Supporting young people in the Glens of Antrim

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An exciting new service for children and young people with a disability and their parents living in the Glens of Antrim was recently launched.

The Cedar Outlook Service will enable children and young people living in a rural environment to participate and enjoy activities that other young people take for granted, like going to the cinema, joining youth clubs and other leisure and social recreation activities.

The service has been specifically designed by The Cedar Foundation. Speaking at the official launch, Chief Executive Stephen Mathews, said: “We are delighted to be launching this service. This is an exciting and excellent example of how local communities and organisations can work in partnership to develop and ensure that the services we provide meet the needs of young people and their parents.”

The need for this type of service was identified by parents and the local community. Oliver McMullan, Chair of The Friends Group said: “Having a local service means a lot for young people who usually have to travel long distances to find the support they need”.

Brenda McAteer, Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Chair of the Glens Interagency Group described how bringing all the organisations together has helped to raise awareness about the services that are out there and how families can access them. She thanked the North Antrim Community Network and the other local agencies for their support.

A parent of one of the young people, who has been using the new service, highlighted how much he enjoyed the activities and said “I know he will have a good time and be safe”.

On behalf of the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership, Kieran McShane, Health and Social Care Board, praised all those involved. He said: “This innovative approach to the development and shaping of services will support children and young people living in the Glens of Antrim and their families. This is an excellent example of how a local community can give a voice and help shape services to address local needs.”

Further information about the service please contact Marie Therese Cassin, Cedar Foundation on 028 2565 9111, www.cedar-foundation.org