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 in 2020, 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 for July 2020 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.