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A Life in The Day of A Young Person in Inner East Belfast

Inner East Youth Project 1999-2000

The photographs on this page were taken by young people form the Inner East Youth Project to portray the reality of the day-to-day life of a young person in Inner East Belfast.



It gives me great pleasure to be asked to contribute to this publication, a publication designed to highlight and confront the reality of a life in the day of a young person in inner east Belfast.

Young people, within any inner city area of the United Kingdom, are regarded as being socially disruptive.  They can be seen congregating on street corners or around focal points such as local shops etc.  They may be interpreted, by some, as threatening as large groups of them gather in one place.


For the last three years the Inner East Youth Project has initiated contact, developed relationships and established partnerships that will address the felt and expressed needs of these young people.  For the young people living in the inner east Belfast area, an area with no full-time youth facility, there is no alternative but to hang about on the street corners or congregate around local shops.

We have recently entered a new millennium on a tidal wave of optimism and expectation of a more understanding and prosperous future for all the citizens of Northern Ireland.

Through this publication, in an atmosphere of optimism, expectation and understanding, young people form the inner east Belfast area, in partnership with Inner East Youth Project, Challenge For Youth and the Community Training Co-operative, have in a most creative manner identified and illustrated the reality of a life in the day of a young person in inner east Belfast. 

The young people have clearly illustrated a legitimate concern about the decline of the area, housing, quality of life and the physical environment.  Poor housing, road congestion and area of dereliction contribute to a general feeling of 'poverty', low self-esteem and lack of confidence within the community.  Yet here we have a very positive mechanism being used by young people to highlight and create an understanding of what life is like for them.

If those of use who are adults are to learn anything from this publication, at the very least, it should be to understand the world through the eyes of a young person.  And at the very most it is incumbent of us to address, in partnership with young people, the felt and expressed needs as identified by them as young people.

And finally, for 'other' young people viewing this publication you can create and achieve change.

Raymond Laverty, BSc. DipHE. CYW.
Team Leader
Inner East Youth Project


Young People's Comments

"At first I thought it would have been a waste of film to take photographs of the 'rundown' area, until I took the time to walk around and look.  Every photo had captured the history of the buildings and the spirit of the community - I never noticed it until that day and it has changed the way I feel about where I live.  I'm sure the project had that effect on others.

"The best part for me was working on the 'Friends and Family' topic, as my family are the most important part of my life and area; seeing them on a huge screen in the Waterfront was amazing."


"We took the photos because it was an enjoyment to us and our area.  We didn't take them for our total enjoyment.  We also took them to show the people outside our area what they think of it.  We also took the photos to see if we can get any improvements to our area.  All of us would like to see improvements to our area."


"I took the photographs of my area and the Oval because I wanted to show other people outside east Belfast what it was like to live there, and where young people like myself hang about."


"I took these photographs because I thought it would be interesting for people who don't live in the area and for them to see what it looks like.  Most of my photographs were taken down the Newtownards Road, some in bars and some in Glentoran Football Pitch (Oval).  Photos were also taken of wee kids living in their own culture.  I took photos of my family and friends but they never turned out."



Special thanks goes to the following people and organisations for their support and sponsorship of the "Art from the Heart" project at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.

Belfast City Council Community Arts Development Fund
Making Belfast Work
Jude - Cinemagic
Dave Hyndman - Northern Visions
Jennifer Jordon - Choreographer
Fiona McKeown - Waterfront Hall
Coca Cola

We would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support and sponsorship of this project, "A Life in the Day of a Young Person in Inner East Belfast".

Inner East Youth Project
Youthnet ICYP
Challenge For Youth
Making Belfast Work
Flinton Brady - Belfast Community Theatre
The Young People:
Ryan Davidson    Hollie Townsley    John Sheridan
Trisha McQueen    Neil Rose    James Watson
Scott Boyd - Inner East Youth Project
Raymond Laverty - Inner East Youth Project


These photographs were taken with four themes in mind, Family & Friends, Entertainment, Culture, and Sport.

The photographs in this publication are the property of the Inner East Youth Project and should not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the Inner East Youth Project and the acknowledgement of the origins of the photographs.

This publication was funded by Making Belfast Work, East Team.


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2000  Inner East Youth Project

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Last modified: 08 January, 2001