Earlier this month, 70 young people graduated on the Loughs Agency’s ‘Foyle Ambassador’ Programme. The programme was supported by Co-operation Ireland through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland.
The aim of the Foyle Ambassadors programme is to discover the social, economic and environmental importance of the River Foyle, from source to sea, while at the same time providing young people with opportunities to engage and build relationships across the city, region and political divide. This was done through a range of adventure activities such as boating, surfing and canoeing; environmental projects such as cleans ups and personal development sessions.
Allan Bogle, Community Engagement Officer at Loughs Agency said ‘since Easter we have ran 5 programmes and these 70 young people have truly became ambassadors of the Foyle recognising its importance as a natural resource. Ambassadors not only built lasting connections with the river they also developed lasting friendships with each other. The experiences they have gained will provide them with skills for life through fun, friendship and adventure.’
Since 2014, nearly 200 young people between the ages of 13 and 17, have participated in this programme and become Foyle Ambassadors. Loughs Agency are keen to continue delivering this programme in the Foyle area and also in Carlingford and grow the Ambassador alumni further.
During the graduation ceremony the Marion Gent presented the Philip Gent Memorial Trophy to Ambassador Dylan Sharkey. Allan Bogle, Community Engagement Officer at Loughs Agency said Dylan showed great enthusiasm during his time on the programme quickly and naturally becoming a team member and leading the team on occasions. He mucked in without hesitation, embraced all the tasks and challenges and had excellent attendance. Through the programme he presented himself as a genuine, considerate and kind person.
Foyle Ambassadors programme has the potential to reach many more young people throughout the Foyle and Carlingford areas. If you are interested in the programme, please register your interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org