telegraph - 7 May 1999

Caption: Inner East Youth Project worker Raymond Laverty (left) joined Eleanor Savage of the Ballymacarrett Residents' Association, Noel Scott of the Belfast Regeneration Office and Jeremy Logan from the Department of the Environment (right) for a community tree planting scheme in Island Street

Headline: 'Youth targeted in bid to stem terrace trouble'

Violence which erupted during Glentoran's league clash with 'Big Two' rivals Linfield earlier this year [1999] has prompted an east Belfast community group to produce a strategy on ways of combating trouble on the terraces.

'Something More Than Football' has been released by the Inner East Youth Project and is targeted at young fans in the Sydenham, Albertbridge Road and Newtownards Road areas...

...The group will initiate a six-week course for young people [in June 1999]...

...Ray Laverty from the Inner East Youth Project said he hoped the initiative - the first of its kind in Northern Ireland - would improve relations between the new Irish League champions and local community groups, as well as helping to reduce violence at matches...

The group is also keen to establish a Glentoran supporters' club specially for local young people.

Community Telegraph - 14 May 1999

Caption: Inner East Youth Project community worker Ray Laverty below the colourful mural at The Base

Headline: Kids touch Base with brushes

Youths from east Belfast teamed up with Swedish friends at the weekend to create one of the area's biggest murals.

The artwork...was commissioned by the Inner East Youth Project and the Dee Street Area Regeneration Trust.

Pained by members of The Base's youth exchange group and a visiting group from Sweden along with Ballyhackamore artists Blaze FX, the mural features a back-drop of Harland and Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath as well as a footballer and young people surfing the Internet.

The aim was to improve the image of The Base, which is home to various community groups in the area.

South Belfast News August 2001

Caption:    Inner East Youth Project young people on the steps of Memorial Tower at Thiepval Wood

Headline:    East Belfast kids make an emotional journey to battlefields of 

                    the Somme

 

A group of young people from the inner East Belfast have returned from what has been described as a "very emotional journey" to the battlefields of the Somme.

Despite the widespread street commemorations surrounding the anniversary of the battle of the Somme each 1 July, it felt that many young people in the east Belfast were ignorant about the realities of the Great war.

Raymond Laverty of the Inner East Youth Project says that, despite overwhelming interest among young people between 1912 and 1918  that young people have a lot to learn about the past.

"A lot of our younger members just don't know about the sacrifice at the Somme or of predominately Catholic  regiments like the 16th Irish, for instance."

So after a full year of preparation a group of 28 local teenagers and youth workers set off to visit the battlefields of Belgium and France for themselves.

Raymond Laverty said it was an emotional journey for everyone involved from the start.

"Even as we were leaving Belfast with our 16 and 17 year olds," he says, "my mind was full of what it must have been like in 1914 when all those men of the same age were making this same journey.

"For most of them, it was the last time they would ever see their families or friends again."

While in Belgium, the group visited the Flanders Fields Museum and the Menin Gate at Ypres and viewed the Last Post Ceremony that has been performed every evening at 8pm since 1928.

In France, the youngsters from East Belfast visited the Ulster Tower, Thiepval Wood, and the cemetery of the Connaught Rangers as well as a number if other Great War cemeteries.

"And for many of the teenagers," says Raymond Laverty, "the most poignant moment of the trip came when they discovered their own surnames inscribed on headstones.

"Every single member of our group discovered their surname at one or other of the cemeteries."

The idea for the trip was sparked last year following the compilation of a video about what the Battle of the Somme means to people in West Belfast.

"The making of the video generated so much interest," says Laverty.

"We decided to put together a programme that explored the events leading up to the First World War.  The trip to France came from all of that."

And the East Belfast youth workers says that given the overwhelming interest in the scheme he fully expects the Somme trip to become a yearly event.

"We intend to make this pilgrimage on an annual basis - educating young people on the facts of history in order that they may understand that they may understand more about themselves and about others."

 

 

2000  Inner East Youth Project

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Last modified: 15 October, 2001