Sixth Annual YAFTAs Launched in Downpatrick

The sixth annual Youth & Future Talent Awards (YAFTA’s) were launched in the Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick on Wednesday 23rd January 2019.

YAFTA Launch group photo

The YAFTAs, created by the Newry & Mourne Youth Council in 2012 is now delivered in partnership with Down Youth Council. Both Youth Councils are facilitated by the Education Authority (EA) Youth Service and the awards are supported by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council.

The aim of the awards is to highlight the ‘unsung heroes’ throughout the district who do not normally receive recognition for the contribution they make to their families, youth groups, schools and in the wider community.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mark Murnin said;

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council continue to support the District Youth Councils in partnership with the Education Authority Youth Service to develop and deliver these awards, which highlight the outstanding achievements of young people in our District.

It is important that we celebrate the dedication of young people to contributing to safer, stronger communities to improve the lives of their peers, family members and communities.”

Speaking also at the launch event Donna Weir, EA Area Youth Officer said;

“The priorities for youth document identifies participation as a key action and this project is an excellent example of this. Participation in youth work means that it is youth led, when programmes are completely run by and for young people at every level.

These awards are a fantastic way for us in the Education Authority to celebrate the contribution young people make to their friends, their schools, their youth clubs, their families and their communities.

I am delighted to support the launch of this event for the sixth year in a row and I wish all involved well in their deliberations.”

The YAFTA’s are awarded in seven categories: Good Relations Award, Young Carer Award, Voice of Young People Award, Innovation and Creativity Award, Community Safety Award, Inspirational Young Person Award and Inclusion Award.

Nomination forms are now available from the Education Authority offices at Newry Youth Resource Centre Carnbane Road Newry BT15 6QA or Ballymote Youth Wing, Ballymote Sports and Wellbeing Centre, 96 Glebetown Drive, Downpatrick, BT30 6PX.

Nomination forms are also available from Newry, Mourne & Down District Council offices at Newry Office, Monaghan Row, Newry, BT35 8DJ or Downpatrick Office, Downshire Civic Centre, Ardglass Road, BT30 6GQ.

The Awards ceremony is only made possible by the generous support of local businesses, statutory and community organisations. Sponsors this year include PCSP, Newry, Mourne and Down Council, the Executive Office, the Newry Clinic, PJ O’Hare’s Carlingford and Specsavers, Newry.

For further information contact Rosie Carey, Senior Youth Worker, Education Authority by telephoning 02830251515 or by email on

Last modified: 11/02/2019