The Foyle Ambassadors Spring group,
Seventy young people recently graduated on the Loughs Agency’s ‘Foyle Ambassador’ Programme.
The programme was supported through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland, in partnership with Cooperation Ireland.
ABOVE: Winner Dylan Sharkey (second from right) with Tiarnan Harkin, Marion Gent and Allan Bogle
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; and environmental projects such as cleans ups and personal development sessions.
Allan Bogle, community engagement officer at Loughs Agency said “since Easter we have ran five 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.’
Sharon McMahon, designated officer at the Loughs Agency, said “The Foyle Ambassadors programme encourages young people to get involved in the conservation and protection of the natural environment, and as the decision makers of the future and future custodians of the natural environment, it is extremely important that they understand the issues effecting this valuable resource today.
“The programme encourages young people to look after their communities, their relationships with their fellow citizens and the natural environment. It provides opportunities for them to enjoy and understand the recreational facility that the great outdoors provides, so that future generations may also enjoy it.
“ And just maybe, due to the intervention of young people such as the Foyle Ambassadors, we can have a meaningful impact on this wonderful resource to help make it better, more resilient and sustainable for generations to come.”
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.
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