Helping young people realise their potential

Back row: Frazer Bailey, Principal Whitehouse PS, Dr Michael Wardlow, Equalities Commission, Bill Fletcher, Principal Hollybank PS, Harriet Moore, Acting Principal Abbots Cross PS, Claire Humphrey, Manager Barnardo's Newtownabbey Family Connections and Hilary Johnston, Public Health Agency. Front row: Jordan McClure, Head Boy Abbey Community College, Nicola Elliott, Head Girl Abbey Community College and Maria Quinn, Principal Abbey Community College. INNT 50-510CON
Back row: Frazer Bailey, Principal Whitehouse PS, Dr Michael Wardlow, Equalities Commission, Bill Fletcher, Principal Hollybank PS, Harriet Moore, Acting Principal Abbots Cross PS, Claire Humphrey, Manager Barnardo's Newtownabbey Family Connections and Hilary Johnston, Public Health Agency. Front row: Jordan McClure, Head Boy Abbey Community College, Nicola Elliott, Head Girl Abbey Community College and Maria Quinn, Principal Abbey Community College. INNT 50-510CON

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has joined with local schools and community organisations in a bid to help raise levels of educational attainment.

Barnardo’s NI Newtownabbey Family Connections recently hosted a meeting of local stakeholders from education, health and the community sector with a view to improving education and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people in the Newtownabbey area through an area based plan based on collaboration and investment.

The event was organised in response to the Inequalities in Education report recently published by the Equalities Commission NI, which highlighted under-achievement in disadvantaged areas and in particular among Protestant working class boys.

In attendance were representatives from local primary and post-primary schools, local churches, community organisations such as Monkstown Village Initiatives and Monkstown Boxing Club, Open University, Stranmillis University College, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership, the Education Authority and the Public Health Agency.

Manager of Barnardo’s Newtownabbey Family Connections Project, Claire Humphrey said: “We have been working in the area for six years connecting children, schools and communities and as a result we have seen improvements in parenting skills, stronger and more stable families and an increased involvement of parents in their children’s learning and school life. We organised this event because we want to support a wider engagement of local people, community organisations, churches and statutory services and encourage further collaboration to promote achievement and wellbeing for local children and young people.”