New horizons for young people in the Midlands

Celebrating a new three year partnership. L-R Edel O’Malley, Eimear Cowhey, Ronnie Griffin, Sean Campbell, Karen Hannify, John Weedle, Paul Heffernan, Helen Godsil

Great partnerships offering new horizons for young people in under-resourced areas experiencing educational disadvantage are worth celebrating!

Gathered at Grand Canal Square, Dublin, John Weedle, Country Head of HSBC Securities Services in Ireland, announced a partnership that sees Prestige Patron HSBC commit a total of €90,000 over a three-year period to help co-fund a new programme with basis.point and Foróige.

The vision of this partnership is to inspire and equip young people who are facing disadvantage, with the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workforce. By combining leadership skills development, entrepreneurship training and practice with technological knowhow, young people will be better equipped to meet the challenges of modern living and to succeed in the workforce of the future.

A first of its kind, this innovative 21st century employability initiative, gives participants the opportunity to participate in three already well-established programmes run by Foróige and builds on their 65 year experience of non-formal curriculum design and their Computer Clubhouse and Foróige TechSpace Network.

Initially centred in Kilkenny, participants aged 15 to 18, will be drawn from surrounding disadvantaged rural communities in the Midlands.

L-R Paul Heffernan, Eimear Cowhey, John Weedle, Ronnie Griffin

The partnership between HSBC, basis.point and Foróige brings together three powerful strands of non-formal education.

Each participant will have the opportunity to participate in the NFTE Network for Entrepreneurship, the TechSpace and the Leadership for Life programmes.

And whilst this innovative tiered approach is new, there are some examples of young people who have initiated this layered approach with Foróige from an early age and carved their own way.

Farouq Raheem is one such guy and considers his participation in the Leadership for Life programme as the highlight.

This programme truly made me the person I am today, and it really has opened up a new world of opportunities for me. I’ve heard lots of people talk about whether leadership skills are nature or nuture – well I want to tell you that they can be nurtured. We can all be leaders in our own life and in our own way, if we know how.

Farouq went on to study sports and leisure management at TUDublin. He attributes his acquired leadership skills to surviving a period of homelessness, and has one more year to complete before graduation.

The programme will run over a three year period with a total investment of €270,000. The partnership between HSBC and basis.point ensures that the entire basis.point community of Patrons and Supporters will have played a part in opening doors and creating these new horizons.

“This programme will be the difference for the young people who take part, I know, because it was the difference to me” commented Farouk Raheem from Blanchardstown.

For 500 lucky participants, this ground-breaking initiative will develop transferable skills that will set them up for life. It will be exciting to watch them grow.

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