StreetReach originated in Belfast and operated in conjunction with Summer Madness at the Kings Hall from 2003 – 2007.

It started as a large inner city partnership between churches and a variety of organisations and succeeded in regenerating whole communities.

StreetReach relaunched in 2019, as part of a collaboration between YMCA Ireland, Summer Madness and the Education Authority for the Carrickfergus, Larne and surrounding coastal areas. Aiming to bring the same positivity and hope to young people who felt they lived in left behind towns; many involving themselves in high risk taking behaviours in order to cope with life.

With a year to develop partnerships and deliver a week long festival style community outreach, work began at full speed with enthusiasm shown from local people right from the offset.

Partnerships were made with over 30 groups locally and nationally who wanted to take part in transforming the coastal communities of Mid and East Antrim. A campsite for 300 young people was created and a fleet of buses booked to transport the teams daily into the communities to work with local Host Groups and 200 local young people who had been planning work initiatives for 6 months.

Two major events were planned with large venues, media teams, DJs, live music, dance and entertainment hosts booked to celebrate the end of the outreach week.

The aim for StreetReach was that it would leave a legacy of Active Citizenship for all young people involved in both local and national teams and that this would lead to the beginning of changed communities.

This all came to a sudden halt when Covid-19 shut the country down and all our plans had to be paused and then cancelled – large gatherings simply couldn’t happen.

We took time during the summer of 2020 to think and work through the frustration of having our hard work indefinitely postponed and began to reimagine how we could begin again in our new socially distanced society.

The essence of StreetReach is to see young people feel empowered to create positive change in their communities; to know that their passion and ability is valued and to know they are making a practical difference.

We have laid down the dream of large events, fleets of buses and hundreds of people and taken up the certainty that small numbers of passionate people can create lasting change when they genuinely care. And so thats what we are going to do.

We have a plan that in 6 short months, will enable over 60 young people to become Active Citizens and leaders in community change.

In just 4 weeks of purposeful working together, we can envision and empower 8 young people at a time to identify, plan and deliver a meaningful contribution to their own communities.

We are offering the following, with the knowledge the benefits will be long lasting:

  • Time and space for young people to explore what it means to be an active citizen
  • To have a say in what they think should happen in their town
  • To have the resources to help make it happen
  • And most important, adults who believe in their potential now, not just for the future

If you would like to know more or to get your group involved, then you can register here.

Find out more about Active Citizenship

StreetReach is a collaboration between YMCA Ireland, Summer Madness and the Education Authority for the Carrickfergus, Larne and surrounding coastal areas.